January 6 traditionally is the the feast day of Epiphany. It is the first day after the end of the Christmas season (December 25th being the first day of Christmas, January 5th being the 12th.) The timeless God’s entrance into an real period of time in human history changed everything. The timeless God’s entrance into your life changes everything. He is intensely personal. And he has shown that to us.
God speaks to us in many different ways, like through his Word or his Spirit. Most of us probably can’t hear him or don’t recognize him when he is speaking to us. But how does God speak WITH us? LIke in a converstaion?
I ask this question because I I was reading a blog post about praying and it mentioned how one way we can pray is just to talk to him. Talk to him as if you were talking to a friend. The post contrasted this against how we typically hear people pray. That is, in “prayer talk.” A transformation in our speeh patterns and grammar and the amount of times we use some form of God’s name as we approach him in prayer. The post says this is not necessary. It says that we can talk to him as openly, as harshly vulnerable, and as simply as we want. As if we are chatting with a friend, or baring our soul.
I totally agree with that, especially when praying is an intensely vulnerable time. However, is this not even more difficult. Why don’t we do this in the first place?Â Why do we default to prayer talk? I think it is becuase it is easier. I think it is because we don’t feel like we are actually conversing with God. I mean, when you stand and give a speech, you don’t talk in a conversational style. You don’t get any verbal input from the audience until later (and it is poor speech etiquette, but that is a different subject). But I think it is because we know we aren’t going to have this back-and-forth conversation with God, where we say something and he immediately responds and vice-versa, that we default to prayer talk, that we find it difficult to merely converse with him. At least, that is how I feel. Not that I am overly flowery when I pray. I really try to be “down to earth,” as it were, too. But isn’t there just something different when you are talking to someone you know isn’t actually conversing with you? (Not that God isn’t, in the big picture, conversing with us. But I am refering to the immediate conversation style one would have with another as if they were conversing on the phone or face to face.) Or am I just missing it?
So I agree that that is how we should talk to God, but I don’t see how it is easy or at all natural.
What do you think? How do you talk to God? With prayer talk or conversationally? Which do you find easier?
The definition of a gift, according to the Random House dictionary is, “something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance;” and “something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned.” I liken receiving a gift to receiving favor. Not “A” favor, but favor, as described from the same dictionary as above: “something done or granted out of goodwill, rather than from justice or for remuneration; a kind act” and “friendly or well-disposed regard; goodwill,” and “the state of being approved or held in regard,” and “excessive kindness or unfair partiality; preferential treatment,” and “a gift bestowed as a token of goodwill, kind regard, love, etc.”
The term gift is used in several places in the bible; many of them are rather significant. I want to touch on two or three that are rather significant to me.
The first is in Proverbs. The writer records in Prov 18:22, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.” Mentally I have often exchanged the phrase “received favor” with “received a gift.” And I don’t have a problem with seeing it that way. Favor is unmerited and unearned just as a gift is. Likewise, receiving a gifts is receiving favor from that person. It also says in Prov 19:14, “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” That is, your wife is a gift you received that you did not get by any situation that you happen to affect. Furthermore, the way the Lord through the scripture describes the worth and value of a wife as well as how we should interact with her, treat her, protect her, and protect ourselves for her is an enormous indication of how she was given to us and is also how we should treat any gift we receive. Furthermore, look at what the Father said from the beginning “It is not good for man to be alone.” So He created woman, a co-equal with man image-bearer of God as a complement to man. Not a supplement. Adam did nothing to deserve this. He created Eve to complete Adam. What a gift!
Let’s look at another passage about a gift. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Again, wages are something we earn, and in this case because of our sin we earn death. That contrasted against a gift, something we do not earn or merit, given freely because of the beneficence of the giver, in this case eternal life in Christ.
Likewise, Ephesians 2:8-9 says,”For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithâ€”and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godâ€” not by works, so that no one can boast.” Whether he is saying it is grace that is a gift or faith, or both, I want to emphasize that it is a GIFT from God, not something we created by ourselves.
This is amazing, we have received from God, as a gift, eternal life and grace. Those are some awesome gifts to say the least! Likewise, it was said that a wife is a gift from God, also. The caliber of the gifts that God gives us is indicated in the things like grace and eternal life, so I take that to mean that the gift of a wife is as equally valuable (or rather invaluable).
So Guys, remember, no matter what you do, glorify God in your actions. Remember that no matter how hard you have tried, a wife is a gift from God you have received that you don’t deserve, regardless of what you have done to try to earn it.
I believe every Christian must come to this question in all areas of our lives:
What am I willing to do in order to Glorify God above all else?
Am I willing to bite my tongue? Am I willing to miss a meal? AM I willing to sell my car? Am I willing to miss a day’s worth of meals? Am I willing to quit my job? Am I willing to stay with my wife? Am I willing to be abstinent? Am I willing to give even when I cannot afford it? Am I willing die as many deaths as necessary? AM I willing to make Love my priority? Am I willing to put the past behind me? Am I willing to suffer? Am I willing to reconcile? Am I willing to accept the Grace of the I AM? Am I willing to die?
Too many times, I don’t know how to answer that.