Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'll Have the Stone with a Side of Serpent

Do you ever have one of those weeks where it's almost feels like the Holy Spirit just got tired of dropping subtle hints and decided to bring out the big guns? Well, this has been one of those weeks for me. There's a particular issue that's real been driven home to me lately.

This issue keeps popping up in my devotions, in my reading, in sermons and random videos I run into. Basically, I've been convicted about the fact that my actions doesn't complete match the God I claim to serve. I believe God to be omnipotent, sovereign and almighty. I also believe Him to be kind, generous and benevolent. Yet, it's recently occurred to me that my prayers don't match my beliefs.

Jesus said something very astonishing. In fact, His statement is so earth-shattering that many preachers spend most their time trying to look for the fine print. Christ said,

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:7-11)

This is an awesome claim. It describes a generous Father who delights in giving good things to His children. But then I realized something tragic. I have a tendency to ask for serpents and stones because I trust God to handle those. Maybe if I'm feeling really spiritual I'll ask for a Ritz cracker or a little goldfish. But nothing too "ridiculous". After all, I don't want to ask too much from God.

I seem to only ask God for things that I'm pretty well convinced He would do anyway. Rarely will I pray for things that could only happen if God did them. I've realized that I need to make my prayers God-sized. I mean, if I really believe that God is so big and so generous, why don't my prayers match His character? So, why shouldn't I ask for more Christ-likeness? Why should I ask for greater things for my church and family? Why shouldn’t I plead more earnestly for people's souls?

The sad thing is that I just know my Daddy's so very eager to give good things. Isn't that what the passage says? Because God is infinitely powerful and infinitely generous, we can never exhaust the riches of His gifts. There’s nothing I could ask for that is outside of my Father’s limits to give. Oh, that our prayers would better reflect the greatness of our God!

Granted, this doesn't mean that He'll give us anything we want, but He will always give us what's best. Another problem is that we're so carnally minded that we sometimes can't recognize bread when we see it. We ask for serpents and then get upset when He gives us fish.

But my point is that we should be bolder in asking our Daddy for good things. Why should we hesitate to ask for things that only He can give? As Jesus said, even earthly fathers are diligent to give their children the very best that they can. Our Daddy delights giving us good things. Let’s purpose to give Him the delight of hearing us ask for God-size gifts.

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