Our fathers have a great penchant for saying, “Later”. The cat’s in the cradle song put it well, saying, “We’ll get together then and we’ll have a good time then”. For so many of us, a father’s word is somewhat flexible, offering well-meaning promises with no guarantee of fulfillment. This is not a go at Dads – I am one and I know how imperfect I am. Its more about contrasting the consistency of God.
Hebrews 12:4 confirms that our fathers discipline us from time to time according to their whim or at their own pleasure, but God chastens us for our good so we can share in His glory. What that means is that God is not capricious, but I will go further in suggesting that God does not even dispense favors. He is not a heavenly butler or vending machine, He is God.
Moses related to Him as the Great I am. Contrast that with a father who loves to say “I will”, but often doesn’t. God is not an “I will” Father, but an “I am” Father. He defines who He is in absolute and unequivocal terms.
The winds blow where they want to said Jesus in John 3:6, because God created a self-adjusting, self-perpetuating universe, that is governed by His laws. Like a great watchmaker He set up the mechanism, wound it up and then left it all to run its own course with little or no intervention. In fact, it is because of that fact that end-time judgments will effectively be self-imposed. God set within the mechanism various self-correcting laws that are now being pushed to their limits by human excesses. As we exceed the design envelope of the created world, the system will self correct, bringing untold troubles and woes on humanity.
Now the same Great I am, wrote the laws and embraced the covenant that now governs the state of grace wherein all believers now live. That state of grace is not subject to moments of whim or expressions of good favor on God’s part, rather it is preordained by an “I am” God. To access His grace and favor we must step into it. It will not come to us or adapt to our perspectives. We must move and change to experience it.
Consider healing. There are two themes of healing in New Testament teaching. Signs are given to unbelievers so that they may turn back to God. Then there is the healing which Jesus defined as “the children’s bread”. James 5:14 links it to biblical authority, but it is equally linked to a predefined outcome, namely, “and they shall be healed”. Jesus also confirmed, "If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you will ask what you need and it shall be given to you" (John 15:7).
I know that many have not been healed, but that deserves a separate discussion. The challenge I must leave you with is to stop being subjective about God, in assuming He does favors or good turns in response to our prayers or subjectively rejects you because you reject yourself. Rather you need to come to Him who is and is able to reward those who diligently seek Him.
(c) Peter Eleazar @ http://www.4u2live.net/
Image source: Eagle Nebula, Hubble