17 Nov 2014

Don't lose your 'ask-ability'...because you lose sight of God.

Dr Luke, who recorded as carefully as he can the events and words of Jesus included fourteen parables. In a few he prefaces the stories Jesus told by stating the purpose of the telling; like in chapter 18 -

Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up ~ Luke 18v1 
What intrigues me about this parable is how it ends.

For years I have heard this parable taught to me as a young person that this is about persistence. We must be persistent. 

But the ending -

However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? ~v8
 is too drastic for a lesson on persistence.

No, this parable is about how we lack persistence.
It is a story that reveals how quickly we stop asking, how impatient we get for answers, how soon we resort to other sources for help.

Yes, our faith is often shaky, filmsy and short-breathed. It is a hyper-ventilating that resolves when we sense helps or solution nearing. It is a faith that may not be present when Christ comes looking out for it for we have traded it in for answers, fixes and escape routes.

God help me out of this mess...now!
Why aren't you giving me a mate?
How come others are prospering?

These cries are genuine, as is that poor widow's need for justice. In the parable, Jesus contrasts how a callous, godless human judge would - out of a desire to get rid of this vexation - do something for the widow. This are his words:
"Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me." ~ v4b-5

He couldn't care less about God or her. He cared for himself; and that is how the widow will get some reluctant help.

Jesus immediately contrasts this with God:

"And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though he bears long with them?" ~ v7
God will settle scores for us.
God also bears with our cries for help.
Will Jesus find faith on earth in the end?

When we add these elements up, we see that this is a parable about whether we will persist in trusting God for justice when things go bad. It is about whether we will lose our ask-ability, because our asking is an outcome of our longing, and where we choose to turn to for answers.

The widow was convinced that her help would come from that judge and so she goes to him persistently.

Soul, sometimes God takes a while to show up.
Many times, his silence is shattering to us.
We wait long and it is easy to lose our desire to ask, to question if the asking is valid, to wonder if there are easier ways out.

You and I hand out the ipads and phones too quickly to quiet our restless kids.
You and I dish out answers too fast in the face of pain, suffering or ill-logic.
You and I are not God.

With God, there is a bearing with us.
With God, there is a definite outcome.
With God, there is a caring, involved justice system.

God does not distance himself. He does not operate on cold logic. He does not simply use some pre-determined formula.

In fact, this parable is dealing not so much with our asking - for our needs, what we call Petitions. It is talking about justice, about asking for the great and grand themes of life ala Les Miserables. It is about supplication, and intercession. In the closing days of human history as we know it when things get really rough, God calls us to remember His Justice and cling on.

And perhaps our asking for the daily stuff of life is deepening our capacity to trust God for the stuff that ultimately matters in eternity.

Soul, in your asking -
over days - you find your energy sapped.
over weeks - you see questions surface.
over months - you feel your heart breaking.
over years - you find your soul changing shape.

You come to a place beyond words. You sit in a spot where feelings seem suspended. You walk around like a bit lost, needing a home to rest in. 

This is when you will come to a fresh sighting of God; you are about to come alive in ways you never knew existed before.

So don't lose your ask-ability, because you are about to gain a fresh vision and a new lease of Life.

And when Jesus returns, you will run with joy into His broad arms that will scoop his faithful friend up!

*Scripture taken from NKJV & for a a list of the parables Jesus told {click here}.

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