Sunday, December 2, 2012

God Equipped

From the moment your eyes opened God equipped you for today. In His strength and wisdom, you can face today in the joy of the Lord. – Katherine Spann

Have you ever seen someone deal with a task in some really unique but totally off the wall way?  And when you ask them why they didn’t just use the appropriate tool, the answer always seems to be that they didn’t feel like walking out to their truck for that particular tool.  Which makes you look at them in amazement because the job would have taken a quarter of the time, including the walk to and from the truck, if only they’d used the proper tool.  We can all get that way spiritually.  Here’s what I mean:

Prayer is probably one of the greatest gifts God gave us.  As it says in the book of Hebrews, with prayer we have the option to go boldly and directly to God’s throne with our complaints, our concerns, our needs and more.  Yet, how often do we leave that tool out in our spiritual work truck instead of applying it to the job at hand?  There’s a familiarity and presumptiousness  in that.  There’s also some laziness.  And, somehow, we can miss that those attitudes make us our own worst enemy.

We can get into the Word and let God speak to our heart about our prayer life.  Even a consistent 5 minutes a day in the Word will change us.  But how often do we leave that tool in our spiritual work truck too?  And for very much the same reasons that we leave prayer there.  We’re, once again, our own worst enemy.

Before utter panic sets in, no, we’re not doomed to forever skip prayer and Bible reading.  What I described can sound like that.  But, in reality, how much or how little of each gets ignored varies from person to person.  If I’m in church, the person three rows in front of me might be a total prayer warrior and spend hours studying the Bible, while the woman across the aisle might have a wonderful prayer life but find it difficult to concentrate on Bible reading.  And the person behind me might be in the Word frequently but he may have a hard time jumping into prayer. 

Each of us is designed differently.  Some of how we prioritize is part of who we are.  Some also comes from how far we deviate from how God wanted us to function.  If we stray too far, God will get our attention – much like NCIS’s Gibbs smacks Tony DiNozzo on the back of the head if Tony goes off on a tangent.  The farther off, the bigger the head tap will be.

We might ask why this all happens and why God has to periodically get our attention.  That all goes back to Adam and Eve and a special “tree”.  And it goes back even further, to when God gave us free will as part of our makeup.  The choices made by Eve, and the Adam, were a misuse of that free will that changed the entire structure of existence in time.  After that, each generation seems to have done a great job of continuing in abusing the privilege of free well.  Since that free will is a gift from God, He won’t usurp our option to choose how we think and act.

The nice thing about free will is that it isn’t there just for wrong choices.  We can also choose wisely.  And as we ask God for help with that through prayer, we get His help in developing our prayer life.  And we get His help at getting better at being in His Word.  In both cases, that’s continually progressive.  The more we give to it, the more God gives us back.  Prayer and time in the Word are very much God’s investment program for us.  The more we put in, the more we get back. 

God gives us the choice of spiritually investing wisely or not.  And He helps us recognize the nature of the choices.  We are fully equipped to deal with each moment and to find joy in each moment.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (KJV)  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

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