Thy will be done…

This thing of a creator’s will affecting our own is troublesome for many. Years ago a new Bible study series appeared which told us not to ask what God’s will was for our lives, but to simply try to discover God’s will and then just be a part of it.

Also years ago, I learned a great lesson from a young preacher named Bill Vest. He was just starting out, but the point he made that day was quite insightful. He pointed out that in the time of the Judges the Bible says that “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Then he said “Notice that it does not say that every man did that which was wrong in his own eyes.”

We automatically assume that left to our own devices we will choose the wrong. I no longer believe that. (Well, not all the time.) Now I know that die-hard Calvinists will assert my human depravity, but I think I still prefer the good. The wrong causes problems, some with long lasting effects. I still mess up, but I try to choose good, to choose life, to choose abundance.

I hope I can always say Thy will.

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Published in: on June 21, 2009 at 6:24 pm  Comments Off on Thy will be done…  

For Thine is the Kingdom…

Back in my college days we were awestruck by the new modern criticism of the scriptures. Several theologian/iconoclast types were causing us to doubt the veracity of our own customary view of many historical biblical sources. Without boring you with what little I remember of the discussions, suffice it to say I lost interest very quickly. Many of the young thinkers thrived on controversy. I was just a young religion student looking for an avenue to the truth.

“For Thine is the kingdom…” was the section which was being discussed and, like topics such as the longer ending of Mark, the priority of Mark, and similar arguments, failed to hold my attention. “Did Jesus really say this?” “Was this just added years later?” “Why isn’t it in both Luke and Matthew?” Years of exposure to this has failed to convince me that the idea of ascribing kingship, power, and glory to the creator is wrong.

Since my limited scholarship is insufficient to fully exploit the argument, I read this part of the prayer and mentally replace the word “for” with “because.” It means more to me this way. After I have acknowledged the creator, sought this creator’s kingdom, submitted to this creator’s will, and shown my dependence on this creator for my supply, it seems only fitting that I should say “Because this is your kingdom and power and glory.”

And I’m o.k. with that.

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Published in: on June 11, 2009 at 1:11 pm  Comments Off on For Thine is the Kingdom…  

Lead us not into temptation…

Why would I ever have to beg our creator not to tempt and tease me? This is one of those verses that troubles me, simply because of my mental image of God. Maybe he does tempt and try us. The hymn singing of so many denominations is a testament to that. Some people seem to revel in their trials and, it sometimes appears, want to brag about how they are “suffering for Jesus.”

This is such a difficult image for me to take seriously. Any entity powerful enough to call all creation into existence would surely have a purpose greater than dangling before me some fleshly carrot on a stick. Or is that carrot far more important than I realize?

I now believe that while staying on my spiritual path is paramount, my human desires are nonetheless real and my focus must continually be brought back to the true path. “Keep me focused on the path.” Or how about this: “Lead me,–not into temptation, but awayfrom trespasses.” Funny how one little comma can make such a difference!

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Published in: on June 8, 2009 at 8:38 am  Comments Off on Lead us not into temptation…  
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