Matthew 7 v 7
“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide and seek game we’re in.”
So when I pray for something (If I actually get round to actually praying rather than talking about it, resolving to do it, thinking how good it would be to do it etc etc) I usually start off trying to talk God into being on my side by explaining why I need what I need and why despite my obvious faults it would be better for everyone concerned if God actually came through for me. Blah blah.
I really love this translation of Matthew 7. First of all it makes it clear that the Christian life is for grown ups. This is not a game. We are meant to be straight with God as he is with us. What do I need? What keeps me awake with worry? Whose story have I heard that I have no power to change myself? Who do I love so much that I want to commit them to God’s care? How do I deal with that impossible situation? Apparently it is simple – I need to ask God.
So then what happens?
If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for a fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?
I don’t want to go all mega church about this but – do I dare do this? Do I dare live this? I think this is flippin MASSIVE. If I could live like this all the time, where as I asked God for my needs, he then responds as he promises to – as someone who has my best interests at heart – and someone who is able.
This has really challenged me this week and also made me feel a lot jollier. Do you ever think that when we finally meet God, he will say “It was all meant to be so much easier for you. I told you what to do, I told you how loved you were and you would never listen.” I’m thinking it may just be me and you have this sorted. It wouldn’t be the first time that I was just one step behind. Never mind eh?