Thursday, June 2, 2011

MrsDrPoe: Bargaining with God

Good morning and happy Theology Thursday to all! I invite you all to open up your Bibles and to look at a couple of passages with me; today's thoughts stem from some recent study, as well as my daily Bible reading this week.

I've noticed recently in a lot of TV shows how much people (in general) attempt to bargain with God. This bargaining begins with these characters' knowledge that they aren't serving God to the fully capacity that they should be, and it goes a little something like this: "God, if you get this girl to like me, I'll be at services every Sunday," or "God, if you can get me this job, I'll pray every day."

Job 9:14-15 says, "How then can I answer Him and choose my words to reason with Him? For though I were righteous, I could not answer Him; I would beg mercy of my Judge." Job 10:15 says, "If I am wicked, woe to me; even if I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head. I am full of disgrace; see my misery!" Reading these verses made me think of the fact that we "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Rom 3:23) We all (even the most "righteous") deserve death and eternal punishment for sin, but God has shown us great mercy by sacrificing His Son so that we may have the opportunity to be forgiven of our sins. When we ask for things, we can't offer God lip-service for anything- we can only appeal to His merciful nature.

I was also reminded of Luke 9:57-62 where we see three "volunteer" followers of Christ, two of which try to put conditions on their discipleship. One says, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father;" another says, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." These statements look similar to those in the TV shows, right? Jesus answers the last man, "No one having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

We can't come to God on our own terms...we can only prostrate ourselves humbly before His throne as undeserving servants. We must empty ourselves of our pride and the things of this world and fill ourselves with the Word, becoming like Christ and "lov[ing] the LORD [our] God with all [our] heart, with all [our] soul, with all [our] strength, and with all [our] mind, and [our] neighbor as [ourselves]." (Luke 10:27) And as Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word...He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me." (John 14:23-24)

When we love the Lord and are faithful Him, we are promised that He will answer our prayers (Matt 21:22...more on this later). Even then we can't bargain with God, we can only appeal to His mercy.


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