Tuesday, September 06, 2016

On My Side

Today's thought provoking prayer from Seeking God’s Face: Praying With the Bible Through the Year began,
"Sovereign God, I want to claim you for my cause, but you will not be made a mascot for my squad; you call me to your kingdom."
That sure got my attention!

But I think the real meat of the matter was covered in the next few lines,
"Rule me by your Word and Spirit so that more and more I may stand on the holy ground of obedience to you."
I'm pretty sure it was bouncing off the Joshua 5:15 reading where Joshua asks, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” and receives for reply, “Neither, but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.”

But it reminds me of Samuel's caution to Saul,  "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”  - 1 Samuel 15:22

Over the years, I have so often heard people say after some great fiasco, “But we prayed so hard.”

Indeed! So have I!

But is it really prayer that sanctifies an action? Is it not obedience to God’s principles?  And an understanding of his will?

I have thought a lot about this in recent months.

Can godly men be mistaken? You know the answer to that one! At least you had better know it! During every election and every war, and concerning all the issues there are “godly” men on all sides of the question. At least, if you define godly as *praying so hard*.

When Peter and John stood up and said, “"Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,” (Acts 4:19) they were talking to their religious leaders.

These religious leaders were not always all bad.

I grew up believing that Pharisees were all horrible, godless men. So were all Catholics at the time of the Reformation. (And conversely, Luther was all good.)

NOT so!

Good men can be mistaken - even when they pray!

For that matter, I can be mistaken!

We have hanging on our wall a verse that a friend sent to us recently.

It’s so comforting, sustaining. But it’s important to remember the context! This is not talking about God taking “my side”. Rather it’s about God’s great love for me. His protection.

And this he offers to me whether I am right or wrong – if I look to him. Its about recognizing God as God.

Am I looking to him?

Listening to him?

Clinging to him?

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