Have you heard the term "open theism"? I just recently encountered it and upon reading about it I have decided that I do not like it.
Open theism has a basic belief that the future has not yet been written and while God is omniscient He chooses to not know how it will all work out. Gah!!!
---I need a BIIIG God. I need Him to know everything about my future. I believe as Christians we are filled with power but I do not want to be the determiner of my future.
That said I do believe fully that trusting my Father means there are plenty of opportunities for Him to ask "what do you want to do honey...it is ok to make a choice."
I used to think that I would perish outside of the center of God's perfect will. I now believe that His perfect will is vast and often there is more than one center.
I also believe that when I get out of that will He follows me (in that my core belief is that He never ever leaves me).
He follows me and brings me back. He is bigger than my mistakes.
I am very thankful for that. ----
I wonder if the Lord's prayer is the exact answer to what I have been struggling with for prayer in general.
I struggle with the need that we seem to have to use toooo many words.
I imagine that the disciples were being hassled because pious people had observed that their slacker rabbi did not pray like the elders taught. I imagine that there were plenty of examples of proper prayers and proper pray-ers. There had to be much teaching on what to say and how to say it for the most impact (on God..and others).
With the Lord's Prayer, Jesus seems to be extending his teaching on the Sermon on the Mount where he quite pointedly called out the differences between the old, traditional,ways and His new ways.
So maybe He is telling them here that prayer is not what they used to think it was.
It is simple. It is trust. It is knowing that Father has this alll under control.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Submitting yourself to the Maker of heaven and earth and saying to Him (and to your own heart) that you like how he does things and you would like Him to continue as it pertains to everything about you.
So what is that will that we want done?
Ahhhh...there it gets harder.
I used to be paralyzed by searching out the will of God. Really struggled. Full of fear that I was gonna miss it. I would meditate on the scriptures about sheep knowing the voice of the shepherd. I would assure myself that I was a friend of God and He wanted to tell me His business and I just had to listen.
I would dwell on all the things I knew of God and get really frustrated that the Bible did not tell me where God did his grocery shopping or how long He prayed when He went into the garden and did He cover His head or not??? sheesh.
I would get all worked up because I needed to know what He would have me do. How could I possibly stay in His will with Him if I didn't have a clue what He wanted me to do next?!!
Now, I am one that believes in words of knowledge. I have felt the power of the Spirit to just know stuff about people. A lot actually. But for myself. No.
I would like some life answers for myself thankyouverymuch.
Then, and I don't know when it happened, I just began to relax. I think it happened when I quit going to church. (another subject)
God had always been in my daily life. We hung out. I would live in peace on every day but Sunday. It took years to really figure out that the main message that made Sunday hellday was "here is another way to get it right cuz you are obviously screwing up all the other ways you have tried".
Or to be interpreted in the common vernacular "you suck".
I never felt that way except on Sunday. sigh.
Anyway, back to relaxing. When I quit having to hear God through the static of "Christian" regulations I began to realize that He had been speaking to me all along in such a simple manner that I had totally missed it. His will is just so simple.
He lives there ya know. In love. And every day He invites us to dwell with Him there.
Get this...when we walk in obedience we are naturally walking in love. When we are choosing obedience we are choosing to dwell with Him where he lives.
Yeah, that points back to love. Which points back to Him.
When we dwell with Him we dwell in peace.
Which in the Hebrew...shalom...means wholeness. Peace means wholeness.
That peace that God gives us...completes us. The fullness of God dwelling within us.
His Spirit in us.
When we live in relationship with Father we are choosing to live in His will. It becomes as simple as waking up in the morning. We get up. We brush our teeth. We go about our day. He goes with us. We go with Him.
In His will... if we are paying any kind of attention.
It is too simple for any words. It is living. And it feels like choosing our own way.
It feels indecent and slovenly.
But it isn't!
When we want Papa's heart we get it! His Spirit guides us so completely. We know what He wants. What He is thinking. We just do it and it becomes not just second nature...but first nature.
And then there are times when we aren't walking in obedience. We miss it due to laziness or out right rebellion. And even there...He walks with us. We are going to deal with consequences for our mistakes. But we are never going to be alone in them. He is going to be there to pick up the pieces and bring us back on track.
I really hope I am not filling you up with a lot of churchy words here. It is the last thing I want to do. To be all wordy and useless.
I want to walk with Papa in such a way that I feel His heart beat as my own. I don't believe that doing that makes me disappear. I believe that He created me just the way He wants me and as I grow and change He smiles on me. When I mess up He heals me. And He continues to use me as His. My weaknesses do not scare or surprise Him. He put them there.
He has a design for them.
And I love love love that my heart is continually changing from one that uses those weaknesses as excuses to one that knows that those weaknesses are surely exchanged for His glory.
So in simple words...to find the will of God we need only look for Him. Ask Him where He is wanting to go today. Listen to His answers. Know that sometimes His answers are no more complex than "brush your teeth". Then we move on with the day trusting that He likes our company even more than we like His.
God knows our future. I am sure of this. His amazing freedom lets us choose the path we take and He walks right along beside us...whether or not we are walking in His perfect will for us.
Yes, read that again.
And you wanna know something else? He has this ability to walk with you, know your future, be in your future and work out your future for your good according to His purposes...no matter how bad you stink at your present.
Love Him. Obey Him. Do what you can do today...even if that means that you really mess it up.
Your Papa ain't goin anywhere. He knows. And He has it alllll under control.