God looks on the heart…

Have you ever noticed how many varying views there are in regard to what God considers important?  It may sound somewhat presumptuous for little ol’ me to tell you what God considers important, but hear me out on this one…

It seems that most people’s view of God and what matters to Him is somewhat narrow and limited.  I mean we are talking about God Almighty, right?  This is the same God that came up with the idea of people; thinking, living, breathing people.  The One that designed the human mind to have complete freedom of will, the ability to make decisions and process events leading to conclusions based on logic.  That is Who we are talking about right?  Okay now, with that in mind, let’s try to understand how He might work with us.  I say that because I think not understanding how He works with us or how much He loves mankind has led to many erroneous ideas about Him.  Just imagine that our All-Knowing, Everywhere-Present God, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, is concerned because yesterday you said a swear word.  I mean really?  Is it even conceivable that this vastly intelligent Being that formed, made and created you is put off from having sweet fellowship with you because you cuss?  Or, what if you partook of a tad too much of the beverage last night?  Seriously?  Oh my lanta!  Maybe, just maybe we could give God a little more credit than that.  Look, I’m a person and have been a person long enough to kind of have an idea about the shenanigans people do.  Somehow with my incredulous intelligence I can understand how people function and love and accept them anyway.  But somehow God can’t?  With all of that superior intelligence and wisdom, He can’t handle what you do or for that matter understand that you sin at times?  I shudder to even ask the question… Of all of the serious and important issues that happen in a lifetime, is it logical that a relationship with God can be reduced down to whether or not I drink or cuss or smoke?  Lord help us all!   That’s just the kind of crapola that has driven people away from God for centuries.  I really think we need to give Him a little more credit than that.  If your behavior or my behavior is the most important component of having a good relationship with God, then NONE of us would have a good relationship with God.  If you think that I write these blogs about God because my behavior is always righteous, then maybe you should interview my family!  LOL  Again, oh my lanta! 

So what kind of things are really important to God?  I hope we can agree it’s not all this external silliness that might make us look good in the sight of man.  Hmmm?  The truth is that God does not go by the external appearance of things.  You (and I) aint foolin’ God by appearing one way and really being another way!  God sees beyond that.

For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. I Samuel 16:7b (KJV)

Did you get that?  What is important to God is your heart!  Your heart is that innermost part of you.  It is the tender, center of you, from where all your life flows outward.  When God sees you, He sees all of your frailties, all of your weaknesses, all of your foolishness, all of your shenanigans, and He decided to love you anyway!  He knows your thoughts for goodness sakes.  (scary huh?) You don’t have to be this or be that for God to love you or do things for you!  Don’t you see, that is the great ruse that defeats mankind! 

God wants to have a relationship with you.  He wants to walk and talk with you day by day.  He isn’t concerned with how successful you appear to be; how much it seems you have it together; how much swag you seem to exhibit [though having a tight relationship with Him is the ultimate Swag producer:) ].  He looks on your heart.  He knows all about you and still chooses you.  So it seems to make sense to choose Him!  Don’t let the world or those god-awful, media portrayed, Christians discourage you and your pursuit.  Not everyone who’s a Christian on the outside is a Christian on the inside.  (I know, right?) 

This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this:  that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,”

declares the Lord.  Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV)

God (and I) aint mad at ya! 🙂

God’s job…my job …and how to keep it straight!

I find myself in a continual rant lately in regard to how God works with His children and delineating His job from our job.  I don’t think I can stomach another Facebook status that explains away a lack of results or an unanswered prayer by saying how “God works in mysterious ways” or that “God has a higher way or higher purpose for not answering a prayer.”  When it comes to prayers, the Bible says the following:

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.     Matthew 21:22

This is often referred to as a “blank check” from God.  As long as the things we pray for don’t contradict God’s Word [i.e. praying for temporary blindness to happen to the New York Giants during the football game;-)] God is more than willing to answer our prayers.  In fact, God has left a fill in the blank that we can use for almost any situation of life.  In essence there is really no prayer that you can pray that God will ignore (as if He is too busy) or refuse to answer (as if He runs your life without your cooperation) or is unable to answer (as if He cannot do something).  However, if you will go back and re-read that verse of scripture above, you will see that it clearly outlines two distinct responsibilities to accompany prayer.   Those responsibilities could be defined as “my job” and “God’s job.” 

I’ll start with God’s job as that is the best part.  Without going into potentially endless details about God who is All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Everywhere-Present, I will suffice to say that God has guaranteed that He will remain true to what He has promised in His Word.  Just in case you haven’t memorized all the promises, He promises to heal us when we need it, to supply all of our physical needs, bless us with His love, comfort us, help us get things straight when we are twisted, help us separate good from evil, so we can choose the good, and fill our lives with great abundance in every category of life.  If you want to compare jobs, His is definitely the hard part!  How He does His part really is none of my business.  He does not need me to help Him with His part.  He does not need for me to figure out how He will be able to do something.  He is never caught off-guard or unaware of my needs.  There’s literally nothing in life stronger than Him and there is absolutely nothing that He cannot do!  (He specializes in things called impossible…as the song goes) That, my friends, is God’s part! 

So we are left with the big question, “what is my job?”  What exactly is my part in this cooperative arrangement?  Well, instead of trying to convince you with my winning personality and powers of persuasion, I will let God’s Word do the “splaining!”  Okay back to the verse, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”  When you pray for something, it is “your job” to supply the required believing!  Believing is something we do all the time.  It’s not mysterious or difficult for that matter.  We believe the news reports without even as much as a question.  We believe the media and their outrageous claims without batting an eye.  We believe the doctor, the auto mechanic, and the weatherman often with no corresponding evidence to support their assertions.  But, when it comes to believing God we have a thousand “yes-buts” to enter into the mix.  Our job is to simply take God at His Word and literally act upon the promise we seek to claim in our lives.  Believing means to be fully persuaded in regard to some outcome.  Fully persuaded means we have absolutely no doubt.  If we doubt the outcome in any way we have already decided the outcome (no result!).  Most prayers that are offered up to God are in reality “wishes” as if by uttering the words to God guarantees a result.  If we are honest with ourselves we know whether or not we truly “believe” that what we pray will come to pass.  And most folks, I’m sad to say, have such a vague, non-specific understanding of God, that they aren’t very confident that He can/will/is able to do the thing they are praying for anyway.  So, how could they ever get any result?  This life with God arrangement is predicated upon belief and we cannot have accurate beliefs without God’s Word.  Life is just too big and complicated to guess our way through it!  All of us fall short from time to time with our believing, but the remedy is not to work harder or try to take over His part, or explain away a lack of result with Facebook babble, but rather take the necessary time in God’s Word to build our believing to a level that “s**** happens!” (stuff-haha)

So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.  Romans 10:17 (ASV)

So, naturally if we really believe something then we are going to take the corresponding actionIf you believed the roof was caving in where you are, at this very moment, you would no longer be reading this blog!  You wouldn’t have to meditate or look for a sign, you would simply beat feet!  It is like that with God’s Word.  If you believe God will do something for you (and He wants to more than you want Him to) then when it happens you aren’t flabbergasted, you are thankful that He did it.  And, every time you get a result you are that much more confident in Him for the next need.  So, if you need a job, pray about it and then believe by getting your butt out there and looking for it.  Sitting at home lamenting isn’t believing, it’s wishing!  If you need healing, find what God says about healing and then do everything you can think of to get that thing resolved, then let God do His part and bring that healing to pass.  Keep saying what His Word says and don’t allow your feelings to contradict what He promised.  Don’t stop until it comes to pass!  That’s believing, that’s power, that’s what Jesus Christ came to make available to you! 

So, don’t get it twisted…You do YOUR job and let God do His job and in the end you will see great deliverance in your life.  Don’t try to figure this thing out on your own! 

God answers prayers…everyday!