Thursday, May 19, 2011


I was not sure if I wanted to share this or not, but I decided to do so because I think it has the potential to benefit others in their walk with Christ.

Something I have been struggling with recently concerns two aspects of the Christian life which appear to have tension with one another.  It is prayer and contentment.  Without turning this into a very long blog I will state the issue plainly.
If I am called to be content in this life no matter what I face, how can I ever pray for something I want changed without falling into discontentment?
I am very pressed for clarification concerning this matter because my wife has cancer and I struggle often with prayer for things like healing or longer life.  I say this because I do not want anyone to think that I am just sitting in an ivory tower trying to work out every aspect of the Christian life, but am experiencing God through the many trials that He has placed in my life, and through those trials, my faith is being made stronger and stronger.  I have thought long and hard on this subject and have come to many realizations along the way, but it wasn't until I emailed a gentleman I know and asked him the question that I truly realized a greater truth that will affect my entire Christian life as long as I walk planet Earth.

The Bible is filled with what is called 'paradoxes'.  Because of this it may be impossible to explain the tension created between these two truths in question but it is rooted in the fact that God is God (absolutely sovereign) yet is personal.  We ought to recognize that this tension exists and that it is okay.  It is in the Bible and we can live with these valid realities.

I knew the truth that paradoxes existed in the Bible and was okay with them prior to this conversation, but the Lord really has opened my eyes to see the great importance of knowing this and living out both valid realities at the same time.  Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane manifested this dichotomy, "remove this cup, yet your will be done".  Even in Heaven it seems there is some kind of unrest or a sense of a lack of fulfillment till the very end does come.  Rev 6:10  says, 'and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord..."'

The answer to my question is simple really.  I must be careful to be, in my prayers, scriptural and if it is something non-scriptural, to be submitted in my attitude toward my requests.

Mark 14:35-36 came alive when I re-read it after realizing this.  It says, 
And he went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by.  And He was saying, "Abba! Father!  All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will."
 The phrase, 'All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me' is not Jesus making a theological statement so the hearers near him would know that he understood God's sovereignty, before he asked for something, but was actually the basis for his asking.  He is about to ask God to change circumstances and so he tells God that God can do ANYTHING and because of this He can save mankind without having Jesus die.  Anything at all.  And yet, Jesus' will is submissive to God's will and upon realizing that God was choosing no other way, he goes to the cross to die, just the way God desired.  Jesus didn't come to the cross because there was no other way.  Jesus went to the cross because God didn't want it any other way.  God can do anything, come and ask Him whatever you desire.  Just be sure your submitted in your attitude.

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