Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Seeking Heart

We live at the risk of too much rationalization. People like to argue and debate over the spiritual things of God. So they never pause to really soak it in, listen, and believe.

Nowadays I am becoming more cautious about praying certain seemingly ‘outrageous’ prayers too. I tend to brush it at the back of my mind for a while. Somehow, it isn’t as easy to go to God and ask for His help anymore. I feel incredibly sad at the thought. It is not that I don’t want to ask God, it is more like I’ve forgotten that I could. And I can.

Faith is a gift of God. No one can say, “I have great faith because I can somehow muster up great faith.” No, faith is a gift of God. We each begin our journey of faith by the miracle of God Himself first giving us the ‘measure of faith’ to believe in Him and His word.

“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Romans 12:3

Perhaps one of the scary things about growing up is the beginning of our ever-decreasing faith in God. The ‘reality’ of the world caves in on us and we struggle to go to God and ask Him to save us! Even when I do, there’s usually something holding me back, and I misguidedly think that God cannot really save me.

When the ‘carefree’ days of childhood are over, it’s harder to believe that God really answers prayers because our minds are often blocked by our own clever rationalizations. Without even considering going to God, we plunge into the problem and try to figure it out ourselves. No wonder the world’s a mess. It’s not a child’s world.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16

The adults were hindering the kids from coming to Jesus. They probably thought, “Nah, these kiddos wouldn’t be able to grasp Jesus’ teachings.” They thought they were clever and the kids wouldn’t understand. Yet time and again, Jesus spoke in parables, and not many understood. People try to figure out the Bible intellectually, with all their age-old philosophy and clever ideas. But it never works. Faith is a gift of God. Jesus didn’t call for the wisdom of the world in order for one to receive Him and enter the Kingdom of God. He called for the simple, yet great, faith of a child.

He called for a seeking heart.

Not a knowledgeable brain filled with great rationalizations and worldly wisdom. Not a righteous man with many good works to show for. Jesus called for a seeking heart of a child. Eager to receive, quick to listen, ready to learn – with a measure of faith to pray seemingly unthinkable, outrageous prayers that all the more God will answer to show His power to those whose hearts are seeking Him.

But as we all get older, we get caught up with pursuing the things that draw us further from the still, small voice of God. The light fades dimmer and dimmer until we no longer even realize that we actually no longer truly believe that God is able. I wrote a poem yesterday and one of the stanzas read,

‘Success is often short-lived
Riches ultimately meaningless
Beauty inevitably temporal
& Philosophy often faithless’

I looked up at the stars one night and in a moment of lucidity, realized with shame that,

“My great God is not limited by the four walls of my home,
Nor by the four walls of the church or by any other building!
His majesty surpasses even the clouds and the sky above
His power goes beyond my faults, fears & failures
My awesome God is not limited by the opinions of this world
His grace and truth is not caged by the doubts and unbelief of men
His peace surpasses all understanding
And who am I, a tiny good-for-nothing in His marvelous universe, to not believe that He is able???”

Then I am reminded of the man, whose son was tormented by an evil spirit, who said to Jesus,

“If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“’If you can?’” Jesus replied. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Immediately the man exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:21-24

Jesus is saying the same to us. Don’t just pray, “If You can, you can help me.” We must pray that same prayer of the man who exclaimed, God, I do believe, I want to believe; so help me overcome my unbelief!

Carpe diem,

1 comment:

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