Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Jeremiah 33:3

Jeremiah 33:3

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

This verse is best titled your Heavenly Father knows best. For those of you thirty or younger, the reference may escape you. For us fogies, it makes perfect sense. I believe the question posed here is how does one pray? Contextually this was a promise to Judah who was about to experience a horrific captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem resulting from their rebellion against God. God, through Jeremiah, promised Israel, that despite this coming hardship, if they submitted and repented to Him, he would deliver and restore them. However, God's word is timeless, and this passage holds true in relation to prayer today. Call unto me, and I will answer. The issue with today is that we expect God to give answers we want based off of our finite understanding of what is best for us. As if God is some divine Santa Claus. Many times God answers no. That answer does not sit well with a culture that has become more and more entitled with every passing year. The church owns much of the blame in the misinterpretation of prayer as the focus has shifted from developing disciples to filling pews. The ideas of instant prosperity, feeling happy all the time, and God owing us His blessing occupy modern doctrines in an effort to keep church attendance growing. We have traded the microwave generation for a WiFi society where all our answers and needs can be satisfied at the speed of a key stroke. The reality, clearly and openly stated, is in the latter part of the verse, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. The focus should be on the last four words; which thou knowest not. The given is that God always provides great and mighty things. We do not always see them as that. There are two agendas at work in life, ours and Gods. The two never meet only contradict. God's agenda must trump ours in every case. Is not the expression, make your plans and God laughs at them? Sounds cruel, but remember, we see today, tomorrow, and yesterday, God sees eternity. Whatever plans you have, God's are superior. God knows what we can achieve through Him, He and He alone knows the plans He has for us. Does that mean we forgo goals and aspirations? Absolutely not. Instead, our focus needs to be replacing our desires with Gods and check our hopes with Him to confirm that they meet with His will. It is a tough process, but if you are seeking a deeper, more intimate relationship with your creator and have your life masterfully crafted, then it is the only process. Remember those last few precious words, which thou knowest, not. That is what faith is all about, trusting in God, with everything, possessions, hopes, dreams, life. Knowing that when God says no, or veers from your ideas of what is best for your life, He has the best in mind for you. We are a people who believe by sight and physical connection.  Faith is a complete surrender to God and His purposes without resistance. Prayer is a tough thing. There are many who will try to sell you step programs to better your prayer life, beware those who sell things that God provides for free. You want to find the right answers to your supplications, diligently and faithfully ask God to replace your desires with His. Seek God's answers with a willingness to accept no as joyously as we celebrate yes. Pray that God opens your heart to Him and Him alone. Pray for the patience needed so your faith is made strong and your walk steady. Life is not a sprint it is a marathon with hurdles. Only God provides us the endurance to cross the finish line, and the integrity and righteousness to run a good race. Why is it so hard to trust in the one who not only knows the outcome but crafted it? God bless.

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