Defending God. Or not.

Some of the Jews, however, refused to believe and they poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against the brothers. Acts 14:2

Some Jews refused to believe and poisoned the minds of those on the fence. Disbelief (or our petrified belief system) is threatened by possible conversion. It has to protect its boundaries and make sure belief cannot take root. It wears a face, it has a label and its brand must be preeminent. All other “competitors” must be abolished and ruined.

Unlike the God of heaven…

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…who lets other gods, or things take credit for the work he has done. He is so eager for the good of his creation, he waters it with rain, makes crops grow. God causes happiness. He doesn’t withhold goodness because he is not acknowledged. He offers such provision with the hope we will recognize him as the good and loving God he is when we come face to face with him.

…but even then he did not leave you without evidence of himself in the good things he does for you… Acts 14:17

Oh Lord, make me like you, ready to spread goodness and life indiscriminately, for the sake of keeping hope alive in the people you love. Let me rejoice when people acknowledge the good and let me be your face that helps them connect the dots between love shown and your heart. 

With you on the journey,

Debby

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It all begins with the ASK

Thoughts on Matthew 7:7-12 and then a couple of questions for you.

In the midst of your discourse on life, you give assurance of answered prayer; ask, seek, knock.

Ask, given; seek, find; knock, opened. The parabolic father gives only good to his child, he would never harm the one he loves; the perfect Father will do so to an even greater degree.

Let’s start with the ask. This is where it begins, determining what I want or need. What do I want to ask of God? Or taken from a different angle, what is it that God wishes to give me and is waiting for me to ask it of him? Now that’s a good question.

I go back to the Psalm I read this morning (138:7,8) to see what exchange took place between you and David, what did he ask for? What did you give him? Strength of soul, preservation of his life in the midst of trouble, deliverance from his enemies, fulfillment of his purpose. Is this a model of what I should ask for? of what you want to give me?

All right, Lord, I’ll do the ask.

I call on you to be with me in this moment, let your presence astound me, assure and encourage me. You are with me, your strength is mine. Your Holy Spirit is the rebar in the foundation of my life. Thank you.

Let’s look at the trouble I walk through. First and foremost I thank you that the troubles I walk through are so minor; they are troubles of my soul, the texture of fine sand. Unchecked they could clog the machinery of my heart and need to be dealt with, but I have food, water, health, safety. So many of your loved ones don’t. My heart is grateful for your kindness toward me, and I pray that I will not forget the ones that need your kindness to be given them through me.

There is good news and bad news about the trouble I walk through. The bad news is that the troubles are not going away. The good news is you will keep me safe as I walk through them. My sand-y, gritty troubles revolve around choosing obedience and trust rather than indulging my appetite and consumerism. Face it Debby, these will always taunt you, tease you, lure you. Jesus you are the guardrails that boundary my day’s path, holding on to you as I walk will preserve my life. Thank you.

Some enemies, though, you intend to remove from the landscape of my soul, to deal with once and for all. Thank you for that deliverance – I have no fear of death, I am assured of love, I am a treasure you have redeemed, I am a arrow in your quiver. Thank you. I ask: continue this deliverance from the remaining enemies that populate my world.

I never read The Purpose Driven Life. My apologies to Rick Warren, I’m sure if I had read it I would have found it useful for the Kingdom’s sake. But I resisted it because I wanted a life driven by the Spirit, not by a purpose. I still want my life to be more consumed with being rather than doing, so my doing is born of my being. Yet your word suggests you have a purpose for me and you are determined to fulfill it.

I am compelled to ask, “What is your purpose for me?” Ah…you remind me of my mission statement. “I wake up every morning eager to hear your voice of love and then to share it with the world we so love through my writing, my words, my acts and my relationships.” This is the desire of my heart, given me from your heart. You will fulfill this purpose. Thank you.

Interesting, embedded in the asking, is the seeking and the action required of me to cooperate with grace. The good is given generously, is found by my seeking heart and empowered by trust and obedience.

Thank you and amen.

You know these thoughts come from my morning prayer journal. I hope they are helpful for you as you pursue God’s heart. Will you let the Spirit guide you in your prayer as I was: What do you ask of God, or better yet, what does God want you to ask? What are the troubles you walk through? From what has God delivered you? What purpose is God fulfilling in you today? It all begins with the Ask. 

With you on the journey,

Debby