Archive for October, 2015
But I also wonder if sometimes, Christians who experience these healings (or medical “cures”) sometimes come to a point of starting to believe that God provided the healing because of their faith in the matter and not because He simply chose to heal according to His will and purposes? I see some whose cancers are in remission and who are living a full life because of it and I wonder if they are often tempted to think that their “faith” made them whole, or “allowed” God to “heal” them?
Yet, what do we Christians do all too often? We pray for specifics to a certain situation and often we do so before we even truly know what God’s will is and we rarely, if ever add the words, “yet, not mine, but thy will be done” to our prayers. We tend to think of those words as being “defeatist.” How can we really “believe” God will provide the answer we are looking for if we add those words to the mix? Answer: we can’t believe He will do what we ask, so we don’t add those words.
Notice in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus opens with “Our Father,” and then does not state any reference to Him again except for the use of the word “your.” He didn’t feel the need to insert the Father’s name or reference at the beginning or end of each statement. In fact, we know that God sees the depth of our own thoughts even though we may not actually know how to pray, (cf. Job 31:4; Jeremiah 23:24; Romans 8:26). God knows us! We need to drop the pretense, adopt reverence, and approach Him with awe and praise, understanding who He is, at least as He has chosen to reveal Himself to us in His Word.
We need to also remember that God chose to respond to Daniel’s prayers (and those of his friends) because of His (God’s) highest purposes. Daniel and his friends made themselves available to God and God chose to use them for His glory. In the process, these young men grew in wisdom and discernment before the Lord. Daniel himself was given the gift of interpreting dreams. These benefits came from God and were to be used to bring great glory to Him. These gifts were not to be used for selfish gain, but to highlight God’s purposes.
It is extremely important to understand that it is in this particular chapter, Daniel 2, that God provided a very broad picture of prophetic content for the earth from that point in human history up to the time of the physical return of Jesus, or His second coming. Based on this, it is easy to understand it was very likely God Himself who prompted Nebuchadnezzar to make such a demand of his wise men as he did. It was essentially God proving Himself and His sovereignty through Nebuchadnezzar to the world. We have seen that time and time again, God’s Word has been proven to be true.
God wants us to be happy. He wants us to be filled with joy, even though we live in a world of sorrow, tainted and ruined by sin, sin that we – humanity – invited into this realm. However, it must be stated that God wants our happiness and joy to be on His terms, not ours.
We need to comprehend and understand that His will is all that matters. It’s not using prayer as though it was the greatest “tool” ever because apart from God, prayer is nothing. Prayer is our means of communicating with God, not giving Him our list of wants and demands.
It is almost becoming the new mantra among Christians today. You’ve heard it and so have I. That mantra – Prayer is a powerful tool! – is supposed to get us on our knees, to help us focus on the God of the universe. Prayer is supposed to put us in the mindset to ask of God and expect Him to respond to our requests in the way we want Him to respond. In some ways, it almost borders on the “name it, claim it” type of theology (poor as it is), that teaches people just that. We should focus on something that we want (or ostensibly believe God wants for us) and by continuing to pray about that situation, event, or item, we then “claim it” in Jesus’ Name. This, we are told, will bring that about because of the “laws of the universe” or some such theology that is so loosely built on the biblical pattern that it can actually be done without even referencing the Bible at all, except for a verse here or that one there.