Cry Out IF You Want It – John 5:6
For me, the book of Judges can be a frustrating book to read. There is a disheartening pattern that repeats itself over and over. The Israelites fall away from serving God; he removes his hand of protection; they come under the oppression of their enemy; they cry out to God for help; God sends a Judge to deliver them. Then it begins again.
Note this in the pattern though: God always waited for them to cry out to him before he did anything about it. You know why? The Judge God raised up usually led an army comprised of their own ranks so they were going to be called on to participate. God waited because they had to really WANT it and they wanted it most when their suffering was most intense.
Deliverance works a similar way today. Many people are severely oppressed by the devil but instead of crying out for help they are simply enduring. Somehow they can still live with things the way they are; it has not gotten unbearable.
When it does, God will respond. But his deliverance without their desire would be worthless in the long term since they will have to participate. There will usually be a part for them to play such as repenting of a sin or rejecting the stronghold or fighting a spiritual battle.
Jesus often asked people he ministered to if they wanted to be healed or helped. “Do you wish to get well?” (John 5:6) He was acknowledging the truth that not everyone truly wants it and he won’t override our free will.
Are you living with oppression you don’t have to? Have you cried out for deliverance? How bad do you want it?