Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Yes, God Has Better Things To Do

Doesn’t God have better things to do than answer my petty requests?

Yes, as a matter of fact. For example, he is holding together the universe by his sustaining power. He oversees the affairs of nations, bringing blessing or judgment according to his providence. He is hearing the cries of more worthy folks, and also those who are in far greater distress than we are. Not to mention that he is preparing an eternal abode for his people.

It is unworthy of God to believe he has nothing better to do than answer your prayers, which are often based on discontent and are rarely accompanied by the gratitude God deserves.

On the other hand, it is also unworthy of God to fail to ask him for your needs. If we belong to Christ, we are considered adopted sons and daughters. As such, he invites us to approach him as a heavenly Father – in fact, he commands us to do so. There are even some places in the Bible where it seems God wants us to approach him shamelessly, irreverently, and constantly!

We do not honor God’s greatness if we are not mindful of his majesty and transcendence. Yet we fail to honor his grace if we do not understand his love and mercy. What are we to make of this?

We must live within a glorious tension, described in Isaiah this way:

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
"I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

God dwells “in the high and holy place,” yet does so “with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit.” This tension creates misunderstandings. For example, God so graciously answers our prayers that we think we’re the only one on his mind.

Glorious tension, glorious misunderstanding!

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