Matthew 24:42 “…stay woke…”

We are called to love our neighbors – to have a social conscience. But the spirit of the age, dressed in the guise of high community-mindedness, loves a jingle, a shibboleth – almost as much as it loves its idols.

The stay woke mentality is based more in the manipulation of guilt and desire to control – not just how people think – but what they think. Fear the racism that is inherent in you. Fear your white privilege – its the mere circumstances of skin color and unmerited blessing  – that cause you to be so full of hate. “You don’t feel hatred?! You’re too asleep to see it? Stay woke! Fear your subconscious – its what’s wrong with the world!”

There is a boogie man behind every turn in progressive Ideology. As Calvin said “ the more outspoken a person is in his contempt of God, the more startled he will be by the sound of a leaf falling from a tree!” Continue reading “Matthew 24:42 “…stay woke…””

The Wrong Way to Pray

You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. – James 4:2-3

If James says there is a wrong way to pray, a wrong way to ask, then it follows that there is a right way to ask, a right way to pray.

God’s reception of and interaction with prayer is conditional. One condition to God not hearing your prayers is envy.

Envy affects fellowship with the body and fellowship with God. Envy causes you to murder, fight and quarrel – even if you only do so in the hypocritical confines of your own heart. Envy causes you to demand things from God that are self-serving and self-glorifying.

You cannot be an envious, ungrateful, quarrelsome and covetousness person and expect God to listen to you. He will not. Envy is a discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions or qualities. It’s not just wanting what someone else has but envy leads to negative feelings about the person and your own circumstances. Bitterness. Ingratitude. Inordinate longings. Strife. Quarrels and fights. Envy unsettles relationships and it unsettles prayer. Envy creates negative feelings about the person who has what you are coveting. It’s hard to prefer another or to think well of others when you hate them for what your coveting. Envy grabs hold of our desire for a better spouse, better job, more money, less belly fat, better cars, jobs, friends, families, homes and jobs and inspires a host of unholy thoughts and actions in response.

Continue reading “The Wrong Way to Pray”

When Pastors Lose Their Wonder

Our great privilege is our greatest danger.

“As the average man breathes the air and basks in the sunshine without ever a thought that it is God in his goodness who makes his sun to rise on him, though he is evil, and sends rain to him, though he is unjust; so you may come to handle even the furniture of the sanctuary with never a thought above the gross earthly materials of which it is made. The words which tell you of God’s terrible majesty or of his glorious goodness may come to be mere words to you—Hebrew and Greek words, with etymologies, and inflections, and connections in sentences. The reasonings which establish to you the mysteries of his saving activities may come to be to you mere logical paradigms, with premises and conclusions, fitly framed, no doubt, and triumphantly cogent, but with no further significance to you than their formal logical conclusiveness. God’s stately steppings in his redemptive processes may become to you a mere series of facts of history, curiously interplaying to the production of social and religious conditions, and pointing mayhap to an issue which we may shrewdly conjecture: but much like other facts occurring in time and space, which may come to your notice. It is your great danger. But it is your great danger, only because it is your great privilege.”

Benjamin B. Warfield, “The Religious Life of Theological Students,” from an address given by Warfield at the Autumn Conference at Princeton Theological Seminary, October 4, 1911, public domain.

Answered Prayer is Conditional

We struggle with prayer becasue so many of our prayers seem to go unheeded. I am a fan of John Piper’s comment that God is doing 10,000 things in your life and you are aware of maybe 3 of them.

Things that concern us cause us to pray and we rarely follow up, or give thanks when they are granted.

But it’s important to note that God never hears the unbeliever. God always hears his people, but he doesn’t always listen to them. Sometimes what we pray is contrary to God’s will, isn’t in God’s timing and given our limited understanding – is just wrong.

God’s delayed response or His answers to prayer that we don’t see or understand, is a thread all its own.

One thing is certain. God’s listening and heeding our prayers is conditional and those conditions are important to know.

Sometimes God doesn’t hear us because of our sin. We need to learn how to discern between these times and God’s providential care that takes longer or is beyond our understanding.

Why Won’t God Hear My Prayer?

There is something we need to address in parts. Something that is difficult to hear, difficult to receive and against the spirit of our age. Against the pop theology so prevalent in the modern church, but it effects our fellowship with the living God and our day to day lives.

We pray and we feel like God doesn’t hear us. Prayer can be a source of doubt. The outrageous promises of Jesus in Prayer receive indignant uncertainty from most of us – mystified frustration from the rest. Continue reading “Why Won’t God Hear My Prayer?”

Using Your Eyes Correctly

 Proverbs 11:12 “Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.”

The one who sees the circumstances and character of his neighbor as fodder for criticism, instead of prayer, lacks sense. To be wise is to see as Christ sees. To minimize the worth of your neighbor; to belittle them, is to say something profound about yourself, not something meaningful about your neighbor. Self-righteousness, arrogance and unwarranted spiritual pride are all tied up in the belittling of neighbors. 

A proper judgment of your neighbor – understanding that your neighbor is created in God’s image, is a being in the process of sanctification, is a blessing to be received, served, built up, thought well of – is true wisdom. Continue reading “Using Your Eyes Correctly”

The Transposition of my Imagination

I was listening to an audio book of C.S. Lewis’ The Weight of Glory when I blinked a few times in the striking light of his prose, realizing for the first time what it meant to look along the light and not merely at it.  I was stunned. Lewis argued logically in poetic prose. It was so rich and clear. Lewis conversed so long in the western cannon that he wrote with a Western-Christendom accent. He spoke like one who had walked with Truth in the cool of the day through the English countryside and could imitate the Poet’s cadence and tone.

I was overcome with the idea that I was listening to someone who didn’t think about God as much as He thought like God. I purchased a copy of The Weight of Glory before I was done with the audio book and devoured the print by night and audio by day. I was transported out of myself. I had been looking through borrowed contacts. The eyes of my faith were altered. Continue reading “The Transposition of my Imagination”