Monday, December 17, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 206

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of Solomon continued...

‘Ask! What shall I give you?’ Not only was this a generous offer from a generous God, it was also a test for Solomon. Nothing reveals the heart of a man faster than offering him his one true desire.

As such I do not believe that positions or possessions change people, they just amplify their true nature whatever that nature happens to be. I’ve known people who came to prominence swiftly, whether materially or influentially and who remained the same down-to-earth, good natured men and women they’d always been. I’ve also known those who came to prominence, and pretended they did not know me, and wanted nothing to do with me once they achieved their fame or their fortune.

The seed, the nature, had always been there, but the attaining of their heart’s desire amplified them a hundred or a thousand fold.

Whenever we are given liberty we are also being tested. When God encourages us to ask, He does so as a good and loving Father who is showing generosity toward His children, but also as a wise Father who is testing the hearts of His children in the same breath.

Those who have children will understand the following better than those who do not. From early youth we attempt to instill good virtues, morals, wisdom, and understanding in our offspring. We are tireless in showing them the path they must go, in encouraging them to follow in the footsteps of Christ, but there comes a moment when we must trust our children to make their own decisions, to put one foot in front of the other and begin their own journey.

Before this day comes, we test our children repeatedly even if we don’t realize it. The first time we let our son or daughter spend the evening alone without supervision or a babysitter is a test to see whether or not they are responsible enough to be on their own. The first time we entrust the car to our son or daughter after they’ve gotten a license, is a test to see whether or not they bring it back in one piece, and if they are mature enough to care for something like a car. The examples are many, but the end result is the same, and God tests our hearts and true intentions in much the same manner.

God makes the same offer to us as He did to Solomon, yet often times does not grant us that which we desire, because our desires are detrimental to our spiritual wellbeing. Even when God says no, it is in love and for our own good. Simple as that revelation might be, it took me a very long time to come to terms with it, receive it and accept it, because some of the things I asked of God seemed selfless enough to my own understanding.

Often times we try to piece together why God said no, when all we ought to be doing is accepting His answer as the best possible outcome for our lives.

One day, perhaps we will know why God said no to certain prayers, but it will not be while we are on this earth, and possessing the limited understanding we possess. But then again, when we are in His presence, hearing ‘well done, good and faithful servant,’ it is highly doubtful we will still be wondering why God didn’t answer a particular prayer.

‘What do you want?’ that is the question God poses to each of us in His own unique way, and based on our answer He determines why we want what we want, our level of maturity, whether our request is selfish or selfless, and a score of other things.

I have a niece and a nephew who couldn’t be further apart when it comes to personalities. Eric reminds me of myself when I was younger, very introspective and thoughtful about every little thing, and Lois who reminds me of a whirlwind wrapped in a tornado.

Ever since they were old enough to walk, I take each of them to the toy store for their birthdays, and tell them to pick out whatever they want as my present to them.

While Eric most often picks one item, and even that almost insignificant like a spinning top or a few marbles, Lois goes to town and puts a real dent in my wallet.

When I would ask Eric why he doesn’t get more things, he just gives me this quizzical look and says, ‘I don’t need them.’ When I finally asked Lois why she got so much stuff every time, she just shrugged her shoulders and said, ‘because I wanted it, and because you said I could.’

Two siblings only a year apart, yet very different in their reasoning as far as being told they can have anything.

It warms God’s heart when He offers us anything, and we turn around and say, ‘there is nothing more I need, for I have You and in having You I have everything.’

If our will and desire are sanctified and shrouded in God’s Spirit, what we ask for will be of great spiritual value, and will aid us in our walk toward eternity. What we ask God for reveals where our treasure is, and which life we deem more important, whether this life or the life to come.

Any time our will is involved, any time we have to make a decision concerning something, it is a test. God wants to see our level of maturity, God wants to see whether He is enough, whether we worship Him in spirit and in truth for who He is and what He has already done, or for what we hope to gain from Him by mimicking a relationship.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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