How hard can it be?

2Pe 1:3
His (God’s) divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.

Mat 11:28-30
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Here we go! I guess that it is about time I got myself in trouble again; I haven’t had many people shouting at me recently.

Too many times I have heard and read the sentiment,”being a Christian isn’t easy”. OK, so I understand what they are trying to get at, I think, but as a statement, “being a Christian isn’t easy” is actually untrue. Well it is certainly unscriptural.

The first verse above tells us that God has given us everything for life and godliness. Now, before you question me on the exact meaning of this I went to the Greek and did an exhaustive study on the word ‘everything’. I am pleased to be able to tell you that after hours of study what ‘everything’ actually means is -‘Everything’

Yes that is right, God has given us everything to live godly lives. Do you think that if God gives you something it is fit for purpose? That it works? That it is more than sufficient? I do. The issue is not whether God has given it- the issue is whether we receive it.

You see, I believe that when people say that it is difficult to live the Christian walk, I believe that they are actually saying that they are finding it difficult to do in their own strength. Some people don’t seem to have any difficulty at all. That is because they are not doing it alone. They have read this verse, they have read Matt 11:28-30 and they have taken these scriptures on board, believed them, absorbed them into their thinking until they can’t think otherwise.

God’s yoke is light. His burden is easy. His provision supplies everything.

Can you agree with this today? Maybe not.

Would it be easy to have a go at me? To say that I am being unreasonable? Even condemning? Maybe yes.

However I am not.

I am being scriptural. Before you disagree with me would you meditate on these two passages of scripture? 2Peter 1:3 and Matt 11:28-30. Would you think on how you can raise your experience to the high standard of the Word rather than comparing the Word to the level of your experience?

Would you thank God for all that He has made available to you and would you tell Him that you are now ready to receive? Would you be prepared to hand over your struggles to Jesus in return for His light and easy yoke?

Jesus often said let those that have ears hear. He meant that sometimes just listening to something doesn’t mean that we hear it. We have to listen and meditate for it to drop into our thinking. When we have ears to hear, or the space, capacity and interest to think about something, ideas that we have ‘heard’ before can suddenly become real to us. That is when we have truly ‘heard’ them.

Before you shout at me about how ‘hard’ being a Christian can be, please have listen first and see if you can hear these scriptures. Then, drop me a line.

All The Best,

Roarke.

Many Days, A Full Life, And Well-being

Do you think that sometimes you may be guilty of asking God to do things for you that are actually your responsibility?

I know that I have.

Reading through Proverbs 3 highlights this as an issue.  In this post I am only looking at 2 verses however pretty much every verse in this chapter backs up this assertion.  We ask God for stuff that is actually our responsibility!

Lets look at scripture:

My son, don’t forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commands;
for they will bring you
many days, a full life, and well-being.

 

I have heard prayers for peace.  I have heard prayers for living long, happy healthy lives.  I have heard prayers asking God to do this for His children.  But, here I read that the length of my days, the fullness of my life, and my well-being are dependant, not on God, but on my remembering.  On my keeping.

‘Don’t forget my teaching’ presupposes something.  That I have bothered to learn the teaching in the first place.  I do this by reading the bible, praying, listening to sermons and reading teaching blogs!

‘Let your heart keep my commands’ means that when I have read and learnt what God is teaching me through His Word I actually put it into practice.  I think about it, I make my choices based on what I know God would have me do and I live according to those choices.

If I do this, then shall come ‘many days, a full life, and well-being.’  So a better prayer would be to ask God for deeper understanding of His Word, for greater conviction to live as He declares.  That is a prayer that He can answer, indeed we read elsewhere that it is a prayer He will not ignore when prayed with sincerity.

As we pray this type of prayer the by-product is our well-being.  This type of prayer gets to the root of our needs and desires so that out of the abundance of truth in our lives springs the fruit.

You know how Jesus taught in parables to get an idea across with a picture? Let me try here…

I am sure that you have heard the adage, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for life”.  Too often we pray for a fish, the quick and easy answer, when actually if we spent some time learning to fish we wouldn’t need to ask again because we could provide for ourselves.

We go to the supermarket to buy fruit and veg when we could go to the garden centre and buy the seeds.  It takes longer to grow your own, it takes effort and discipline, but when the time comes, you can reap a much larger harvest and feed yourself for longer and cheaper than the store.

So it is with us.  We can spend an hour in church, at a prayer meeting, in our home group, praying that God will answer our simple and honest prayer and then go on about our lives.  Or we can switch off the TV, lock ourselves away with His Word, spend time in His Presence and reap the rewards ourselves.

So, let me go back to the original question that I asked.  Do you think that sometimes you may be guilty of asking God to do things for you that are actually your responsibility?  How about in your next quiet time, you think about the things that you have been praying for, you spend some time looking through scripture, and seeing whether your prayer is one that God can answer for you, or whether you need to change your prayer. To ask for help in gaining wisdom and understanding, patience and guidance and then watching your life develop as you take on the role that you should take allowing God to fulfil the role that He has promised.

I know that I am going to try.