Monday, April 27, 2009

The "Bring me my order" God

Feeling kinda pensive this morning, perhaps because the marine layer has returned (thank Goodness!) so it is grey outside. Lots of thoughts tumbling around the noggin.

Yesterday at church, Brad was preaching about faith (in Christ), love (for others) and hope (in God) as being the bastions of a liberated spirituality. But that wasn't the part of the sermon that hit me. It was when he talked about how living our lives in line with God's will doesn't mean that He furnishes us with a map... rather that He gives us a compass to help us choose which direction God would want us to go in. Therefore, God doesn't really care as much about us attaining successful careers, as He is about us attaining successful (honorable, loving, selfless) characters.

Hmph. No likey.

I would much rather have the map thank you very much Father.

It's not like that's the first time I've heard that. But I suppose that I had moulded it in my mind to mean that if I kept trying to do good work, in terms of being a good ambassador of Christ's love to all those around me, then somehow the dreams I have about my career would come true too. That sounds like I thought it was a barter process -- I didn't. But I certainly didn't consider that God may not care one bit about my career dreams... that I'm kind of on my own in that respect. Could that be true?

And then this morning, my assigned Bible reading was Psalm 49, and this verse struck me:

16 Do not be afraid when one becomes rich,

When the glory of his house is increased;

17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away;

His glory shall not descend after him.

18 Though while he lives he blesses himself

(For men will praise you when you do well for yourself),

19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers;

They shall never see light.

20 A man who is in honor, yet does not understand,

Is like the beasts that perish.

It's not that I envy those who are prosperous. It's just that I assume that I'll be there one day -- that I'll have the ability to take care of those I love, to have and properly school my kids, to live a comfortable life in a house that isn't falling apart or surrounded by gangs and police choppers.

I mean, don't we all? Isn't that part of the programming of the society we live in? Isn't that part of the heartache of getting older, somehow not being in alignment with what this earthly kingdom says we should have attained by now? A husband, a house, a kid... on the outside, looking as if you've figured it all out, yet on the inside struggling with the same mess (if not worse) you've had since you were a kid.

I'm not sure. I know He gave me the talents I have, and that I should be putting them to good use, not wasting them. People often quote that verse about how He will give us the "desires of your heart". But I understand that to mean that He will put those desires in my heart... not that, like a genie or heck, like a waiter, He'll bring me my order.

And yet, Jesus, after uttering the famous Ask and you will receive, talked about how God would no more refuse our requests than a father would give his son a stone when asked for a piece of bread.

So, I suppose that He is somewhere between the two: the "bring me my order" God and the "take this stone because you're asking for the wrong thing" God. Perhaps He wants me to focus on His will and desire for my life (to be His servant first and foremost) so much that my desires for my life appear faded, and almost disappear, in comparison. Harder to put into practice though.

And so, I am repeating a verse that my friend Amy found today, that I am so very happy she shared. From 2 Chron, Verse 12:

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”




Patte said...

So much good stuff to ponder & pray with God over here, Aarth. Thanks for posting this.

That 2 Chronicles quote is great. I'm going to look that one up! Have you ever taken a scripture & then looked at the commentary from Matthew Henry on that verse. It's AWESOME! I usually use

Patte said...

By the way, it's II Chronicles 20:12

Here's what Matthew Henry has to say about it:
In all dangers, public or personal, our first business should be to seek help from God. Hence the advantage of days for national fasting and prayer. From the first to the last of our seeking the Lord, we must approach him with humiliation for our sins, trusting only in His mercy and power. Jehoshaphat acknowledges the sovereign dominion of the Divine Providence. Lord, exert it on our behalf. Whom should we seek to, whom should we trust to for relief, but the God we have chosen and served. Those that use what they have for God, may comfortably hope He will secure it to them. Every true believer is a son of Abraham, a friend of God; with such the everlasting covenant is established, to such every promise belongs. We are assured of God's love, by His dwelling in human nature in the person of the Saviour. Jehoshaphat mentions the temple, as a token of God's favourable presence. He pleads the injustice of his enemies. We may well appeal to God against those that render us evil for good. Though he had a great army, he said, We have no might without Thee; we rely upon Thee.

Patte said...

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