Only 2 times in New Testament (that I know of) did someone ask God to make life easier…both times God said NO!
The first and primary example is of Jesus. Matthew 26:39 “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.” The Lord Jesus Christ asks God the Father if there is another way to fulfill His Will right before he is betrayed by Judas and captured to be crucified for our sins. There was no other way. The cup would not pass from Christ.
The second example is of Paul. In 2 Cor. 12, Paul explains how he asked God to remove a thorn from his side three times. Yet, God said no. God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
In American culture we are determined to get what we want when we want it. We are determined to pray for our the easiest life possible. This is not always what God wants.
God is not glorified by making our plans succeed. He receives glory when His will is done in His way.
Understanding what God is about to do where I am is more important than telling God what I want to do for Him.
This part of submission is hard for me. I get these cool, big dreams and I want to do them for God, but that is not how it works. God will come to me. I need to relax and submit to God.
If the dreams are God’s dreams and He wants to work through me to do something I could never do than that is what is suppose to Happen. That is how God will work. He has His own wa and His own agenda! God will not adjust to me. I must adjust to Him.
“We do not sit down and dream what we want to do for God and then call God in to help us accomplish it.” (From Experiencing God: Blackaby and King)
“It’s not a question of what you can do for me…what can I do for you, My King?” (Tree63)
I am guilty of these things. I will sometimes find myself dreaming of what I think God wants and then I will ask God for help doing it….
But it does not work that way. We must die to ourself and submit to God and what He is doing. We must die to ourself and let God do what He is going to do (not what we want to do or what we thing He is going to do) and then we must join Him in HIS work!
This series is intended for an adult small group. It is an in-depth study of Simon Peter. The age group could range from young adults to ancient adults. It is a class of committed mature Christians. The time allotted for the class is about an hour and a half per lesson, but the students at my church are enthusiastic and typically do not mind the class running over a little. This document is basically like a script. It runs through the lesson how it is planned and includes Scripture and time for discussion. Parts that are in italics are either Bible readings or places of discussion, question and answer. In these sections this could be me talking or anyone bringing up these points in discussion format rather than lecture.]
Eze. 22: 30
“I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one.”
Standing in the gap, like Moses had done: “So he said he would destroy them — had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them” (Psa 106:23)… (Jeremiah had been told no longer to pray for them: Jer 11:14.)
The Babylonians would come in and destroy Jerusalem.
Jesus was the Servant who could stand in the gap. No man was ever sufficient.
It is amazing how many prophecies are fulfilled and foreshadows of Christ in the OT. I love reading the OT just for that purpose.
When I first saw this in Romans 9, I was confused and struggled. How was it that God, who is love, hate someone?
When studying the Bible, it is crucially important to always study the context of a particular Bible verse or passage. In these instances, the Prophet Malachi and the Apostle Paul are using the name “Esau” to refer to the Edomites, who were the descendants of Esau. Isaac and Rebekah had two sons, Esau and Jacob. God chose Jacob (whom He later renamed Israel) to be the father of His chosen people, the Israelites. God rejected Esau (who was also called Edom), and did not choose him to be the father of His chosen people. Esau’s and his descendants, the Edomites, were in many ways blessed by God (Genesis 33:9; Genesis chapter 36).
So, considering the context, God loving Jacob and hating Esau has nothing to do with the human emotions of love and hate. It has everything to do with God choosing one man and his descendants and rejecting another man and his descendants. God choose Abraham out of all the men in the world. The Bible very well could say, “Abraham I loved, and every other man I hated.” God choose Abraham’s son Isaac instead of Abraham’s son Ishmael. The Bible very well could say, “Isaac I loved, and Ishmael I hated.”
Here is a note from the NEXT Bible : The context indicates this is technical covenant vocabulary in which “love” and “hate” are synonymous with “choose” and “reject” respectively (see Deut 7:8; Jer 31:3; Hos 3:1; 9:15; 11:1).
Romans chapter 9 makes it abundantly clear that loving Jacob and hating Esau was entirely related to which of them God chose. Hundreds of years after Jacob and Esau had died, the Israelites and Edomites became bitter enemies. The Edomites often aided Israel’s enemies in attacks on Israel. Esau’s descendants brought God’s curse on themselves. Genesis 27:29, “May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”
The stories of Daniel and friends are so real and exciting to read /hear! These narrative stories are some of my favorite stories in the entire Bible.
Faithfulness of God requires the faithfulness of his people.
Whether God can and will protect his people from the all too visible power of kings who do not recognize the God of Israel depends on the faithfulness and obedience of his people.
God’s faithfulness is demonstrated in his deliverance of Daniel and his friends.
Daniel and his friends were faithful to God and God delivered them on several occasions (I will highlight a few):
1. Diet test.
2. The fire
3. Den of lions
Theological points in relation to ‘faithfulness’:
At Creation we were created In His image. We were to be like God.
Be as I am (holy, faithful, righteous, just, loving)…there is the side of human responsibility.
we have no excuses: With the New Covenant, the law is on our hearts.