Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Give Me Children

Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die!"  (Genesis 30:1 NKJV)
Our Burden
Wouldn’t it be great if the burden of each Christian’s heart was, “Give me children or else I die!”  Wouldn’t it be great if the burden of every assembly that calls itself the church of God here on earth would honestly be burdened with a desire to have children born into their midst.  There seems to be a great burden to grown numerically but much of that growth (where it occurs) comes by Christians moving from one church to another.  Often, they leave the small churches to go to a large one.  Their reasons are often noble.  They want their children to have friends and to ultimately find marriage partners.  Sometimes they want to go where the church is not “dead” but where things are “happening.”  They want to go where there is a popular pastor who has advanced theological degrees and who is a charismatic speaker.  But mostly they want to go today to a church that sings and plays their kind of music.  I wonder how many pray the prayer of Rachel who wanted natural children, and do we go where we can be a part of having that prayer answered in a spiritual way?
Moving Mountains
In Matthew 17:16, the disciples were unable to cast out a demon.  They had been given the power to cast out demons in Matthew 10.  Yet nine of the twelve could not cast out this demon.  Why? Because of their unbelief.  I do not know what caused them to doubt their authority and power in this particular case but they should have been able to cast out this demon.  But they couldn’t.  The solution of course was to bring the problem to the Lord and the Lord did cast out the demon.  Then he told the disciples that while they lacked faith this was a difficult demon and casting it out required prayer and fasting.  (I realize that verse isn’t in the so-called better manuscripts but in my opinion the “better” manuscripts have that verse included).  Moving mountains in this passage seems to involve not having the ability to use the power that the Lord has explicitly promised us.  When we fail to have confidence in his power and authority, the problems we face seem like mountains.  But when we take the problem to the Lord, He knows how to deal with it in spite of our unbelief. 
When we think of our desire to be given spiritual children, we have a problem that is similar to the disciples’ problem in Matthew 17.  The Lord has given us a commission to preach the Gospel. He has told us that He will bless the Gospel and yet many of us are not seeing that blessing and in some cases, we have “given up.”  In some cases, we have moved from the simple preaching of the Gospel to “grow” our churches to man-made programs and entertainment to provide that growth.  But I am convinced that if we would admit our weakness and take the problem to the Lord, we would still be given “spiritual children.”  Rachel took things in her own hands and gave her husband her handmaid in order to get the children that she wanted.  In that day, having children was considered a blessing of the Lord and not having children was considered a curse.  So Rachel did what was common in that day. She gave her husband her maid and claimed her children as her own.  But God finally answered her prayer and she had her own children.  She didn’t have a lot of children, but she did have her own.  Of course, she wasn’t really built for having children and died given birth to her last one.  I wonder if she knew that was how her prayer would be answered.  Would we want children if we knew it would require us to pay the ultimate price as it did for Rachel? 

Our Promise
The Lord says that if we make disciples, baptize them, and teach them all things, He will be with us even to the end of the age.  But the promise is conditional.  We must make disciples, but how do we do that?  My Bible says that faith comes by hearing the word of God. That passage in Romans 10 tells us that people cannot hear without preachers which is where the Lord uses us in this great work.   My Bible says that God opens and closes doors.  My Bible says that if we continue in well doing we shall reap if we faint not. 
I would like Rachel’s prayer for natural children to be the prayer of each of us and of our local churches.  Only our prayer should be for spiritual children.  The first item on that list of prayer requests at our prayer meetings should be, “Give me children or else I die!”  Then let us watch the Lord start moving mountains.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of March 10, 2019

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