Thursday, February 29, 2024

Would You Ask This?

Would You Ask This?
by David Brenneman 

‭"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way." Psalms 139:23-24

In going through a study book by Dr. Charles Stanley on his 30 Life Principles, I think at the end of each so far he says: "Then spend some time in prayer, asking God to draw you into intimate communion with Himself and to transform your life so that you can affect the world for the sake of His kingdom."

What are you really wanting out of your life?  Many don't ask God for fear of what they think the answer might be.  So they create a path for themselves and call it a career...and wonder why it's so filled with stuff they never wanted out of life. 

We all do it.  We like sheep have gone astray...isn't that what the Bible says?

If we say otherwise we're calling God a liar.   We all are dealing with a sin nature that's relentless. Our sin nature doesn't turn off when we are asleep.  From the dreams that I have had that certainly were sin laced nightmares when compared to the Word of God...I have no doubts about how intertwined my sin nature is.  

To obey Jesus in our wanting to follow Him, He said to take up our own cross and follow Him. 

I've used this example before...and the visual that it produced to me decades ago still is with me.  An Easter service...watching the man portraying Jesus attempting to carry his cross.  There's nothing to hold onto but that cross.  There's a weight to it.  For us it's a weight of responsibility...and of our obedience. 

With all our being we're to take up this cross. With all our heart, mind, soul and spirit we hold onto it with our eyes ahead on Jesus.  

There's no time for other things to hold onto.  But we try. 

We are to be growing with respect to our salvation in Christ Jesus. 
We are in the process of sanctification.  This is the workmanship of Jesus Christ in and through us.  

People are never going to see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven if we aren't living life in such a way that it can be seen that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

It's a challenging prayer to pray.  To let go of those things that so easily entangle...isn't that what Paul wrote?  About the sin that easily entangles?  Sin always easily entangles...because our sin nature knows us better than we do. 

Not every stumbling block is Satan's fault nor is it the fault of his minions.  We are as susceptible to falling on our own as the Israelites were for the 80 years a few generations of them proved.

We have a sin nature that can not only push our buttons...but can play us like a concert piano...and we end up liking the music much to our own detriment!

As we go through this life...prayer isn't an option.  Prayer is a necessity.  Jesus, as the Bible says, often got away from EVERYONE, to be with His Father.  Scripture says He entrusted Himself to nobody.  His was to do the will of His Father. 

Yours is to do the will of your Father who is in Heaven.  You see it in the Lord's prayer He taught the Disciples.  The Lord's Prayer isn't to be a thing of monotony...just said over and over like some set of magic words.  Within its form and structure is found all that's important to guide a mind to the things that are important to God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  So don't repeat it for the sake of repeating it.  Same thing goes for Psalm 23.  

"Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from ev'ry sin and set me free."

This hymn by J. Edwin Orr hits on the same passage we opened with. 

Would you dare to pray this?  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.

Upon coming to Christ for salvation...our lives aren't about us. 

We're not going to know what needs to be let go of to carry that cross until we get honest with ourselves and our God. 

Jesus has a life in mind for us...not just life, but a life more abundant. 

You're never going to see it until you let go of it...think about that. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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