Choose


“So now, revere the Lord. Serve him honestly and faithfully. Put aside the gods that your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt and serve the Lord.  But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the Lord.”
-Joshua 24:14-15

Choices

In our lives, we make choices.  These choices are special times, special moments, special events.  Sometimes we  make our choices known publicly, like when we get married in front of friends and family.  But choice is also a lifestyle or a discipline.

We choose, but live a chosen life.  I choose and I keep choosing.  It is an event and a life.  We choose marriage, but then we must choose to be married.  Marriage is choice, after choice, after choice.

It is the same with God.  We choose God, we choose Christ, and we get saved,  Is your salvation an event or a journey?  It is both.  If we have the event, but neglect the journey, we will be in trouble.

When we get saved, we step into Christ.  We walk through the door of Christ and into a new life.  Now your new life begins.  You are in Christ, on your way to heaven.  God has a plan for your life after you find Christ, to make you like Christ.  That is why we are called Christians.

When God has done all sorts of things in our lives, we still must choose and  re-choose God.  Salvation is not just an event, but an event and a life.  We come into it, we are born from above, our eyes are opened; but now we must live the life and work it out, between now and the last day of this life.

Tempted to Forget God

In our humanity, we get tempted to forget God, after things are going well.  When we forget God, we can be delusional in thinking that we are good people that believe in God, but we just don't need him.  The truth is that everyone always needs God.  The truth is that God didn't create us just to save us, but to be our father and have relationship with us.  God is relational and God likes people.  God wants to keep in touch.

Worship

In this world there are other powers that are always reaching out for partnership. In this world, there is always opportunity for idol worship.  God created us to worship.  If we do not worship God we will worship something or someone else.  Worship happens in your life, by choice; punctuated by events of worship. 

Idolatry After Victory

In the context on Joshua, chapter 24; the people of God had seen and experienced great victories brought about by God.  They had been through a lot of training in righteousness, learning worship and learning how to walk with God and be God's people.

The majority of these people were born into and have lived in God's supernatural provision for their whole lives.  They grew up hearing about what God did in the past and what God was going to do in the future.  Now, they have been seeing God move, in the conquest of the promised land.  Having their jaws drop in awe has been a  daily event.

Into this context, the message comes from God that they are still being tempted to serve other gods.  Maybe they were toying with the idea?  God is severely confronting this.  If they go into idolatry, the results will be disastrous for them.  We need to be reminded that we can not serve God and something else.

Choose One or The Other

If you are going to fool around with others when you are married, do not get married.  If you think you can have a wife or a husband and be with someone else, do not get married in the first place.  It is the same with God.  If you are in the community of God and your eyes and your heart are wandering, you need to be told to choose the other life or choose God.

Perhaps a time is soon coming  when Christians who have been 'fooling around' are going to hear a prophetic call from God to choose him or choose the idols.  Perhaps time is about up and people who have known about God are going to be called to choose to know God or choose to not know God.

Will You Choose God Daily?

Having received blessings from God, does not a disciple make.  The blessed person must choose, just like the suffering person must choose.  Will you choose God and keep choosing God?  Will you choose God during the week, between your meetings with the church?

Job chose God in the midst of horrible suffering and feeling like God was completely absent.  People who's dreams come true, who's prayers are answered, and who suddenly live in prosperity face new temptations and challenges.

Backlash

Perhaps a whole new set of temptations will face you when you are blessed.  There is something called backlash.  Watch out for the backlash.  The greatest defeats can follow the greatest victories because we have our guard down.

Family

Joshua proclaimed, "my family and I will serve the Lord".  Families need to serve the Lord together.  Parents bear the responsibility for discipling their children,  In our culture, we tend to put things in boxes, like sacred and secular, work and home, sanctuary and marketplace.

The Home

But in the New Covenant, God does not dwell in buildings; but in the people.  The home is supposed to be the main place where we meet God, choose God, and grow in God.  We should be worshiping God, discipling one another, and doing the stuff Jesus did; at home, with our families and to our neighbors, all week.

Choosing God is primarily lived out in our families.

The clan gathering where Joshua spoke, "choose this day whom you will serve", was like a church meeting or service.  He was God's leader of the whole nation.  He gathered the people to speak a special word to them from God.  But when he said, "my family and I will serve the Lord", he was saying that this choosing God is primarily lived out in our families.  If we are not doing this, we are massively missing out.

Christian parents can not get away to living in the world all week and then cleaning up for church each Sunday.  Christian parents also can not get away with having their "private faith", but somehow thinking that the church is supposed to disciple their children.  God is a family person and God works in and through families!

Joshua was saying that we live out the life in our families, with our families and from our families.  Your priority order is God, family, then work, church, & ministry.  We each must appear before God individually, but God is not an individualist.  God has us in pairs and in families.  The rugged individual is not in scripture.  When God has you alone or you choose to get alone with God, that's a special time for you and God.  But usually, we grow in God with others, and the primary place is within our families.

Suffering, pt 3

The wise person uses wise words when is crisis or conflict.

The bottom has dropped out for Job.  The closest person to him in his life has turned against God.  She, his wife, has declared that the way of faithfulness does not work, and that he must give up.  She seems to see God as neglectful or evil, in what has come upon her and her husband.  

Job does not reject his wife.  

Job does not condemn his wife.  Job speaks the truth in love, with wisdom.  Wise words lift someone up.  Wise words call someone higher.  Wise words say, "you are better than that behavior, so come up higher and let that go."  

Job tells his wife, "you are talking like a foolish woman".  Notice that he does not call her a fool.  Satan would love for you to call your spouse or your neighbor a fool or an idiot.  The way of wisdom and the way of love is to rather say that they are behaving foolishly or idiotically.  We also get deceived into talking to our selves with condemning self-talk.  We curse others and ourselves when we accuse or pronounce curse words upon people or our selves.

Job's wife lacks discernment.  

Job does not have heaven's perspective, but he is faith-ing it.  He discerns a big God and small problems.  He discerns a faithful God, even while he is in calamity.  She does not have this discernment.  Job is wise in evaluating that his wife isn't there yet, that she is in process.

You can engage God, even fiercely and not sin. 

Job did not give up on God.  Job did not leave the service of God.  Job did not quit life.  Job, in all his trouble, still had something to live for.  Job did not sin with his words.

The key is facing God.  

Remember the story about seeing Jesus face.  That is they key.  The people  closest people to you in your life may make a strong case against you and against God, in regards to what you are suffering.  Will you face God and believe God no matter what?  That is what Job did.  Face God in whatever you are facing.  

"Job faces toward God with anguish, puzzlement, anger, and bitter complaints, but never turns his back on him to the march off - godless - into the dark night." (NIV Study Bible, notes)

Suffering: You, God, and Your Spouse


The Adversary departed from the Lord’s presence and struck Job with severe sores from the sole of his foot to the top of his head.  Job took a piece of broken pottery to scratch himself and sat down on a mound of ashes.  Job’s wife said to him, “Are you still clinging to your integrity? Curse God, and die.”
Job said to her, “You’re talking like a foolish woman. Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?” In all this, Job didn’t sin with his lips.
-Job 2:8-10

 

The accuser and tempter

Satan is the accuser (Rev. 12:10).  Satan found someone to speak his words, and that person was Job's wife.  She gave up her faith in God and urges Job to do so.  "Give it up!  This faith thing with God doesn't work."  She sarcastically adds, "look at the 'blessing' God has bestowed upon you." 

Like Eve, Job's wife tempts Job to sin and fall.  Satan will use the closest person he can find, including your spouse, if he can; to tempt to to doubt God. 


Job is gracious to his wife.

Job does not condemn his wife.  Job speaks the truth in love, with wisdom.  Wise words lift someone up.  Wise words call someone higher.  Wise words say, "you are better than that behavior, so come up higher and let that go."



Job does not judge her, nor condemn her, nor shame her, but calls her higher.  Godly wisdom never says that sin or evil is ok, but calls us to leave it; and proclaims, "that is not your identity".  Wisdom sees a sinning saint, and calls you back to sainthood.  Wisdom sees spiritual orphans and calls them to repent and be adopted in Christ.

Job tells his wife, "you are talking like a foolish woman".  Notice that he does not call her a fool.  Satan would love for you to call your spouse or your neighbor a fool or an idiot. 



Job's Wife is Cynical

Cynical means:
  1. Believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.
  2. Doubtful as to whether something will happen or is worthwhile.
  3. Cynicism also involves skepticism, pessimism, and sarcasm.
Cynicism is the fruit of unprocessed grief or burnout.  God is not cynical and godly people, like Job, are not cynical.  Grieve.  Do your grief work.  Get your rest.  Rest in God.  Abide in God.  Turn to God, in faith, when trouble hits.


Job did not sin with his lips

Job persevered under his trial.  Satan's goal was to prove that Job if Job lost everything, including his health, he would curse God to God's face.  
"Job faces toward God with anguish, puzzlement, anger, and bitter complaints, but never turns his back on him to march off - godless - into the dark night." (NIV Study Bible, notes)

Job was upset, distraught, grieved, angry, horrified, and baffled; but not cynical, skeptical, or sarcastic towards God.  You can be very upset, very upset with God; and express this to God, in God's face....  and not sin.  That's what Job did.  You can have faith, maintain your faith; which is faith in God's faithfulness, while you are very upset.

When you are going through your suffering, you might go to prayer and say you are going to, "let God have it".  Some of us might think such a person lacks faith or is irreverent, but actually they passionately love God and are full of faith.  Did you know that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference?

You can get very angry with someone you love.  You can love God, have strong faith, but have many questions, even doubts.  You can believe but have unbelief.  You can love, but not understand.    You can be vexed and perplexed, but stay connected to God.  

Baffled To Fight Better

Oswald Chambers: "There are things in our heavenly Father's dealings with us which have no immediate explanation.  There are inexplicable providences which test us to the limit and prove that rationalism is a mere mental pose.  The Bible and our common sense agree that the basis of human life is tragic, not rational, and the whole problem for us is focused on this book of Job.  Job 13:15 is the utterance of a man who has lost his explicit hold on God, but not his implicit hold, "Though he slay me, yet I will trust in him."  That is the last reach of the faith of a man.  Job's creed is all gone; all he believed about God is disproved by his own experiences, and his friends when they come, say in effect, "You are a hypocrite, we can prove it from your own creed."  But Job sticks to it, "I am not a hypocrite, I do not know what accounts for all that has happened, but I will hold on to it that God is just and I shall see Him vindicated in it all."
   God never makes His way clear to Job.  Job struggles with problem after problem, and providence brings more problems all the time, and in the end Job says, "...now mine eye seeth thee" (Job 42:5): all he had hung onto in the darkness was true, and that God was all he believed Him to be, loving and just, and honorable...
   Will I trust the revelation given of God by Jesus Christ when everything in my personal experience flatly contradicts it?"1

___________________
1.  Oswald Chambers, The Unseen Universe (formerly Baffled To Fight Better), p. 16-17

When You Suffer


The Adversary departed from the Lord’s presence and struck Job with severe sores from the sole of his foot to the top of his head.  Job took a piece of broken pottery to scratch himself and sat down on a mound of ashes.  Job’s wife said to him, “Are you still clinging to your integrity? Curse God, and die.”

Job said to her, “You’re talking like a foolish woman. Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?” In all this, Job didn’t sin with his lips.
-Job 2:7-10
 
The Book of Job: How To Relate To God In Your Suffering

The book of Job was the first book of the Bible to be written.  It is the story of one man's suffering.  It is the story of how that man related to God in his suffering.  Job lived during the time of Abraham, Issac, or Jacob.  The first story written down for our edification and revelation about God, is this story of Job.

It is interesting that Job is one of the few books in the Old Testament that mentions Satan and his work.  The most ancient divinely inspired writing is an account of spiritual warfare.  

Job was an honest man, a person of absolute integrity, who feared God and avoided evil (Job 1:1).  Job was also a prophet (James 5:10-11).  James tells us that the prophets set an example for us of patience in suffering.  He particularly mentions Job as the example of perseverance..  

Job survived his ordeal without scripture, without the support of godly friends or family, and without a prophet speaking encouraging words into his life. 

Job's wife and friends were wrong in their advice and counsel.  Job's story teaches us that we should never presume to know why a good or bad event happens to someone (John Telgren).

Will we receive good from God, but not also bad?

  • When bad things happen to you, how do you think about God?  
  • When bad things happen to you, how do you talk about God?  
  • When bad things happen to you, do you worship God?
When things went from bad to worse, for Job, he refused to blame God and give up.  Instead, he made this statement, "will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?"

Job received it.  What does that mean?  It means that he fully experienced the losses, while maintaining his relationship with God.  He kept his integrity.  His feet were firmly planted here, where he was suffering, while his faith was firmly planted in God.
 
Everything is about our relationship with God.

"Everything that happens to us is really about one thing; our relationship with God" (Graham Cooke, Radical Perceptions).  Who is God to you and for you, in the suffering you are going through?  What you are going through challenges you to upgrade your relationship with God.  

"Satan wants your pain to get you offended at God; God wants your pain to press you into his face with a fervency that will produce change in you."

Duo: Twos

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their hard work.
-Ecclesiastes 4:9

For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.
-Matthew 18:20

He sent them out two by two.
-Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1



Two Preachers

I watched a sermon on video of two guys doing "tag team preaching" and I really liked it.  I have been involved in a large handful of Christian traditions and I had never seen that before.  Two is the number of witness.  The second witness confirms the first.  Two people saw it, two people see it, and two people testify about it.  The testimony of each witness strengthens the other one, as they corroborate each other. (Matt. 18:16)

Revival comes in two's and three's

Do you want to see revival?  Do you want to see the lost saved, the sick healed, and the demon bound set free?  God's method is to do these things through two or three people.  All through the book of Acts, we see mostly duos and trios who are walking in the Spirit, ministering together.

The building block of the church is pairs

We all need to be in pair relationships.  We are unnecessarily weakened when we are not.  When you enter fellowship, it is natural to come into pair relationships.  You may be in two or three of these, but you need to be in at least one, to be functional.

The Power of Twos
  • When we gather in twos and threes in Jesus name, Jesus is there with us. (Matt 18:20)
  • If two have unity or agreement in their prayers together, they will get answers. (Matt. 18:19)
  • There is more power in a pair of than a solo minister and Jesus sent out pairs. (Ecc. 4:9, Mark 6:7, Matt. 10:2-4, Luke 10:1)
  • Solo Christians lack the support their pair could provide (Ecc. 4:10).  When we are falling or failing, our partner supports us, and if we fall down, or partner can help us get back up.
  • In warfare, the duo watches each others back and are more effective in battle. (Ecc. 4:12)
  • When joined to another, in a pair, there is real care, exemplified by intercessory prayer. (1 Sam. 5:11)
  • In a pair relationship, there is trust and intimacy that makes a place for confrontation. (2 Sa. 11:12)
Is there a place for pairs in the church?

The choir, classroom, Bible study class or group, worship services, or home groups don't create pairs. Pair relationships can develop out of any of these arenas listed above, but not easily, because that is not the point or focus of any of them.  All of the above are groups, have soloists, and maybe teams, like a worship team or ministry team.  Pairs could be deemed disruptive or unproductive to the groups listed above.  Pairs mostly have to be developed outside of the arenas listed above.

Pairs and pairing takes time and commitment, but if pairs are the fundamental or basic building block or the church; then isn't it ironic that church, as we know it (in the west), does not really facilitate pairs?

Are you connected in the body?

The church is a body, the body of Christ.  Each member of that body needs connection for its function and survival.  Each member or part of the body is specifically connected to the member or part next to it.  In the body, we are not intimately connected to the whole, but to who we are next to.  The hand is the most important part of the body to the finger and the wrist is most important to the hand, and so forth.

____________
Footnotes:

The above picture is of two women reading the word at Redeemer University College, Ontario

In researching this topic, I got some of the examples and references from this article by Ron McKenzie, which goes into more detail of why twos are so important and how to form pair relationships.  

I Always Put The Lord In Front of Me

I always put the Lord in front of me; I will not stumble because he is on my right side.
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
I will always look to you, as you stand beside me and protect me from fear. -Psalm 16:8 (CEB, ESV, CEV)

Do you practice the presence of God in your daily life?

God is omnipresent and God abides in you, if you are a believer.  God is here and God is there with you, but you have to do something to enjoy God.  That something is what Brother Lawrence called practicing the presence of God.  Lawrence who was a monk, wrote a book, in the 17th century which is a compilation of letters, called The Practice of the Presence of God.  Follow the link and get a free copy of it, or listen to it with mp3 files.

When you practice the presence of God, you focus on the Lord, no matter what else you are doing.

This is an open secret of the Christian life.  You need to get a revelation that this is available.  Emmanuel, God-with-us, came as a baby and grew into a man.  But God is with us now, by God's Spirit.  Holy Spirit is not just here historically and in theory, but in practice.  You and I can practice God's presence.

You can learn to put the Lord in front of you, before you.

He is there and here, but you can learn to intentionally focus your heart on him.  If you are looking at the Lord, you will love others and not sin.  If the Lord is standing there, in front of you, are you going to commit that sin?  You might, but he will disciple you.

God is in the process of renewing our minds and transforming our hearts. 

Just like the original disciples, we can be in Jesus presence and say or do the wrong thing.  But we will learn to discern when we have grieved God and repent and be corrected, and have a teachable moment.  The person who sins while practicing God's presence realizes it almost immediately and can repent and change.  The person who only calls out to God in crisis or only seeks God at meetings and/or devotional times might go a long time in their sin before they can be brought under conviction and circumstances or people may have to be brought to bear to get the person's attention.

How to practice the presence of God:

We must learn to be still.

"Be still and know that I am God."
"That's enough.  Now know that I am God."
Our God says, "calm down and learn that I am God."
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God"
-Psalm 46:10a (ESV, CEB, CEV, MSG)

We must must get off the merry go round, so that we can sense God.

 You can't see someone if you are
looking at other distractions.  You can't hear someone if your ears are full of other sounds.  And you can't practice God's presence if your mind is running all over the place.  Be still and know.

We must be still to enter in to this practice of the presence.

To always put the Lord before me, I must cultivate a still place, where still waters run deep. There might be a torrent of activity around me, but I have anchored my soul in the haven of rest.

Knowing, "being still and knowing", and always putting the Lord before you, is about intimacy.

Know God, rather than knowing about God.   When we enter into God's presence, there is a gift of knowing He is God, that lifts us.  We don't necessarily gain knowledge, but we gain intimacy in our communion with God.  This is the secret place.  Have you found the secret stairs?  They are not secret in that they are impossible, but are available to all believers.  You just have to find the steps and climb them.

The center of life is about intimacy and communion with God that flows out to the rest.

In setting the Lord before us always, in putting the Lord before us, in always looking to the Lord; we are trusting in the Lord with all our hearts and leaning not on our own understanding.  The heart cry, "that I may know him and the power of his resurrection", is about knowing God in intimacy and communion.  It is about God getting more of my heart and transforming it.

Houses, Family, and Farms

Jesus said, “I assure you that anyone who has left house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or farms because of me and because of the good news  will receive one hundred times as much now in this life—houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and farms (with harassment)—and in the coming age, eternal life.  But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first.”

Jesus said to them, “I assure you that anyone who has left house, husband, wife, brothers, sisters, parents, or children because of God’s kingdom  will receive many times more in this age and eternal life in the coming age.”
-Mark 10:29-31, Luke 18:29-30

Jesus talks about people who have left many things and relationships, because of him.  

I imagine there are and have been many people who have become followers of Jesus and it was not welcomed by their families.  People might get disinherited, divorced, or cut off perhaps, from their family relationships, family inheritances, or position in the family business.

Jesus is talking about the cost and compensation of discipleship.

Whatever you had to leave, Jesus says, you will receive back one hundred times.  Jesus is saying, "now in this life", or "in this age".  It would be easy to assume that Jesus was saying, "great is your reward in heaven for the things you forsook or lost on earth", but that's not what Jesus said.

Jesus did say that there is treasure in heaven for good works done on earth, but disciples who suffer loss will be paid back on earth.

Jesus says that if you have to leave your house, your family, or your fields, farms, or lands; that you will be compensated many times over for your losses in this life.

You will also get harassment, persecutions, or trouble along with your compensation.

The over and above will flow to you, but persecutions will come at you too, with it.  It's part and parcel.  It's like when you drive a fast looking car, you will be challenged by unsanctified drivers.

Because of Jesus and because of the good news you may suffer loss and be given back 100 times.

Who are these people who will receive many times over for their losses?  Is the average christian, you or me, one of them?  Jesus says that if you have to leave your house, or your family relationships, or your farm (your business or career), because of him and the good news (the gospel), that you will be paid back in an amount beyond imagining.

What does 100 times mean?

I believe that the "hundred times" or "many times more" means "beyond imagining".  I can imagine someone who lost their house for Jesus, for the gospel, because of God's call on their life, or because they became a disciple and left all to follow; I can imagine that person saying that their housing is now a hundred times better.  They might have a better situation in many different ways or world wide hospitality. 

It's not about getting rich but about abundance.

It's easy to imagine, if you have been a christian for any time, that if you leave family, you will get lots of new family in the church.  If you leave husband or wife, you will not get 100 new husbands or wives.  If you lose your house, for Jesus, for the gospel; Jesus words here do not promise you 100 houses.  What Jesus promises is that he will make it up to you a hundred times over.  That might mean many different things.

Compensation

Have you left farm, lands, or businesses to be a disciple?  Have you left position, career, or opportunity for Jesus?  You will receive compensation.

As a disciple, what is Jesus calling you to and away from?

Do these sayings of Jesus say that we are to leave everything when we follow him, including our families?  No.  Jesus is responding to the question about people who have left relationships or lost things because of him.  God's specific call to you may cause loss.  You may have to leave or others may leave you or you might miss job opportunities because you followed Jesus specific call to you.

Many who are last will be first.

If you feel the loss but don't see the hundredfold, remember Jesus' words of encouragement, "but many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first.”

If you have suffered loss, because of him, Jesus says that he will make it up to you, in this earthly life a hundred times over.  Here are some verses that illustrate this:

But this is precisely what is written: God has prepared things for those who love him that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven’t crossed the mind of any human being.
-1 Corinthians 2:9 (quoting Isaiah 64:4)

Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us.
-Ephesians 3:20

In That Day

In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.  Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.  I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.

In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf.
-John 14:20 & 16:23-26 (ESV)


"In that day", that Jesus spoke of, is today.  It is the time after Jesus went to the cross and died there, was buried and rose from the dead.  It is after the Holy Spirit came.  We are in that time now.

These words were personal words from Jesus, to his disciples.  They are also personal words for us, if we receive them, if we walk in them,  The Bible is full of, "if you will, this will happen", words.  We have God's will and testament in our hands, but the question is, will we execute it; will we carry it out?

If you hear God say, "in that day", then look at what he says will happen in that day, and realize you are not quite there, then you realize that God is giving you an invitation!  You just saw something on the menu that you have not experienced and you want to order it.  Or, it's like I found a page from my father's will, and I realize I don't have what my dad wanted to give me, so I am going to set about getting it.

So, I want to be in that day.  This is what I understand it to be:  It is the day when our Risen Savior and Ascended Lord makes us one with the Father as Jesus is.  Jesus' resurrection life is manifested in me so much, that I have no more questions. It is the day when I am living in Jesus name, and everything I could ask for is provided for in Christ in me.

The price has already been paid and the way has already been made for me to have this relationship with God, by Jesus.  The power or the help has already been sent by Jesus in the Holy Spirit.

Jesus also promises that "in that day", you will no longer have questions.  Have you noticed that the same people who had lots of questions in the gospels, seem to not have questions in Acts?  They now know it and do it.  It's a human thing to say, "I'm trying to figure this thing out".  We also come to conclusions, based on our limited knowledge, take action on them, and make mistakes.

God's way is to ask us to trust him with more of our hearts and let him guide and provide. (Proverbs 3:5-10)

The questions and the mysteries; the things that don't make sense no longer will bother us.  They don't matter anymore, because God has all of your heart.  When God has all of your heart, you understand everything.  It does not work the opposite way.  You can not give God more of your heart through understanding.  Understanding comes as we give God more of our hearts.  Critical, judgmental, condemning, negative, fearful, carnal, proud, and deluded; these are all failures in understanding from a heart that needs to trust God more.

Each one of us must not only receive Jesus' saving work on the cross into our hearts to be saved, but each one of us must go through the cross and receive resurrection life in our lives to live the life of Christ.  You might be able to get saved, by looking to Jesus on the cross and believing in him for saving you, and then not take it any further.  I say "might", because the Bible does not really teach this.  We are supposed to go on to maturity.  God's plan is for an abundant life for each Christian, but many do not want it.


We read Jesus' words about praying in his name and we do that, but we are not sure if it is working, because we are using his name more as a magic phrase than as he intended.  "In Jesus name", is about authority and relationship.  Maybe we should pause and say his name slower and let it come form our spirit man?  The authority of that name come from with God, in Christ. You are applying the power of the name above all names.

We must go to the cross and through the cross. 

Through the cross and your cross, you have identification with your savior and Lord.  The cross is not just the way on, but the way in.  The cross is a bridge, the way on.  The cross is also the way in to God.  Jesus made the new and living way, but we have to follow and be like our savior, taking up our own crosses.  We, of course, don't save our selves, but we must die to our selves to live to Him.

There is more to life than getting your prayers answered, there is more to life than getting answers to life's most vexing questions.  The Christian life is about God getting his way with a people and having them look like his son all over the world.  God is after having a people who will display his grace in the earth today.
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Footnote:  Some of my thoughts here were gleaned from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, May 28th, 29th, and August 6th entries on John 14:20, 16:23, & 26.