Asking God

Asking God

Friends, I invite you to share your comments on these Afterthoughts at the bottom of this web page. I would love hear what you think! brad+

As I said on Sunday,

Asking for things is hard.

I am always a little anxious when I need to ask for something from someone.

Whether it’s a favor.

Or borrowing a tool.

Or asking people to supply when I am out of town on a Sunday.

It’s hard.

Harder still is asking something of God.

We think we are being selfish.

Or God doesn’t have time.

Or we’re not worth it.

Or the thing we’re asking for is not worth it.

Or God has better things to do.

But, like I shared Sunday morning,

God desires that we ask.

It’s part of the whole relationship thing.

Which feels a bit weird at times.

But Scripture repeatedly reminds us to ask.

But there is another part to this.

Asking is complex.

Because we are human.

And sometimes we don’t really know what we are asking for.

When we know someone who is sick,

Are we asking for healing?

Are we asking for peace?

Are we asking for mercy?

When we are in a stressful situation,

Are we asking for the stress to disappear?

Or the strength to endure?

Or the capability to see through the stress a bigger purpose?

Asking is complex.

I think there are some things to be mindful of

as we are seeking to ask things of God.

And I think the Psalmist has some words that are helpful in this area.

Psalm 78

1 Hear my teaching, O my people; *
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

2 I will open my mouth in a parable; *
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.

3 That which we have heard and known,
and what our forefathers have told us, *
we will not hide from their children.

4 We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord, *
and the wonderful works he has done.

12 He worked marvels in the sight of their forefathers, *
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.

13 He split open the sea and let them pass through; *
he made the waters stand up like walls.

14 He led them with a cloud by day, *
and all the night through with a glow of fire.

15 He split the hard rocks in the wilderness *
and gave them drink as from the great deep.

16 He brought streams out of the cliff, *
and the waters gushed out like rivers.

The first step is to listen.

The Psalmist says to “incline our ears.

If we are reactive to situations, listening is not a high priority.

But it should be.

Along with what the Psalmist lays out next: remembering.

“We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord.”

For the Israelites, remembering was important.

As God took them from stage to stage,

Place to place,

Testing to testing,

They needed to remember what had happened previously.

Particularly when it came to how God had been present

And had protected them during that time.

He split open the sea and let them pass through;
he made the waters stand up like walls.

He led them with a cloud by day,
and all the night through with a glow of fire.

He split the hard rocks in the wilderness
and gave them drink as from the great deep.

He brought streams out of the cliff,
and the waters gushed out like rivers.

And they needed to remember what came before

as they journeyed to the Promised Land.

They would need to.

(They didn’t the first time they had an opportunity to go in

and it cost them…40 years!)

The land that had been promised

would require faith that God would go before them.

It would require they trusted when they could not see.

And relied on the power of God to work mightily around them.

And while we don’t have large bodies water to cross

as we escape from our enemies.

And we are not going to a new land

filled with people that would gladly make life difficult for us if they needed to.

We have our own Goliaths.

And Red Seas.

And times in the wilderness.

God calls us to move faithfully in our journey.

To have:

Eyes to see.

Ears to hear.

Hearts that are willing to obey.

Before we ask anything,

Can we remember to stop and listen?

Can remember where we have been?

Can we then look with eyes of faith?

God has been faithful to me.

I remind myself of this often.

It is a place of strength to live in this reality.

For the times I have questions.

For the times when there are no answers.

For the times when I need courage to move forward.

For the times when I need to know what’s next.

And through this all,

God is faithful.

Blessings,

brad+ 

3 Comments

  1. Hank Acker

    I THOUGHT YOUR SERMON WAS GREAT, AND YET YOUR AFTERTHOUGHTS EXCEEDED ANY OF MY EXPECTATIONS. THANKS AND KEEP ON DOING WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DOING, KEEPING US GROUNDED IN JESUS CHRIST.

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