“Momma, there’s a girl at school that needs a coat! I told her you would buy her one.” This bold statement came from my then, second-grade son, Ryley, who came barreling in after school, tossing his backpack aside and making his way to get a snack. Okay…
What do you do when your child knows you are the supply and will meet a need that he sees? You buy a coat. Ryley’s expectant hope obligated me to a child I knew nothing about. A need had to be fulfilled because of expectant hope.
Hope obligates God to a need. He hastens His heart to our expectant one. He is moved, motivated, and dare I say, amazed by our bold faith. Jesus declares how astounded He was at a Roman Officer and his fierce faith, “I haven’t seen faith like this in all of Israel” Matthew 8:10. Now hear me out on this. I’m not saying we can go around and obligate God to just anything. No, I’m saying, when our heart is moved by the same thing God's heart is leaning into, and our hope is driven by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we can be like Ryley and boldly go before our father and announce a need and have complete confidence that Jehovah Jireh Will supply. “Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence” Ephesians 3:12.
God wants us to obligate Him to His Word, His heart, and His passions. When we declare His name in a circumstance, our hope and bold faith move Him to act. This is not a test of God's will, but trust in His plan and His purpose and His way.
John 2:1-6 tells of Jesus’ first miracle; the water turned into wine. This miracle happened because His mother knew what He was capable of. She knew who He was, and she saw a need and knew the One to meet that need was at the party. Jesus looks at her and says in verse 4 “woman, why do you involve me? My hour has not yet come.” His momma ignores his annoyance and, if I may take some liberty, in this story, says, “Son, I’ve raised you. I know what you’re capable of. I’ve heard the angles and followed the voice of God over your life. I rode a donkey while I was nine months pregnant for goodness sakes! I’ve walked desserts and have been on the run. Now, get some jars and fill them. I’m obligating you to do what I know you’re able to do.”
I know, I know, that’s not how the story goes, but it’s fun to think of what Mary did. Like Ryley obligated me to buy a coat, Mary obligated Jesus to do His thing. Let’s just view this “obligated hope” theory of mine. Mary was certain beyond all certainty Jesus would not fail her in this request. So much so that she ignores His reprimand and begins to order servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do. I love Mary in this. She is an example of what it means to cheer our children on in their calling. Even when they’re rolling their eyes, dragging their feet, or mumbling for us to leave them alone. Mary obligated Jesus!
Recently, my daughter and son in love were hoping for a baby. I told Sydney to put her hand on her tummy every day and say, “Thank you Jesus for my baby.” I hung two baby outfits on my wall and every day I thanked God for my grandchildren; For both my daughter and daughter-in-law who was also praying for a child. I prayed AS IF it had happened! I agreed with God's will for their lives. Low and behold Sydney and Kyle are pregnant. And I know it’s a matter of time for my son and daughter in love.
Sydney, Kyle, and Baby girl.
What is God stirring in you to hope for right now? What is He whispering to your heart to obligate Him to? Are you brave enough to dare to hope? Are you ready to astound Him in your faith? Be bold like my son was! Risk your faith! Know who you believe in and be persuaded that he is able. Say it out loud! Declare what you’re hoping for and watch God buy a coat!
UPDATE; Since the publishing of this blog, my daughter has had her second girl and my son and DIL had their first little girl! 2020 has held many blessings in our lives, two of which are named Averie and Everett.