I wonder if I’m the only speaker who ever said something, then later said to himself, “That was right, but …”
Recently I was preaching. I shared something I had heard.
“When we’re dealing with God we say, “Lord, the answer is yes,’ what’s the question?’”
Warming to the subject I noted, “We should hand God a blank check with our signature at the bottom, then say, ‘God, fill it in for whatever amount you want to.’”
The attitude is right. “Lord, anytime, anywhere, any place.” That is what we should say to what God asks.
The truth of the matter is, though, it sometimes takes us a while to get there. I want to be totally obedient to the Lord, but sometimes when God speaks to me, there are all sorts of things that start squirming inside of me saying, “No!”
And that’s the crux of the thing. The process of getting from, “I don’t want to!” to “Lord, not my will but your be done,” is critical. It’s during that time that we grow.
If we just hand God a blank check with our name and tell Him to fill in the amount, there’s no growth for us there. We need those agonizing moments in the “Garden of Gethsemane” to help us grow.
I don’t think the Lord want docile robots, who obey without thinking. We’re men and women who love God, but are full of all sorts of dreams, weaknesses, aspirations, faults, strengths.
Maybe, instead of saying, “The answer is ‘yes,’ what is the question?” we should say, “Lord, tell me what you want and help me to get to the point where I can say ‘yes.’”
You see, growth comes in getting to the point of saying, “yes.”
Yes Leads To the Cross
“Here’s my check Lord. Fill in the blank and give me the courage to sign it.”
“’Sit down here while I go over there and pray.’ Then he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee and began to be in terrible distress and misery. ‘My heart is nearly breaking,’ he told them, ‘stay here and keep watch with me.’ Then he walked on a little way and fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from me—yet it must not be what I want, but what you want…
“Then he went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to pass from me without my drinking it, then your will must be done.’ And he came and found them asleep again, for they could not keep their eyes open. So he left them and went away again and prayed for the third time using the same words as before.” (Matthew chapt. 26 J.B. Phillips)
If God’s own Son had to struggle to sign the check, how much more will I struggle! But cheer up! Growth comes from the struggle.
On a cold day in December, in New York city some years ago: A little boy, about 10-years-old, was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.
A lady approached the young boy and said,
‘My, but you’re in such deep thought staring in that window!’
‘I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,’was the boy’s reply.
The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water
and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.
She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.
By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks.. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes..
She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him.. She patted him on the head and said, ‘No doubt, you will be more comfortable now.’
As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tearsin his eyes, asked her, ‘Are you God’s wife?’
The last week in France has been tough. You’ve seen the headlines of the horror of Nice. I’ve preached in that city and gone down the Promenade des Anglais. The report from churches I know in the area was that one lady and her seven-year old son from our churches died in the terror attack. Pray for the young father and remaining children. Pray for healing for the families of the 84 who died and the 15 people who remain between life and death as well as the 300 others who were injured. Pray most of all that France in its distress will finally call out to God. Much like the USA, the country has, by and large, refused God’s offer of grace–or at least been unaware of it. Pray.
Also last week, in a news item that didn’t garner nearly as much attention the church in Calais, where of one of my friends is pastor, was burned. Police seem to think it was a criminal act. The church was heavily involved in outreach to immigrants in the Calais area. When we ministered there, there were immigrants attending the service. God is helping them but this has been a shock.
This is the second evangelical church which has been burnt in France in the last few months.
Pray that God move deeply in the services where we minister here in the USA, sharing the burden of the French-speaking world.