Sunday, January 17, 2010

An eternal perspective on answered prayer

So, I not-so-randomly opened the Bible to Daniel 9 and read it. His prayer focused on the immediate situation of the Israelites in exile. He was wondering when God would restore Jerusalem. He understood that God was disciplining the nation for its sin and that the exile was done for them to turn back to Him.

The answer God gave Daniel surprised me a lot. God told him about the coming Messiah, the end times, and how Jesus would defeat the Antichrist. If I was Daniel, I would be looking for a type of answer that went like this: "Ok, here's how this works. You'll be in exile until such and such king gives the decree for you to go back, you'll fix up the downtown / business / Temple district by such and such time and get your main sources of commerce up by this time." However, God gave none of those specifics. In essence God said "Daniel, your hope is in Jesus coming back and how He will ultimately restore Israel."

That made me think a lot. When I pray, do I look for immediate or eternal answers? Earlier this week I had somewhat of a breakdown because the immediate answers to prayer seemed to be no due to some limitations I face. However, my Summitview pastor helped me see that my prayers had to be focused on eternal things and not solely on immediate answers. Like Daniel, I could focus on immediate results such as getting a stable job, marriage etc, just like he was focusing on having the nation of Israel back in the land and Jerusalem as the capital re-established. However, God tells both of us that Jesus is the ultimate answer to all our prayers.

God I pray You help me focus on the eternal ultimate answer to my prayers who is Christ and may I ask for You to show Your character in the situation, not just fix the circumstance. Daniel had to wait - actually, I think he lived the rest of his life in Babylon. He didn't get to see the Israelites go back into Jerusalem. But he held onto the knowledge that You would bring your Messiah into the land to ultimately restore Your people. I pray that I focus on how my Messiah can be my ultimate source of security, trust, love, and provision. He, my atonement propitiation for my sins, so that my hope can be going to You and being there in glory. Amen

Monday, January 04, 2010

God as my Guardian

"I don't want money / I don't want silver or gold / I don't want glory/ I don't want things I can't hold / I don't want ashes / and I don't want time / I just want Jesus to hold me close and / be my guardian / be mine be mine ." Jeremy Darling & band in The Rock Church Minneapolis

I cried a lot at Faithwalkers during this song. God is teaching me that He is my guardian, not a husband, not my friends, not my bank accounts, but He is. He is removing the idols, and I am cutting them down when I see them so I can worship Him. He does not treat me as my sins deserve, but treats me with grace. Therefore, I respond in increasing measures of love, trust, and obedience.

Today, this theology got real practical. Mom and I had a yummy lunch at the Olive Garden for her late birthday present :) We started talking about my student loans and Mom was talking about some drastic measures to help me pay them off. God made me realize that Mom was trying to play God and fix all my problems in my life.

I told her that yes I was working hard at finding a job & being wise with money, but ultimately God is my provider and the one I trust for all this. She was like, "God doesn't physically provide. He just provides wisdom & strength." Umm... no, God does provide." She changed the subject, but I thought, "Well, God will change Mom on that once she reads the BIBLE." Anyway, just the fact that I could look her in the face and say, I trust a God for real tangible results is an amazing testament about how God is the author of my faith :)

Anyway, that's really cool how God is using Faithwalkers to change not only my but Mom's life as well in growing in ever increasing trust in God!