We all profess to want to be close to God and what God is doing. And we all have an easier time of seeing our trouble than God's provision. But we get caught in our uncertainty, our doubt and our lack of faith and say what David did ... "O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble? (Ps. 10:1)." I have said both of these things without listening for God's answer. Today, I am going to try to hear the wind of the Spirit and the whisper Elijah heard from the cave. What I seem to be hearing is this:
1) When I ask God, "What are you doing?" I hope I am open to a quest for truth. It IS a really good question, if we really want God's answer. As I write this, God seems to be conversing with me, asking "Why do you want to know? Do you really want to know what I am doing or do you just want knowledge? Are you asking because you are genuinely interested in joining me in what I am doing?" WOW, God is challenging and profound. I need to examine my motives and I guess I need to decide if I want God's truth. "Lord, why do you make this so hard?"
2) When I ask God "Where can I join in?" do I want to join as a partner, co-worker or representative? God is asking me, "What kind of relationship are we in?" "When my Son, Jesus walked on the earth, He said, 'Follow Me.' Are you all into that?" I think God gets a lot of advice and help from those of us who want a 'friend in Jesus.' I wonder if we have lost the concept of God as 'Lord of all' in the process? When God shows me what He is doing and I ask how to join in, do I qualify my response? What if God is working somewhere difficult or dangerous? What if God blesses where I am working and I say, "Sorry ... I 'feel' uncomfortable."? Do I want God's real answer?
3) When I ask, "How can I offer myself to be used?" do I become what the Scripture calls a 'living sacrifice' or do I ask God to give assurances of success, affirmation for my ego and safety to help my fear? I confess that I, too often, water down God's ability to use me because I only want to be used where I feel good, get rewarded or feel safe. I offer myself within my comfortable context. Is that what God meant when Jesus said, "Follow me?" Is this what Paul meant when he said, "Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice?" Do I want God's answer?
So back to David's question ... "O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble? (Ps. 10:1)." I believe one reason we seem distant from God is that we don't really want to know what He is doing. We want God to join us and we offer a meager, watered-down version of ourselves for God to use. Maybe we should reconsider the truthfulness of some of those old songs like "I Surrender All," "Where He Leads Me I Will Follow" and "I Am Thine O Lord." How about we sing (instead) "I Surrender Some," "Where He Leads Me I Will Consider" and "I Am Mine O Lord." "God ... what are you doing? Where can I join in? How can I offer myself to be used?" Great questions! But do we really want to know the answer? Randy