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Sunday, May 4, 2014

I Got an Answer

As an application of my study in Jeremiah I have been asking most everyone I meet with what the Lord is teaching them out of the Word.  It has been an enlightening and in the case of Friday a challenging and rebuking exercise.
Sometimes I do not like the answers...  Thoughts at DTTB.
I asked that of the man I met with first on Friday.  He had just come from trying to buy a new water heater.  He ran into obstacles he had not anticipated.  His plan was to get the needed heater and take it home and have people come out to install it.  He was informed by a sales clerk that was not how it was done.  He had to essentially start the process of research over.  That was not the message that he wanted to hear at 6 AM.  He told me that his attitude was not the best as he was interacting with the clerk.

He told me that she, was struggling with allergies.  Then he reflected that as a believer he should have been more concerned with her than his needs – it was right at that point in the conversation that my friend shifted from sharing to meddling.

We both reflected on Philippians 2:3 – 4.  In all of the cases that we encounter that others are not behaving in the manner that aligns with our desires, we are supposed to put their needs ahead of ours.  Further Paul tells us that we are to do all things for the sake of the gospel, 1 Corinthians 9:19 – 23.  My friend should have had that clerk’s needs in mind before his need for a water heater, for the sake of the gospel.

Neither one of us are doing very well at that.  This afternoon on my way to a part time gig I have, I was asking God to help me to put all of the people I met needs ahead of mine.  I did better.  But not perfect.  People sometimes make that hard to do.

Even then the assignment does not change.

Sometimes when you ask a friend what they are getting out of the Word, it turns into a challenge for you.

Do it anyway.

2 comments:

  1. Hummm,,,classic understatement, "People sometimes make that hard to do..." But then if it were easy, it likely wouldn't need to be even said.

    The subject of the post, "I God An Answer" and my usual thought when I get an answer to some issue in my life. Whether It comes from the Word or sharing around the Word I often have the distinct thought, "I don't like that answer!"

    A while back I was encouraged, rebuked and challenged greatly by Habakkuk's experience as he realized through revelation that his nation faced destruction by the Babylonian empire in the indeterminate future. In Ch.3:2 he responds,
    "LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy."

    In v.16 it gets worse:
    "I heard and my inward parts trembled, At the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, And in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, For the people to arise who will invade us."

    In this context we have his astonishing statement of faith in vs.17-19. I had memorized vs.17,18 many years ago, but never understood them in the light of this context of impending destruction which Habakkuk expected in his own lifetime. Was everything going to "turn out" OK for him? I personally don't see any shred of expectation that it would.

    I often don't like God's answers, including prayer on a few very painful matters in my life. I find it difficult to maintain an expectation that it will turn out anything like my dreams. I struggle to have Habakkuk's spectacular faith.





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