Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is it, Will God? or God Will!

As I continue to look at faith in (and towards) God, I think back to a message I heard during the early years of my life as a Christian, husband and father. The minister spoke on the topic of prayer and how he kept a two-column ledger listing the prayers he and his family submitted to God. In the left column was the heading, We Asked and in the right column was the heading, God Answered. I thought it was a good idea and so I launched a feeble attempt of my own family’s prayer ledger. I can’t remember when I stopped logging entries in that ledger but I remember even now, how often God answered our prayers. One ought to never forget the faithfulness of God.

Since last week, I’ve begun to read blogs authored by Christians and two which provided me with much to meditate on were Days Of Our Lives (by Jane) and Blessing In The Storms (by Kimberly Anne Sanderson). Jane’s recent post (Doing Right Doing Wrong) discusses “4 men who carried their friend, a paraplegic to Jesus for healing” (found in Mark 2:1-12). As I read her post, I thought about the determination it took to reject discouragement; to not see an obstacle as a viable excuse. Their friend needed healing and they believed Jesus would heal him. All that was lacking was opportunity. They seized it!

Kimberly’s post (Death, burial, and Resurrection LIFE) discusses “Every area of our life is meant for life because of what Jesus did for us.” She shares about her personal loss and how the Lord answered her prayer. It made me realize that the resurrection power of Christ seeks to penetrate every facet of my life. That is an awesome realization of what God desires for me; to raise from the dead my thoughts, words, behavior, marriage, relationships, health, finances…everything that pertains to my life.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever…1

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever…2

Your right hand will do everything for me. Yahweh, your love is everlasting…3

The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting…4

God is faithful, eternally faithful.

Establishing that truth in me means that no obstacle is too great for God when it comes to my life. It also means that I surrender my will to God in every aspect of my life; allowing Him to fulfill His purpose.

Recently, one of my grandsons had (for him) a frightening asthma attack. He was worried, scared and afraid as both his grandmother and I sought to help him through this episode. I asked him to, “calm down and close your eyes”. In that moment, I began to pray, asking God to heal him of his asthma. I’m thankful that he has not experienced an episode similar to that. I fully expect that when he is examined by his doctor, there will be no residual effects of that condition.

When I told him that his uncle (my oldest son) was born with asthma and had to be hospitalized on several occasions due to asthma attacks, he asked me why he no longer has asthma. I told him that, “we prayed”, that “others prayed on his behalf” and that "God healed him. I believe this is why Moses, Joshua and others reminded the nation of Israel to remember and teach our children, who God is and what God has done for us.

There is a passage in Mark that for me addresses the question of Will God?

Peter, James and John had just witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus Christ and were returning to the other disciples. As they arrived, they could hear an argument between the disciples of Jesus and the teachers of the law. Jesus asks, “What are you arguing with them about?5

“A man in the crowd answered, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech…I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not…But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.

If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’”6

Many times we are like this father, we believe but we are tormented with the question, Will God? We just don’t know if God will…we doubt the character and faithfulness of God. Not always openly but certainly subconsciously. We doubt the will of God, usurping it with a mixture of mistrust and uncertainty. We either don’t know or we’ve forgotten who God is; so we seek assurance elsewhere.

Kimberly said something which rung so true in my spirit:

What I thought was dead, God birthed life eternal into. I had to relinquish this though through the process of death, burial, and resurrection.

For me, this is similar to what occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus said:

Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.7

What this says to me is that I can ask anything of God because of the relationship established (by Christ) for me. I ask because I believe God is faithful to fulfill His purpose for me and in me. I trust God and this is why I can ask, believing everything is possible for him who believes. It also means that I won’t attempt to usurp God’s will. Instead, I will trust His will for my life. I can do this because I am willing to put those things on the cross to die; in order for God to raise in me a new man. I may cry, “Abba Father”, but I will not lose confidence in the faithfulness of God.

Some people live healthy lives while others are afflicted with illness or physical impairment. Despite the circumstances, God is faithful to resurrect in them, a life which resonates the faithfulness of God. For them, it is not a question of Will God? They know God is faithful, just and true. This is a lesson I’m learning.

God will!

Footnotes:
  1. Psalms 138:8, NIV
  2. Psalms 138:8, KJV
  3. Psalms 138:8, The Jerusalem Bible
  4. Psalms 138:8, NASB
  5. Mark 9:16, NIV
  6. Mark 9:17-27, NIV
  7. Mark 14:36, NIV
References:
  1. Days Of Our Lives, blog authored by Jane
  2. Blessing In The Storms, blog authored by Kimberly Anne Sanderson
  3. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  4. King James Version, The Crusade Analytical Study Edition, Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc., PO Box 90011, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
  5. The Jerusalem Bible, Edited by Alexander Jones, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, ISBN 0-385-01156-3
  6. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6

4 comments:

Jane said...

Glad to know you, MTJ, thank you for your sharing and your insight. As children of God, we need to know that we are not alone in our pilgrim journey, that many of us are seeking to learn to walk with God. :)

Pat said...

Thanks for stopping in at my place,I appreciate your truthful comment! God is "Faithful Forever"!!!

God's girl said...

WOW! First of all, thank for stopping by my blog. BECAUSE if you wouldn't have, I may not have read this much needed post!

I LOVE THIS!!! ~~~ I may cry, “Abba Father”, but I will not lose confidence in the faithfulness of God.

So totally my heart right now! I love how God does that:) Thank you for hearing from God:) I look forward to reading more!

Blessings, Heaven

MTJ said...

All,

I'm so very thankful that in one week I've gotten the opportunity to read blogs by Christians, sharing their thoughts, hopes and lives. I've found encouragement, compassion, inspiration and comittment.

I pray that my life and my writing are an example of Christlikeness to all I meet.

Thank you all.