Thursday, September 26, 2013

Act or Drop Everything?

For He [God] seems to do nothing of Himself which He can possibly delegate to his creatures. He commands us to do slowly and blunderingly what He could do perfectly in the twinkling of an eye. He allows us to neglect what He would have us do, or to fail. Perhaps we do not fully realize the problem, so to call it, of enabling finite free wills to co-exist with Omnipotence. It seems to involve at every moment almost a sort of divine abdication. ~ C. S. Lewis

You feed them... How much bread do you have? ~ Jesus

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. ~ Luke 18:1

Journaling has been a part of my life going all the way back to high school. Last week I unpacked a box of them that dated back to the turn of this century and took some time to peruse them. I came away reminded of a couple of difficulties we all experience as we seek to remain engaged in God's purposes, and staying in sync with His will versus ours...

Remember how Jesus miraculously multiplied a few loaves of bread and dried fish to feed thousands? Before he did, though, he sent his disciples out among the famished crowds to collect what scant victuals would be needed to do so. What if they had said, "No."

Another time Jesus pressed home the point that they should always pray and never give up, and told the story of a penniless widow who trudged before a cold-hearted judge day-after-day. Relentlessly, she  petitioned (nagged) him until she got what he alone could provide. Jesus was clear--the heavenly Father is not a cold-hearted judge, but neither is He at the beck and call of His people to immediately and actively respond to their every request. That raises the question--had the penniless widow just sat at home, rather than sitting at the feet of the judge imploring him to act, would she have found relief?

Do we take action or drop everything and rely on prayer alone?

When do we discontinue praying and take-up action? You know, do the necessary leg work, keep plugging away, find the bread, and then see what God does with our sanctified sweat equity?

When do we discontinue action and take-up praying, alone? You know, drop everything, keep asking, and refuse to take "no" for an answer?

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