A number of times somebody approached Jesus and He instinctively asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” This is an incredible question because He who asked it could truly answer it. Jesus once declared that all power in heaven and earth was given Him. Better than a genie in a bottle, Jesus could actually answer incredible requests.
Some people asked for miracles or healings. Others wanted to follow Him and see where He lived. Still others asked for position and blessing in God’s kingdom. Have you ever stopped to think what you would say if Jesus turned to you and asked, “What do you want for me to do for you?”
This is a very loaded question. It reveals a lot about what we believe about God. It opens our heart motives and inner longings. It shows what we value and how we are open for God to move in our lives. Even the degree that we take the question seriously, reveals something. Do you think God would ever ask you what you want for Him to do in your life?
As I think through this question, I am disturbed by my potential requests. I could list so many things. But these all seem so petty compared to the response, “I want whatever you want.”
Oh, how I wish this was my request. But so often, I want so much more than just what God wants. Actually, my problem is that I want less than His best. There is no such thing as more than what God wants because my more is actually less.
I am wrestling with this question… What really does God’s best look like for my life?
Posted in ? That Make You Think, Divine Power, God's Voice, Jesus, My Depravity, Religiosity
Tagged answered prayer, Discipleship, Divine Power, God sovereignty, power of prayer, prayer request, sinful desire
Have you ever looked at the sky or a mountain scene and been blown away by the grandeur of what you saw? I know that I sure have. I will never forget standing at artist point between Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. The view is incredible. Here is a sample of what I mean…
Mount Baker Artist Point
Mountains are gigantic. They seem to transcend time and remind us of the power pent up under the surface. We feel so small compared to these behemoths.
But that is nothing compared to the majesty and might of God. Scripture tells us that God measures the universe within the span of His hand. That’s one big hand.
Pastor Tim from the Hanger spoke at The Mix last night. He delivered the essence of the Gospel in a very raw and in-your-face fashion. It was awesome. He said one of the big problems is that we don’t understand how incredible the cross really is. We think that a mountain scene shows us the power of God when the most incredible thing that God has ever done is send Jesus to die on the cross. While God speaking all things into existence is amazing, it is far less stunning than Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
It is the cross that has restored a broken relationship and redeemed creation. It is the cross that reveals the depth of God’s love. When people asked for a sign, Jesus said that no sign will be given them except his death and resurrection. The cross is the pinnacle of human history. It is mas grande!
No mountain. No ocean. No prehistoric dinosaur bone should seem more significant. It is the empty tomb where we find everlasting life.
Are you awestruck by Jesus? I know that I sometimes let the Gospel lose its impact. I become deceived by material things and fail to keep the cross in its proper perspective. There is nothing bigger than a God who gave it all to save me and you.
This is love…
Posted in Divine Power, Glory, Gospel, Jesus, The Good News
Tagged cross, Divine Power, glory of cross, God's glory, Gospel, majesty, mount Baker, The Hanger
Oswald Chambers wrote in My Utmost for His Highest, ” A pitiful, sickly, and self-centered kind of prayer and a determined effort and selfish desire to be right with God are never found in the New Testament. The fact that I am trying to be right with God is actually a sign that I am rebelling against the atonement by the Cross of Christ… I cannot make myself right with God; I cannot make my life perfect. I can only be right with God if I accept the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as an absolute gift. Am I humble enough to accept it?”
“There is a great deal of prayer that comes from actual disbelief in the atonement. Jesus is not just beginning to save us— He has already saved us completely. It is an accomplished fact, and it is an insult to Him for us to ask Him to do what He has already done.”
I find Chambers’ words an indictment to many of the prayers that I have prayed in my life. Why do I pray for things that God has already done? Why don’t I take hold of these spiritual realities by faith? It can be real easy to thing we are being very spiritual when our petitions before God ring of faithlessness and a lack of godly understanding.
When Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished,” He meant it. These are some of the most profound words ever uttered. The implications change human history. Jesus has already obtained our salvation, freedom and future.
The only barrier we find to these greatest gifts is not God’s willingness to provide them because the real work is already done. The difficult part is accepting the full implications of the cross by faith.
We have to come to the end of ourselves and realize the futility of our works. We have to understand the amazing quality of God’s grace and the fullness of its power to impart reconciliation and transformation. When I come to the reality of what I can’t do on my own, I start to realize the power in what Christ has already done for me.
Posted in Divine Power, Lies, My Depravity, Prayer, Religiosity, Transformation
Tagged amazing grace, Chambers, depravity, Divine Power, Finished, grace, It Is Finished, Jesus, Jesus' atonement, Oswald Chambers, Utmost for His Highest
“Work out your own salvation . . . for it is God who works in you .” —Philippians 2:12-13
The above might seem like a contradiction. Are we doing the work or is it God? But this another one of the paradoxes that exist in the Christian faith. I cannot explain it, but I know it is true.
Check out this devotional meditation written by Oswald Chambers.
“Some of you are deeply hungry for God, but all you keep on eating is Twinkies.” – Pastor Don Coleman said to a local church in January 2008
Don is one of my spiritual mentors and is a respected leader in the Richmond Christian community. He said some other great things during this sermon. Here are more of what I like to call Donisms:
“God is after more than we can do on our own.”
“Is Jesus on the throne of your life?”
“Until the earth looks like heaven, we haven’t arrived.”