Technological Retardation, Quick Fixes, God and Your Greatest Desiress
Ok, so I was trying to think of what to write today and I’ve been working on creating a personal financial support page through e3. I can’t figure it out… argghhh!!! Being a typical male, I don’t ask for directions; therefore, I just press out on my own and figure it out. I guess that maybe I want the satisfaction of figuring it out myself. Or maybe its fumbling through the numerous help menus or the emails to the help desk, with no quick fix in sight, that drive me crazy? Or maybe its having to wait to get the right person on the phone? Shouldn’t they be at my every beckon call? Do you sense some frustration here?
Well, I really think that the problem is my technology retardation… ehem… technological challengedness. That accompanied with my I-need-it-right-now-American-cultural-upbringing that causes me to… Question, have you ever cussed? Oh, me neither. Anyway, once I figure some particular pattern of technology out, I can usually figure out any other technologies that run by the same computer language or similar technology. But it usually takes me hours just to figure it out before I have to ask for help. That USUALLY happens. But not today. Today I figure out on my own.
For the rest of us, who aren’t technological gurus, isn’t that similar to how we often approach our relationship with God. Life’s busy. I have plans. I need dreams to come to fruition now! I need to figure out the quick fix for my marriage, friend, family, business, etc… now!
WAYS THAT GOD SPEAKS TO US
Did you know that God mainly speaks through 4 main ways? He speaks through the bible. This is His main way of speaking to us. Its the measuring stick for all other ways that He speaks (2 Timothy 3:15-17). In other words, you can test whether God is speaking to you in any other way besides the bible, by reading and knowing the scriptures.
THE BIBLE: I know, I know. Some of you are saying, “but Scott the bible is so hard to read and figure out.” I know. Sometimes it can be just downright boring and tedious. Like a help menu? Come on admit it. Have you ever been frustrated by Jesus’ parables. There’s been times when I’ve wanted Jesus to just shoot it strait and quit using analogies that I don’t understand. In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened”
Some people take these verses to mean that God is going to give you exactly what you want when you seek it and ask for it. Well, to those, who claim this, I agree and disagree with you. Here’s how I agree with you. Pslam 37:4 says it all: Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
The thing is Jesus rarely wants you to give you the quick answer. When you seek you must seek after God (Jesus) not after the promotion, that perfect mate, that perfect house, the six figure salary,etc… So in some ways this is also how I disagree with those who interpret these verse to mean that God will give you what you want, when you want. Its not that God doesn’t want you to have good things. He’s fine with that if its going to work in His plan. But He’s a gazillion times more concerned with you seeking him out. And when you do that, it can take time and effort. Then He starts to change and conform your heart to His. So that whatever God wants becomes what you want. And believe me, there is no quick fix in all of this.
GOD SPEAKING THROUGH OTHER CHRISTIANS: God also speaks through Christians. You mean those hypocrites? Yes, I mean even them, which we can all be from time to time. Some of you may be thinking, “If I tell them that I need help here, then their view of me is going to go down the tube.” This is often my thought, as a person who relies on financial support for his ministry and living. Find a safe Christian, who realizes that perfection, outside of God’s grace, is a myth, no matter how high your standing is in the Christian community. I have a Christian or two that I confide in when I run into a problem that I can’t solve, which I’ve usually created. Or at least I call them up when I get the guts up to ask them for help. This is a problem of mine. I admit.
GOD SPEAKING THROUGH CIRCUMSTANCES: God speaks through circumstances. Everyone loves this one and claims this one. You know what I’m saying here… like, “Hey I saw a shooting star last night and my church basketball mascot is the Shooting Stars. So basically God told me, through that shooting star, that we are going to win the game. Or better yet, we are going to become a pro team!” Well, in case you think that God doesn’t speak through crazy random acts and details read my blog article called “Stories from Nicaragua: Making Disciples makes us greater Disciples” (under my mission’s blog categories)
So I do believe that God can speak to us through seemingly random or extraordinary circumstances. But you need to search your heart and the scriptures deeply on this one. If you’re claiming that God is leading you to have an affair “because this was really my soulmate that I never knew and I heard a song last night called ‘soul mate’ “, then you can pretty much count that one out. The scriptures are very clear that adultery is never condoned by God. He would never lead you that way. Sometimes we just want things so bad because we think they are going to fix things or help us to escape some pain. If you sense any of this type of motivation as having the tiniest bit of a factor in you hearing God speaking to you through some circumstance, then that is probably not God’s will or His voice you are hearing. So search your heart and the scriptures before you decide that God is speaking to you through some circumstance.
GOD SPEAKS THROUGH PRAYER: It was the end of the summer between my senior year in High School and freshman year in college. I had already pledged to a fraternity. As a Christian, I wouldn’t necessarily advise this. But I was going to live in the house with the brothers and other pledges. Basically I was getting ready to live in the midst of Sodom and Gomorrah. Again not the best plan. What was I thinking? Would I be beer bonging for Jesus? (ok, I could’ve been in it to try to reached some lost people. But that wasn’t my motivation. So severe sarcasm intended)
So I decided to pray for at least one Christian friend. I guess God had mercy on me, in-spite of my poor decision. When I walked up to my room that was pre-assigned to me, I noticed that my room mate, whom I didn’t know yet, had already set up camp, so to speak. He had a couple of pictures on our dresser. I had never seen him before. And his bed was already made. On top of his perfectly straightened bed was a Bible! After I met him and asked him about it, Pat told me that he put it there so that whoever his room mate was going to be, that’d be me, would know that he was a Christian. Hence, God speaks through prayer!
Pray, pray, pray. Make time. The more you do it, the more you’ll find yourself delighting in the Lord and the more you’ll find Him giving you the desires of your new heart. If you keep spending energy seeking out God, you’ll find yourself talking to Him and hearing from Him even when you’re not trying to spend energy focusing on Him. But it takes time and energy to get into the habit. Seek Him out, Knock on His Door , Ask Him for things/situations that you want and watch your relationship grow with him.
The bottom line is that God is not very interested in the quick fix. Sure he’ll give you some things and help you out in some areas. But He wants a relationship with you first and foremost. And it takes time and energy to foster any kind of relationship. He just doesn’t want to be an acquaintance either. He wants a deep personal relationship with you like a brother or a father. So He’s not always going to give you what you want the first time you ask Him. And He’s not going to always give you the straight forward answer or story upfront. He wants your energy, your focus and especially your heart before he delivers on His promise in Matthew 7:7-8.
Oh yeah, and don’t give up because you’re not getting something you want. I tend to do this and then try to strike out on my own. I hate to admit it. But I kinda tell God, “If you’re not going to help me here, then I’ll figure out by myself.” We need him above anything. Besides when I strike out on my own I always come back to the conclusion of: What’s the point without God?
All for Jesus,