Mean It

Matthew 6:7 English Standard Version (ESV) “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

Yesterday I wrote to remember to pray “thy will be done” and to mean it. There is at this time in the world view, if you repeat a thing enough, it becomes truth. The attitude is kept alive with the addition to the dictionary of every common use word and pronunciation being added merely because it has been repeated enough times to be noted. That does not make a thing right or true, only acknowledged that it is in use.

Empty platitudes have no power to enact change. The act of repeating the same words over and over is a signal that the speaker has no confidence that anyone is listening. Where is faith in that? God knows our hearts better than we do. Confession of the soul only has value if spoken in honesty.

Luke 18:13-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

God can work with us if we will be honest with ourselves and confess our condition. For a born again believer this is a twostep process. One is to confess and be changed. Two is to acknowledge our change and act accordingly. We will from time to time make a misstep but in doing so, we have not changed back to the old person we were and should not become doubtful that we have ever changed. These changes are God enacted and irreversible.

We have not yet been perfected and that is a future condition which we work at by being cooperative with God’s design and purpose for our lives.

How Long

2 Peter 3:9 English Standard Version (ESV) The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Footnote: a Some manuscripts on your account

Key to this devotional is the words “as some count slowness”. As I related to you yesterday, I am tired of the world right now and that does affect my view of coming attractions. Our desires will take over reasoning and then we lose sight of the bigger picture.

God knows who will and will not accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That did not keep Him from wishing that all would come to Christ. Perhaps that is nothing more than placing human emotions on our God, wishing. Maybe wishing doesn’t make it so for God either.

God is love and love can wish for things that will never become reality. This brings love into a new aspect for us mere mortals. We have a concept of control of our thoughts and emotions but the love of God which dwells within us has the ability to generate longings that are separate from our reasoning because they are of God.

I don’t have the capacity to love the wicked, God does. I want them punished and God says that is for Him to choose. So much of my emotional responses to the things of this world are of my flesh and if I act on them, I sin. If I hate the things of this world and want it to change, then it is up to Him who knows all things to exact change. I cannot do anything but make things worse.

We have been studying Walking in the Spirit of late and these emotions about what is going on in the world is blocking my ability to hear and obey God. I have to be honest about my feelings in prayer but I must not forget to start with “thy will be done.” And mean it.