Thursday, January 23, 2014

God is Not Quicken Loans, Or is He?

Dad, Can you fix anything?

Well, I think so.

Dad............can you fix me a coke?

This is a 30 year old conversation with my father.  Way back in the day, I was this transparent.  I asked my Dad for things that seemed silly but at the time, were important.  I wanted that coke right then and I wasn't ashamed to ask my Dad for it.  We still laugh about it fondly.

I'm struggling right now with being that transparent in prayer.

My kids ask me for things constantly.  Even Ella G., the baby, knows how to ask for things when she wants them - she has her own words (already) for milk, food, etc.  When my kids ask me for things, they don't mean later.  They mean right now.  This includes meals/snacks but also when are we getting a dog and going to Hawaii.  I used to think it was because they didn't grasp the concept of timing and they were hard-wired for instant gratification.

Sure, that's some of it.  Learning to wait for gratification is an important skill we must learn because we all know, timing is everything.  Good things come to those who wait, after all, so we can grow into adults not crippled with constant disappointment.  Yet, we let it take over and get comfortable in that mindset, even when it comes to Faith.

We are born with the desire for everything now.  Not later.  In some cases, that is beaten out of us so we can survive.  We don't always want the best thing - sometimes we want the easy thing, or the good tasting thing, or the thing that will make us feel better in the moment.

However, we dismiss the fact that as a followers of Christ, our desires are redeemed.  We are not bound in terms of always wanting something fleshly.  When we want things of God made manifest, we can trust our inclinations and wants.  We can ask for things now because the Spirit is in control. Let me say it clearly - we don't have to wait for the Kingdom to Come. 

But we do and we fall back on verses like Isaiah 40:31, which say, Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.

I looked up that word wait because it bugs me.  It's the Hebrew word kava (pronounced like it sounds, thankfully).  It means more than just to hold off on instant gratification.  Synonyms include: to look for, hope, expect, to look eagerly for, to collect or bind together.

It carries the connotation that God will act sooner rather than later.  But we use this verse as the reasoning behind the way we stave off disappointment when we don't see Him act.  We articulate the thought that waiting is good, it builds character - and it does.  In the Church, we should encourage character building.  We should endeavor to show our culture instant gratification isn't always the answer.  We must teach people God has His ways and His timing.  We try and help people understand, to echo a current TV commercial,

Who do you think God is, Quicken Loans?

(Quicken Loans is apparently known for their ability to meet financial needs now, not later.)

That doesn't mean, though, it is never the answer, especially when it is a cop-out for His mystery.  When it comes to forgiveness, mercy, deliverance, healing and salvation, we shouldn't be meek.  We need to be bold!  I know God is not at our beck and call but Jesus, the Apostle John AND the Apostle James tell us to ASK for the glory to be made flesh because it will be granted.

Not in eternity, but here - in this life.  RIGHT NOW.

Waiting patiently is good, but expecting a miracle is also the mark of a mature Christian.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  Please.  I don't want to sense this hesitancy in my brothers and sisters.  I don't think my God is a God who wants to wait.

When God wants to move, He does.  When He wants to create light out of darkness, He does.  When He wants to save the souls of mankind, He does.  When He wants to send His Spirit on the Earth to empower His people, He does!  I know His timing isn't mine and some of my requests are bound up in my flesh, but when I'm asking for His glory to shine in my life, why do I need to wait?

God works in time because we are temporal beings and we might not always be ready for all His answers when we ask for them.  But I want to submit this idea to you:

But maybe we don't ask Him to act right now because we are afraid He will answer right now.

I'm not wrapping this post up neat and tidy because I'm wrestling with it.  I hope you will ponder with me because I think if God's Church started praying with the belief He will act sooner rather than later, we would see amazing things happen - Book of Acts, Great Awakening kind of things.

Think about it.  Leave a comment.  Discuss amongst yourselves.  But better than that, pray.  Ask God where He wants to move in your life right now.  Ask God where He doesn't want you to wait any longer and go with it.  Ask Him to show you what is possible for those that believe.

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