Joshua 16, 17; Psalm 148; Jeremiah 8; Matthew 22

For a person who sees the glass half full, it is difficult sometimes for me to accept that others will not look up to the heavens or at least reach outward to the extended hands of those willing to help. I mourn with Jeremiah for my people:

Astonishment has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead; Is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery For the health of the daughter of my people? – Jeremiah 8:21, 22

Believe me, I am not privileged or unscathed in the battles that I start or are drafted into; in fact, quite the contrary. So I reason that I am different by temperament or blessed with stamina and strong will which teaches me to survive. Is God then, just my religion in the foxhole? I was thinking about this while driving to work; and when the religious supplications I had uttered seemed flat and without meaning. Again, I experienced this brain jolt as I texted a friend to say that I was praying for her father to be healed. I was unsure in both situations that my words were grounded in the will of God.

Wouldn’t it be great if we were moved to pray and seek God’s favor with the confidence of Joseph’s family?

Joshua 8:14 Then the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given us only one lot and one share to inherit since we are a great people, inasmuch as the Lord has blessed us until now (my emphasis)?”

Joshua 8:18 …And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph – to Ephraim and Manasseh – saying, “You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, but the mountain country shall be yours.”

Notice how the children of Joseph gave God credit for their burgeoning numbers of people. Can confidence also be based on the multitude of blessings (too many to count) that I have received? Also note  Joshua’s answer – more would be given. Can I seek God for favor or am I asking too much too often and mostly for material things? Am I even praying according to God’s will?

Just as I get caught up in this cycle of questioning that leads back to feeling inadequate, a more humble me whispers, “Look up!”

Matthew 22: 41-43 Jesus asked them, saying “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit (my emphasis) call Him ‘Lord’…”

I am reminded that Christ is not limited by human hands and feet or time and place or mood and thought content. I am not limited by my own humanity when I am in the Spirit. Looking up to Christ is to be filled with the Holy Spirit who is able to speak to me and through me – that is my confidence.

So with the psalmist, I say, “Let them praise the name of the Lord For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.” – “Psalm 148:13-14.

janet

The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, 2002.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

5 responses to “Joshua 16, 17; Psalm 148; Jeremiah 8; Matthew 22

  1. kateredding

    ” Can confidence also be based on the multitude of blessings (too many to count) that I have received? Also note  Joshua’s answer – more would be given. Can I seek God for favor or am I asking too much too often and mostly for material things? Am I even praying according to God’s will?”

    I find comfort in knowing I’m not the only one framing this way. My confidence often rests in my own strength, strong will and blessings (that the Lord has given me). I need to “look up” more!

  2. Nice post, Janet… the timing couldn’t be more perfect… I, too, am dealing with a family member in their final hours of life. I was particularly struck by your statement “I was unsure in both situations that my words were grounded in the will of God.” And, you’re spot-on… sometimes I’ve felt that I’m *telling* God what He should be doing… like *I* know better than Him, from *my* level… really????

    The good news, is that we can ask for anything of our Heavenly Father… the not-so-good news is that sometimes the answer is “No.” Every one of us is grateful that our Heavenly Father said “No” to His Son in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus asked that His “cup” be taken from Him. But, sustaining grace can be found in *how* Jesus made His request to His Father… beginning with “not My will… but Yours be done.”

    Perhaps preceding our requests to God with that same prefix, allows us to ask our Father what we would like, but offers Him honor for who He is and the position He holds in our life.

  3. I prayed that your loved one is encouraged by your faith in and love of Christ. You touch on a theological debate: If we pray “Thy will be done,” are we lacking confidence that God wants to answer our prayers and can, thereby, be accused of being double minded? Or when praying this phrase are we acknowledging that our prayers to change the mind of God are ineffective? I prefer to believe as you have commented and Jesus demonstrated…that even if my prayers are not according to God’s will, I accept – no, I submit – willingly to His perfect plan for me and for those who are in my prayers. What a sigh of relief to leave my supplications at the feet of Jesus!

  4. Hi, Janet… thank you for your response.

    With regards to your comments, I believe the it might do well to look further back in the words expressed by Jesus in the passage, and His *choice* of words. In Luke 22:42… “Father, *if You are willing*, take this cup from me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Jesus did *not* say “…if You *can* take this cup”, meaning He wasn’t sure if His father *could* do what He asked, He said “If You are willing, take this cup”, meaning Jesus knew His father had the ability to, but in the end, decided not to. (And, thank you Father for that decision!)

    This is a powerful statement to us all… that if the Savior of the world, who knew His Father and His abilities better than anyone, could ask His Father outwardly what He was hoping for, but remained obedient to His Father’s decision, then we can, and should, as well. However, it’s the last words in your response that are key… that we accept whatever answer He offers, yes or no, and to *submit*!! Easy, right? NOT!

    But Jesus knew this already; how hard living life according to God’s plan would be… (John 16:33) “I have said these things to you, that in Me, you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s