I am pleased to introduce a guest post by brother Bruce Cooper, one the brethren filling in for me while I am busy preparing for a family wedding. Bruce’s writes regularly on his blog Reasoned Cases For Christ. Bruce majors in apologetics and defending the faith, with frequent Bible Studies, all of which I have found instructive and a blessing to me. I would recommend following Bruce’s blog to anyone who is seeking Biblical instruction. Here is Bruce’s post for you today.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
“Be careful for nothing”, or as the NIV says “but in every situation”.
Do you remember the scripture verse where Jesus says “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20 NIV).
That means to eat a meal together. Having a meal with someone in the New Testament times meant a lot more than it does today. When you ate a meal at someone’s home in New Testament times you basically guaranteed their safety, you washed their feet, you provided water so that they could cleanse their hands before eating and you shared your food with them. It was a bonding, an intimate one on one by the host and others who had been invited to share a meal. They didn’t use knives and forks like we now do, bread served the purposes of a spoon and sometimes as a plate. Food was served in a common bowl and eaten with the hands. This is what Jesus says He will do with those of us that open the door for Him. It’s an intimate bonding between Him and us and us and Him. It’s personal, highly personal and it’s been designed to work that way.
If I was to paraphrase the lead verse of this post I would state it as follows, “don’t hold back on anything but in every situation that you encounter within your life, with thankfulness that He hears you, make your requests known to God”.
Does God need you to tell Him the things that you need His guidance on? Obviously not, He knows perfectly well how this relationship is designed to work, He designed it, this is all to bring YOU into awareness that He cares for you and can be depended upon to give you guidance for each problem or area of need that you have. EVERY THING, things you would like to understand, things that you need His help with, ambitions, fears, hurts, you name it. Nothing is too trivial, nothing.
Notice that you start your requests with thanksgiving, That means that you believe that He hears you, you trust that He will honor His word, that He will respond to you.
Hebrews 11:6 NIV “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Too often many people and even some Christians have the mistaken idea that what we once heard on Sunday at Church about what Jesus said and what we do the rest of the week, at home, at work or at play, are two different realities. I’ve heard it stated that “well that is all well and good but what does that have to do with reality?” The answer to that question is quite simply, “everything”.
Too often those who are seeking to know if God is real, come with a list of preconditions or presuppositions that they want Him to adhere to. In other words, they want God, if He is real, to fit within the box that they have created. Too often we come with our ideas of how He should be, of how He should reason, of what He accepts or rejects. I can understand the reasoning for that logic but it doesn’t work that way. God is God and the long and the short of it is that His values are what take precedence, His will is the rule and His objectives will be accomplished. Some take lightly the record of Adam and Eve in the Bible but the reality of that situation is that, this is where mankind basically said to God, we will decide our way, we will decide what is right and what is wrong. Take a good hard look at the world that we live in today and tell me how you think that is working out for us.
Psalm 37:5 KJV “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
Remember that Jesus said that He was the way (John 14:6 KJV “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”)
This is where His way becomes our way. This is the goal or the end state that we need to honestly have. This is the true desire of our heart. If we want to know if God is real, this is ground zero, this is where it all begins. Rather than demanding that our own determinations are ultimately supreme we are willing to look at His perspective, His conditions, His prerequisites. All it takes is a willingness to honestly look, to honestly consider.
When we first begin to make our requests to God our faith in Him may be weak but it will grow because He will answer some of what you ask of Him, in different ways and at different times. We will become more sensitive to how He responds to us, an inner witness of His presence begins to make itself known and we’ll find that our requests for guidance will change as His path for us begins to take form.
Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus, coming to know Him and trust Him, coming to depend upon Him and believe in Him and what He has done for us. It’s one on one and it is personal.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!