Miracles Part I
We pray and want miracles but if we’re really honest, we actually just want God to simply do it for us. If our prayers are honest, it sounds more like, "God, please just make it happen with minimal effort on my part and void of or with little work, especially hard work and pain."
First, I'm not minimizing the power of God to perform miracles, the instant and clearly so out of this world type of miracles that it is abundantly clear no amount of human effort could have yielded that outcome or result. Second, I'm not shaming those, myself included who have prayed these type of prayers. We've all been in situations or circumstances that are unbearable and impossible if not for the divine intervention of God. We get weary in the journey and our patience wears thin with all the waiting so there have been a time or two we've cried out in desperation for God to please rescue and fix things now. I've been there a time or two. Again, no shame.
I actually don't have a problem with those types of prayers. Why? Because God is our father, he can do anything he wishes, so why not ask? However, what I'm talking about is my concern if this is our only approach to the throne of grace and the extent of our relationship with God. I'm cautious about the heart posture and our motives that drives these prayers. Is it out of earnest desperation after we've done all that we can do? Or is is out of an entitlement mentality? Or perhaps we really have an aversion to anything that is "hard" and requires work and effort on our part? Or quite frankly, misdirected and incomplete theology and the practice thereof.
So what I'm talking about is this out of balance approach to the Christian faith that if we just pray without exercising our faith, putting our faith into action or practicing our faith that God will do what we ask. Please be clear on this, we do not earn God's love or our salvation based on good works. We can never do enough to earn God's love (more or less of it) or eternal salvation. What I'm speaking to is the act of being a son and daughter, a child of God, and working out our faith through spiritual disciplines and one of that is RESPOND AND ACT. In other words, we work. Again, we are not working to earn or working to get. We are simply responding to the extravagant love and grace of our great God and we cannot help but act (work) because we are compelled and that is how we demonstrate the transforming power of Jesus at work in and through us. We are living out our new life and who we now are in Christ. Not to mention scripture says we've been created for "good works prepared in advance." (Ephesians 2:10)
For those who are parents, we love our children and we do many things for our them. But the goal is for our children to mature, grow and become individuals who are are contributors to society. We do not want our children to behave and act like children their entire life. And in the same way, we anticipate that the parent/child relationship will mature and progress to a friendship and in some ways, a partnership. As good parents and for the children who bear our name and image, we teach and nurture them with hopes that one day they will take pride and ownership in the name they have been given and carry out and on the image they bear.