"...we have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of THEE, o king, he shall be cast into the den of lions." Daniel 6:7
This was part of my reading today, and I got stuck here. Normally I've camped in verse 4, which states that the men looking to destroy Daniel, "could find no fault or error in him as he was faithful.": Today, however, I'm stuck on this idea in verse 7 of not asking a petition of any God or man for 30 days... I never thought about this, but these men just limited themselves for a month in their attempts to trap Daniel in serving his God. I mean, they too, could ask nothing of anyone except King Darius. Was that difficult, I wondered? I started thinking, What would it look like if I didn't ask a petition from anybody except the True King, for the next thirty days? What would my life look like? How would it be different?
To tell the truth, I'm not much of an asker. I actually don't like seeking help very often because my stubborn German blood demands me to be independent and figure out a solution on my own. Yet, still, if I think about it, there are a ton of normal things that I ask people for: a ride, help moving some furniture, a few bucks to borrow, notice on any activities going on, etc, etc. What if, I paid attention to my speech and I turned away from asking anything of another person for the next month? Nobody. Nothing. If I needed practical help, I would go to God, and see how He will bring an answer to being. If I wanted to process something with another, I would pray that the Lord would send someone my way to open up that conversation. Jesus would become my focus, my mainstay, my confidante in everything. Needs wouldn't be negated, it's just that my reliance would be shifted to heaven and not to earth. So, exactly what would that look like??
In thinking about this idea, George Mueller popped into my head. Apart from Abraham and Daniel, I think George Mueller has had the most profound influence on my spiritual desires. How often I long to live a life of faith and faithfulness as these three have! Mueller's life was filled with needs, and yet he desired that his requests would come only to God, so that the answers would be seen as only God's. It floors me to see how much honor God has in each of their lives as He is seen working and moving through their obedient testimonies. If I took on this challenge, think about the increased intimacy that I would have with my Christ.
Of course, this limiting myself of "natural" help will certainly be a challenge... but if wicked men in Persia could do it for an earthly sovereign, how much more could I turn from others in order to seek help from a King who calls me His own? ("but seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Mt. 6:33)
So, who in the kingdom is interested in joining me on this venture?
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
What is it about Patience that throws me completely off track? Here I am, moving at a good pace, seeing life travel the way it should, stepping on the gas when it isn't, and then Patience rears her sweet little head, and forgets to add more rails to the line of my destination. I have been derailed for a while (since early February, actually), and it has been for a specific purpose. To learn to love Patience. We've had a rather progressive relationship. I first acknowledged her, then I kicked her, tried to stifle her, moved on to ignore her, got placed right back next to her, and now I'm learning to converse with her. And you know what? She's not half bad. Sometimes it feels easy to blame this desire for movement, movement, movement on our society. I mean, we all know we have instant rice, store bought clothes, speed limits not meant to actually be heeded, and the divine rush of information via wireless internet. And, although this is the embryonic fluid I was birthed in, it is not entirely to blame. The impatience is in ME. I recognize it now that I live in community. who's calling? what's happening? where's the party? when can they come over? Deep are the circles under my eyes, wide are the yawns escaping my lips, and yet still I scurry and scramble to know what is new, what has changed. There is a contrast to this mindset which is found in this beautiful lyric written by my pastor: "Then my soul- in every strait- to Thy Father, come and wait...", and I just picture me running, panicked or anxious, trying to get an answer out of Jesus, and He just wants me to stay and wait. "Be STILL, and know that I am God..." It is only when I surrender my plans, my timeline, my schedule, ideas and goals, that I find the peace I believed would come in accomplishing all those things in the first place. And so, Patience and I have been rooming together. There are still times when I lock her in the room (such as today), but for the most part, she's becoming a rather calming, and a surprisingly settling, friend. "But let Patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."