Thursday, August 11, 2011

You Got Questions? He's Got Answers! (Part 1)

Any Family Guy viewers out there? I know, I know... it's not the most wholesome show on the planet (sometimes I wonder what the writers were thinking) but thanks to my husband's prodding, I watch it (ok, and almost kinda like it) on occasion. Brandon and I constantly joke about the scene in which Stewie is trying to get Lois' (his mom) attention. For all of you non-viewers, it goes a lil something like this:

Stewie: "Mom. Mom. Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Momma! Momma! Momma! Momma! Momma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Mom! Mom! Mom!"

Lois: "WHAT!?!?!"

Stewie: "Hi!" [runs out of room]

Kind of reminds me of our puppy Justus who will squeak his toy in your face until you acknowledge him, but then runs away satisfied simply by being acknowledged. Pay attention to meeeeeeeee! We can do the same thing of God... ask, ask, ask... and He will acknowledge us.

That brings us to the first part of Luke 11:9 "Ask and it will be given to you." The great part about God is that he isn't annoyed when we act like Stewie/Justus... He gives, no INVITES, us to ASK anything. Ask and it will be given to you. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that all your prayers will be answered tomorrow the way YOU want. "Dear Lord, make me a millionaire." Poof! Yeah, not so much. Why? Because yes, he always answers, but gives us what is BEST for us, not what we think we WANT (more on that tomorrow.)

Today while praying during quiet time CRAVE at church, God led me to Matthew 7:7-8... I looked it up in the Message version of the Bible and realized later that it was the "ask, seek, knock" verse. (Talk about divine guidance, because I honestly wasn't looking for it.) Matthew 7:7-8 (MSG) says "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." Instead, He invites us to ask anything, as often as we wish, with a childlike faith knowing that eventually we will get an answer.
3 yr old Son: "Daddy, where are we going?" 
Dad: "We are going to the grocery store, son." 
Son: "Why?"
Dad: "Because Mommy asked us to get some milk & eggs." 
Son: "Why?"
Dad: "Because she is making a cake." 
Son: "Why?"
Dad: "Because Grandma is having a birthday." 
Son: "Why?"
Dad: "Because as people grow up they get older and celebrate birthdays." 
Son: "Why?"
Dad: "Honey, why don't you look out the window?"
Son: "Why?"
Dad: "Because I said so!!"
Son: "Why?"

You get the point. But with our Father, He doesn't get frustrated with our repeated inquiries, and with Him there are no dumb questions. My friend Kayla and I once joked about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit chillin' up in heaven, watching their favorite show: JFV (Jesus' Funniest Videos). Can't you imagine them cracking up at the ridiculous things we do here on earth because we failed to listen or ask first?

Jesus: "HEY Dad, get over here, quick! Sharita is about to mess this up again! Man, she shoulda asked first. WHEN is she gonna learn?! Oh, and bring me some popcorn and a Diet Dr. Pepper-- this episode could take awhile." 

Ok, so I really don't think they laugh at us like that (although they certainly have a right to!) But God invites us to ask Him for answers, for information, for guidance, for anything, any time of day, anywhere.  "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him." (1 John 5:14-15) 

The REALLY awesome thing about asking God "stuff" is that it doesn't have to be formal. You can talk to Him ANYTIME, you don't have to wait for Sunday at church, or for the right weather, or for complete solitude/quiet. I have found myself talking to Him when I wake up, when I am happy, sad, driving, confused, cleaning, supposedly studying, jogging, cooking, showering, crafting, gardening, you name it. Also, your "asking" can be outloud or silent. Or maybe written in a journal. It can be nice and polite or it can be "shouting-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-why-did-this-happen" angry/upset. (Been there, done that.) Great news: God is a big boy. He can handle it all. And He still loves us. So ASK Him! He longs to be addressed!

Asking/addressing God is simply an act of faith. It means you believe that He exists. Ask faithfully, and you will receive. Again, it might not be exactly what you want (or what you think you want) but He will give you what you need to fulfill your purpose in this life and bring Him glory. As an example (and to prep for the future post about His Answers) I leave you with this poem, written by Anonymous (that guy sure writes a lot of stuff!) 

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. 
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
 I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

Take some time and ask God... ask Him questions, ask for guidance, ask for blessings, ask on behalf of others, if you aren't yet a believer, ask him to come into your heart. It is easy as that. (Again, cue the Easy Button) Be like Stewie/Justus/3-yr-old-son. Keep asking. He WILL acknowledge you. Ask and it will be given to you. 

Endlessly Asking, 

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."-- James 1:5-6

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