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The Greatest Joy of God !!!!!!

07 Oct

This post comes from a Peanuts cartoon that I had filed away. Late one night, Linus is getting ready for bed. He appears to be deep in thought as he moves his hands in different positions. Lucy, his sister, comes into the room only to find Linus on his knees, praying.

“I think I’ve made a new theological discovery,” says Linus.

“What is it?”  Lucy asks.

“If you hold your hands upside down, you get the opposite of what you pray for!”

Before we laugh too quickly at Linus for his theological ignorance, maybe we should look at our own approach to prayer. How often do we come to the throne of grace thinking that God can be tricked or talked into giving us what we want? Far too many Christians think of God as hesitant and stingy when it comes to answering the prayers of His people. So we try to figure out clever ways of offering Him bribes or saying specific words as if they had magical powers to get God to give us what we want.

All prayer should begin with this fundamental belief: God’s greatest joy doesn’t come from making us do certain things but in meeting our needs.  God doesn’t need to be persuaded or forced (If it were possible) into blessing His people. God’s heart is filled with joy and delight in His children and He loves nothing more than to shower us with blessings far beyond what we can even comprehend. (Eph. 3:20). If you don’t believe this about our heavenly Father I doubt very seriously that you will come boldly to the throne of grace, if you come at all.

I have never doubted God’s motives in His treatment of me. I never have questioned that He had anything other than my best interests at heart, whether I have understood it completely, or not. There’s no getting around the fact that our confidence and joy in prayer is related directly  to how we think of the character of God. He really is our Father.

Jesus made the most of this truth and made a point of it to encourage His disciples to pray with confidence. “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent, or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?” (Luke 11:11-12). Not even the worst or meanest of fathers would so horribly mistreat their children. Even though we are evil, Jesus says, we will certainly come to help our children when they are in need. “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit [Matthew says “good things”; (Matt. 7:11) to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13).

The differences above are obvious. Our heavenly Father isn’t evil, but He is infinitely good. Our heavenly Father thinks only of how we might be blessed. Our heavenly Father isn’t limited in what He can do or is He short on resources to meet our needs. Just as the goodness of our heavenly Father exceeds that of our earthly father, so is His willingness to give us in answer to our prayers. Knowing this about God, shouldn’t our prayers be bold and constant and confident and expectant?

God is not a stranger who must be bullied into responding to the cries and requests of His children. He is not a self-serving bully who demands more works and greater deeds before He gives in to our petitions; and He isn’t a loving grandfather who can be tricked or flattered  into giving us what we know we shouldn’t have asked for in the first place. He is, instead, an infinitely wise God who knows what we need, an infinitely rich God who is never in short supply, an infinitely passionate God who rejoices in doing good for those He has redeemed, and an infinitely gracious God who is full of kindness, and mercy, and power.

Don’t make the mistake Linus did in thinking that your position or the proper placement of your hands or your just right words has any effect on the heart of God. He is a God who “waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you” (Isa. 30:18) What is he waiting on? “He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as He hears it, He answers you.” (Isa. 30:19).

 

Something to think about on this beautiful Tuesday.

 

Shalom, until tomorrow, Lord willing,

Levi

 
15 Comments

Posted by on October 7, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

Tags: , , , , ,

15 responses to “The Greatest Joy of God !!!!!!

  1. Nate

    October 7, 2014 at 4:42 am

    Great post levi. I’ve been away from wordpress way too much. I suspect that God’s greatest joy is more in line with being in a great relationship with his children (us), which is probably our biggest need.
    I find it sad that too many people unknowingly introduce the idea of magic, or manipulating God through prayer by teaching we need to do, x, y and z.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      October 7, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Hey Nate. I noticed you haven’t seen you lately. Welcome back. Many I’m afraid do look at prayer as a way of talking God into something. Be blessed brother!!!

      Like

       
  2. lulu

    October 7, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Thank you, Levi, for your daily reminders that God is always near.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      October 7, 2014 at 11:03 am

      My pleasure, Lulu. I enjoy it just as you do on your wonderful blog. Have a great day!!! 😀

      Like

       
  3. Julie Harris

    October 7, 2014 at 7:40 am

    What a beautiful reminder that we don’t have to have everything in proper order to come to Him…He meets us right where we’re at!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  4. Sharon

    October 7, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Great post. Very well said. I had often thought about what I should ask or talk to God about before praying and then it came to mind that as my kids were growing up they never hesitated to ask for anything. Sometimes they would not stop asking especially when shopping. It was my job as their parent to decide what they could/should have or not. Childlike confidence. I want to approach the throne of God with childlike confidence and trust that my Lord knows best what I need. Wonderful post Levi. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  5. Old Things R New

    October 7, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Sometimes prayer is my way of talking myself into God’s way.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      October 7, 2014 at 10:53 am

      And I believe this is a big part of what prayer is. “Thy will be done”. We must rest in His ultimate decision. Thanks for the great comment. 😀

      Like

       
  6. james1948

    October 7, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Reminds me of a story a preacher told a number of years ago.
    This pastor received a phone call from a church member he had not seen for a year or so. She said she was in the hospital and in a sad condition. She would like for the preacher to come visit her.

    When he arrived she said pray for my recovery and I will be faithful in church every sunday. He prayed and she recovered and was faithful for 5 sundays and then was not seen anymore.

    A year later this pastor received a call and the same woman was in the hospital and wanted him to come and pray for her recovery with the promise, again of faithfulness. Once again the pastor prayed and she recovered and was faithful 3 sundays.

    Sometime later this pastor received the same call from the same lady and his response to her was – I will not lie to God again.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  7. johnmarkmiller

    October 7, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Great thoughts! Sometimes we feel like we need to be walking perfectly with the Lord in order to pray, but He wants to hear from us at all times. Thanks to you and Linus for the reminder this morning!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  8. Elaine

    October 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks for the great reminder this morning!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  9. David C. Hughes, Writer

    October 10, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Great post, Levi! Good reminder that God isn’t a genie we control and manipulate–He’s our Daddy, and what good Daddy isn’t going to graciously respond to His kiddos? We may not always like the answers but God’s response is always for our own good. Be blessed, brother, and be safe.

    Like

     

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