Our Ways of Doing vs. God’s Way of Doing
There seems to be many patterns of thought or thinking that we hold on to that we don’t even know exist until someone calls them to our attention. Have you ever heard the idea of God’s Kingdom being as the Upside-Down Kingdom?In, what we would normally think of a kingdom, we have rulers and their governed territories. From these rulers, we then obviously get rules about how life should look and work. People then follow these rules because not only do they exist but so do the ever-present consequences of not following them. Typical rules could cover any part of life; from normative to political. They speak of how people should treat the important and where you are in the hierarchy of importance as compared to other people in the kingdom. These rulers often lay-out, in clear terms, what it means to be successful in their kingdom and what sorts of results are important to them. We understand this. And thus, Its an age-old operation of humanity that lives on today in every facet of every culture. The Upside-Down Kingdom flies in the face of many of these long-held presuppositions of how the world works and what we should do to achieve its desired results. Therefore,
What Does Society Value?
- Lots of determination and quick thinking.
- Constant self-exertion and entrepreneurship.
- Self-reliance and strong-arming our way into making things happen.
- Exploring new territory.
- Acquiring as much as possible; be it wealth, possession, relationships, promotion, fame, acceptance, etc.
Seeing Things Upside-DownAs it were, prayer is that sort of thing. Not like the list above, but beyond those items in its importance. On the surface, it may seem like you are just sitting in a quiet place talking to yourself. From a secular perspective, even, it could best be seen as meditation and mindfulness– you connecting with the deeper parts of yourself. But, this is not what prayer for the Christian is about. Christian prayer is about connection and trust. What has been revealed to us through the Bible is that God is a loving Father who is open and available to us. We don’t have to schedule an appointment to meet with Him, or worse yet, assume that He is uninterested with us and our existence. But actually, what we get is to genuinely tell God our hearts and know that he is understanding us. This is for our benefit! We have a very personal Father who is actively engaged in hearing us and teaching us through prayer, especially when coupled with active Bible Reading. We are able to have a real relationship with Him! Trust is what happens when we assume that God is right about things; and in specific the things that we think are important. Trust is doing those things that don’t make sense to us because we defer our judgment to someone who has more knowledge and insight into the matters of life. Prayer is a giant trust exercise.
Prayer as an Uncommon WeaponIsn’t it interesting that we think about prayer as a weapon? Think about that … Usually, weapons are the things we place in our hands that enable us to exact a very specific and undeniable end result. We grab the hammer, we set a nail, and then we drive it into place. Weapon. This is an interesting way to phrase the use of prayer because usually when we talk about tools and their usefulness we talk about what we can accomplish with them. This is actually the exact opposite of what we mean when we talk about prayer! Prayer is dependence on God within our desire to see specific outcomes and results in our life. Let it be known, when you and I pray, we aren’t guaranteeing a specific outcome in life. We aren’t pointing to a particular situation and expecting things to work out like we would have them be. Why is this? Prayer simply means talking. Talking with God. When we talk with God, we assume that He knows more than us.
- We assume He has the power and resource to do immeasurable things.
- We assume He has a vast understanding of the situation before us.
- We assume He cares