Note: This is a meditation about God’s faithfulness.
I heard my pastor’s voice in my meditation time. He said (and says regularly) that
God is not faithful to us; He is faithful to His Word.
Over and over, I heard this in my head and heart. Consider a scenario.
When people disappoint us and we are in relationship with them, it hurts. We experience sadness, betrayal even, vulnerability, uncertainty about trusting, and maybe uncertainty about who is safe. Consider what we sometimes do. When disappointed we may open the scroll of all we did for them.
- We gave money without asking for it back…when we needed it!
- We shared time and other resources.
- We took a risk, opened up, drove all over town in support, helped build their dreams, etc.
- We outdid, outgave, out- everything’d them and they had the nerve to hurt us.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15: 7 (KJV)
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (ESV)
Jesus said if we abide in Him and His words abide in us, then whatever we ask for will be done for us.
The problem: our romanticized view of Jesus… our “chick-flick” touchy-feely, warm-and-fuzzy view of Jesus AND our expectations to get all we ask for without abiding and without His words in us.
When we proclaim God’s faithfulness, and then do not get what we asked for in prayer, do we open the scroll on Him?
- Lord, I gave sacrificially when I really needed/wanted to ________ with the money.
- Lord, I serve and donate when asked.
- Lord, I sacrifice for You……etc., etc., etc.
There’s a difference between abiding and cramming. Even backsliders and unbelievers recognize when they need supernatural help. They start gathering praying people and water walkers with great faith to help push them over. They realize they have made no spiritual investment over time and that the Lord’s words do not abide in them. They have no Word to draw on or to pull out of their hearts to apply.
As disciples of Jesus we also know when we cram for the result instead of abide in Christ. Cramming looks like anxiety, like reaching for the scriptures that fit, and declaring that the Word will not return void. Abiding means staying in Christ — mind, body, soul. Abiding takes time and practice. Abiding is learned behavior. Abiding is not mastered in a year or two. Our entire lives in Christ we learn to abide in Him in all things.
The faithfulness of God is less surprising when we keep in mind the power of His word and the value of His word to Him. When we get what we asked for, we realize that we did not luck up on it but that all the years of abiding shaped our prayer to offer Him our agreement. What we thought it was a “mature petition,” but we actually offered our agreement. We grew into a struggle-free submission and agreement with Him.
Agreement with God beyond the mental assent is the product of abiding in Jesus and Jesus’ words abiding — dwelling, living at home — in us. Let’s stop the strings, get out of our feelings, and move into a living faith. Let’s take our measure of faith and reset it on John 15:7. God is faithful to His Word.
Meditate on this and feel free to share in the comments what He reveals to you. Selah, and love to all.