Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Back to School... Part 4

It is a challenging place, to be With Christ in the School of Prayer. The School calls us away from our comfort zones, and out of ourselves and our interests and concerns. It calls us to something much bigger... and better.

For us, prayer can often be self-centered... self-focused. Like little kids coming to dad to right a wrong or fix a problem, so we often come to our Heavenly Father only when there is an injustice, an injury or a problem. And if this only when we think of prayer, how completely it misses the point - the real reason God calls us to pray!

We've been called into relationship with the God of the Universe! The One who has created all things, sustains all things, knows all things... who is Perfect in every way, infinitely More than anything we can imagine. While He loves us and knows (and cares!) about even the smallest details of our lives, His will and purpose is FAR more important than ours. When we think about it, even when our difficulties and concerns are overwhelming to us, we understand that God is already aware of them (Matthew 6:31-32), more than able to take care of them (Matthew 7:11) and that He is calling us to care about His concerns. What a privilege! What an honor! What a responsibility!

I need to say, though, that this privilege is reserved for His children - and we are NOT "all God's children" though, no matter how popular the thought remains. We are, by nature, children of the devil (John 8:42-44) - alienated from God, dead to God and objects of His wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3). But by His grace and apart from anything we do, He has chosen some to be His children (Ephesians 1:3)! And God will call them to Himself, make them right before Him, and ultimately, glorify them along with His Son, Jesus (Romans 8:30). If you don't know God this way... seek Him while you have time and opportunity. He may be found! None of us deserve it, but God is rich in mercy. And what could be more important than to be apart of God's plan and purpose?

Today's Question: Do you want God's will to be done - in your life? May it be so for each of us... and if you have not come to know Him, this is a good time to be concerned about it!

"‘Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.’ This petition is too frequently applied alone to the suffering of the will of God. In heaven God’s will is done, and the Master teaches the child to ask that the will may be done on earth just as in heaven: in the spirit of adoring submission and ready obedience.

Because the will of God is the glory of heaven, the doing of it is the blessedness of heaven.

As the will is done, the kingdom of heaven comes into the heart.

And wherever faith has accepted the Father’s love, obedience accepts the Father’s will.

The surrender to, and the prayer for a life of heaven-like obedience, is the spirit of childlike prayer."


Shiloh Guy said...

Do I want God's will to be done in my life? Thinking, thinking, thinking... Watch out for a quick, canned answer here! Count the cost! Consider the ramifications!

Can we put ourselves into the position of the disciples who first heard this teaching? "May your will be done on earth just as it is done in heaven."

"Right on!" "You tell 'em, Jesus!" "Let's roll, JC!" "Down with Rome!" "Restore David's kingdom!" "Health and wealth for all who follow the Carpenter!"

Sorry if I am sacreligious. Don't mean to be. But these guys COULDN'T POSSIBLY have understood this prayer when they first heard it! They would all find out what it meant for God's will to be done perfectly in their lives.

Still thinking...

Yeah, Wes, I do. I want God's will in my life more than anything else. And now I know what that might mean. And it's worth it.

Always your brother,

Anonymous said...

wow--wow...---hmmm...resonating with canned answers...I really think I do want God's will instead of mine. The scary part is what if His will isn't what I'm doing right now? How do I know? I "feel" like I'm where God wants me to be...will he shake me out of my slumber? Will I get a nicely lit-up sign on my way home? Am I seeking first His Kingdom? These are the questions I come to sometimes...any help in processing would be appreciated...

Doulos Christou said...

I wrestle with the same questions, S. I think the big thing that I'm thinking about these days is this question: Is God good - Even when I don't understand Him? Even when I don't control the outcome?

My kids wonder about this with me, and to be honest, sometimes I'm not so good. But I'm grateful that He isn't like me, and I can trust Him even when "His will" is very different than mine. And how do I know "His will"?

Well, some things are clear -

I hate to put up a link, but sometimes it's said so well someplace else :) I'd suggest this
helpful article from John Piper
for your consideration as well... we'll be talking more about this soon as well!

Appreciate your thoughts - they certainly mirror mine!