Saturday, February 5, 2011

Promises - A Selection of Sweet Delights to the Soul: God is For Us (pt 2)

How then should we approach petitions in prayer?
It is once we have left our sin with it's own motives and will for God's will: then we are prepared.
We can humbly approaching our great God by faith in Jesus Christ asking for whatever he puts on our heart.
James recommends where we should start in our petitions and his is reminiscient of Solomon's request:

"If any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask God, who gives generously to all 
without reproach, and it will be given him.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting,
for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea 
that is driven and tossed by the wind. 
For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." James 1:5-9

Direction and warning is what James is here proposing. As we ask through Jesus Christ our Saviour, to know that he has the power to accomplish all things, small and great. So we should not doubt. This is hard. We aren't signing a contract with God. We aren't pinky-swearing. We aren't even getting an audible response. What we get is the promise that he will be generous to the faithful who submit to him in and with what they need. They can be sure that his plan will prevail. Let us pray that in us the response would be,  "Your will be done in us." Let us not swim upstream when God doesn't respond how we would like. When we ask for what we want God to do, its easy for our sinful motives to slip right in. Our petition must be humble submission to his purpose: for Jesus to be glorified as we delight in him. So in this heart, we are laying the requests and embracing the results of his response. Praise him in good and bad. Knowing that with God he does not abandon his own but gives generously to all. It is the man who doesn't see the results he wanted and doubts that God did not answer, because it was not what he wanted. But James tells us that that man is double-minded. He is only looking to serve himself, while  at the same time seeking God to see if God will bow to his sinful wishes and/or intent. He isn't being faithful, but he is using God as a pop-machine. Let us rather default to come before the throne, by faith. Ready to embrace God's response with praise to Jesus. 

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