I heard something yesterday that has caused me to re-think my prayer life. In fact, my attitude towards life in general.
I love asking questions … especially when talking to God. Sometimes this is good and bad. I get annoyed though when my questions keep going unanswered. I’ve learned though it’s not that God isn’t speaking / giving me an answer, I’m just too “noisy” to hear the answer. I don’t take time to wait and listen for His answer … I just keep plugging away at asking questions. This is a cycle I need to break off … in not getting answers, I get depressed and doubt begins to creep in … I’m not a patient person, and I want answers now, not tomorrow. I know, though, that through this, God is teaching me to wait upon Him, to enjoy the silence, to calm myself with His presence, and listen to His voice. Believe me, this is not a lesson I enjoy or welcome … but I know it’s one that I need to learn. In asking questions, I really do want to know and walk in His answer.
So yesterday was an “answer-day” for me. A very good, and encouraging “answer-day”.
It started with having a friend speak some wisdom into my life about what God is doing and wants to do in my life (and my wife’s). This helped shed light onto a lot of (seemingly) un-answered questions.
Then, while at work, I listened to a talk by Louie Giglio. (Now many might be thinking, “Oh man, not another talk by Giglio.” Trust me, I don’t get paid to endorse him … though I may be a bit obsessed with him, God has used Louie to speak into my life MANY times throughout my faith journey. I consider him someone to model my life and passion for God around. So yeah, I’m a Giglio-groupie … deal with it 🙂 )
Anyways, I was listening to Louie speak about this small phrase we all say – one time or more – while praying to God: “Father, bless me”. Now, the phrase isn’t wrong in of itself, but let’s think about what we’re asking and what we’re forgetting. As Giglio contends, God has blessed us … so are we blessing Him?
Like me, many Christians forget who we are in Christ, and more importantly, what we have in Christ. Tough times come, and our faith gets shaken. We forget Who holds all things together (Colossians 1:17) and Who has overcome the situation, giving us the victory even before we enter into it (John 16:33, Romans 8:37).
There’s an old hymn called “Count Your Blessings.” Honestly, I think this song is cheesy (maybe it’s the tune). But, it offers a challenge many of us forsake to take hold of. Do we realize how blessed we are, as Christians, as children of Almighty God? Each day, whether good or bad, do we take time to thank God for His “already-given” blessings; or do we go about forgetting about them, focusing on what we don’t have rather than what we do have?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places …
God has already blessed us with everything we need, in Christ. We lack nothing. It’s ours for the taking. It’s ours to live in. If you are a child of God – if you have called upon Christ as your Lord and Savior – then every blessing God has promised in scripture belongs to you … it belongs to me … it belongs to all of God’s children. This is a reality that we must walk in – daily.
2 Peter 1:3-4
His (God’s) divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
We are a blessed people. In Christ, we have received the blessings of: forgiveness, new life, redemption, mercy, grace, Love, the Holy Spirit, adoption, hope, a future, an inheritance, eternal life … just to name a few things!
So maybe, we (including myself) need to stop asking “God bless me” and start saying “Father, thank You for Your blessings. Help me to use them to bless You“.
God has given us all things for His glory and purpose – not our own. Every blessing you have received is not a right but a gift; and they are gifts we need to offer back to God as expressions of our love and gratitude for Him. We do this by living our lives for His glory and renown.
He has given us all we need; therefore, He is all we need. Be blessed. You are blessed!