We live in a world that has taught me to prefer black and white conversations. I have learnt the hard way that hints, greyed conversations just don’t work for me. I have learnt not to trust conversations that seem to be headed somewhere but don’t actually get there.
Every one of us has been here. You go out for coffee with a girl / guy and in your head you know you communicated your interest in the person, or you feel the other person is communicating interest, only for a few weeks later to discover it was all in your head – they are elsewhere. This is how some of us have found ourselves mourning the end of relationships that never existed! I got emotionally involved, was led on, only for later to dumped at the smelliest dumpsite. Or the work one; a boss senses you are dissatisfied with your job and probably job hunting. He starts dropping hints of a possible upcoming promotion only for months later this to be just that, a hint!
So I have learnt not to rely on hints, seeming talks, I want black and white. If you like me, want to go out with me, go all out and tell me. If you think I am anything you want to get to know, please blurt it out! I might have missed several buses coz of this, I might be seen to be slow but this is me
But that’s where the good news end. Sadly, I am not this person who gives black and white conversations back. I do grey, I know double standards! I find it easier to use many corners to communicate. Why you may ask when I know the benefit of black and white communication? Many reasons.
One of the main reasons is fear; fear of rejection, that my black and white communication will be thrown into hot water after all the attempts and efforts to make it right. Fear of failure, that I will communicate this great plan then fail to see it through, then I am trapped. At least with grey communication, well I can always chicken out.
I find that this is how I approach God too. So when today I strongly felt God is saying, dada, have bold conversations with me, I panicked!
The safe prayers have been my thing! The ones where there is no risk. The ones where I know the outcome is not earth shuttering. The ones that do not involve any risk whatsoever, did I already say that. You see the same reasons I do grey communications are the same reasons I do not have bold conversations with God.
What if after I have poured my heart out He says no! What if He rejects my heartfelt outpouring? Worse, what if my request leaves Him disappointed in me? Have you ever asked for something from your earthly daddy and the look you got was, really! That’s what you want? Afterall I have done you want to move out of our house? Or after all the education I have taken you through you want that job? How could you choose a career in music when I gave you the best education, to become a doctor? Oh how that disappointing look destroys my heart.
And so I fear that look from my Daddy too. So is it not easier for us to do the yes yes prayers? The passive casual prayers; like a NICE girl.
Come just as you are
Now you get why I panicked when God told me dada let us do real conversations. I feel this is common with many of us, even in the church, or perhaps more in the church. We have grown up with the ‘Praise God Amen I am always fine’ kind of faith. And that’s alright most of the time, but sometimes truth be told it just is not. Sometimes we are struggling, we are sinking, and if we cannot talk to God about these moments, I ain’t sure we know Him!
And this is the heart of why I need to style up and do real conversations with my God. He is my Father. He chose me while I was a sinner, He did not love me because I was this perfect nice daughter. No, in the mess and thick of things and life, He stretched His Hand out to me. Why, that I may know I am loved just as I am. That I may know I am not saved by the law or by niceness, but by faith. I can never earn that love, not even in my nicest moments, Grace alone!
What does this mean, it means I can never disappoint God. He is that Father who takes me just as I am, loves me just as I am, calls me His own just as I am, guffying and all.
The other day I was meditating on the brother to the prodigal son. This guy was a nice dude. His life mission seems to have been of service to the Father. These words tell me who He was:
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in..But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends..”
This guy does not understand why the rebellious brother is the one enjoying the party, not him who’d been NICE and all. He effectively is saying, I also wanted the party but you dint give it to me. He’s sulking for stuff that he never even asked for, if only he had done a black and white conversation with the father. Oh how I am good at sulking.
But the father’s response to this son is the response God is giving to me: “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” God is saying this same thing to me; galfriend, all I have is yours. You see unless and until I reconcile with this great promise, unless I truly know that in Christ the inheritance is fully mine, well I will be the servant, the slave this brother was, the one who never knows the father does not want or need a slave, he is his son, not his slave! I will be afraid to ask, what lest I let down my father. Yet He has already said IT IS ALL MINE.
Ask for the nations
Psalms 2: 8 “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.”
There’s a hillsong that puts this to word “Ask and I’ll give the nations to you” How I love that song. Do I believe it though? Is this perhaps why God says that without faith it is impossible to please God?
One man’s prayer challenges me today; this guy is called Elijah.
Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops
He tells a King that it will not rain again till he prays for it and sure enough it does not rain for 3 years. This guy at end of the 3 years is standing in the presence of 400 prophets of Baal, outnumbered therefore. But He has this faith that God will burn the place with fire, heck he’ll even add water just to make things ‘harder’ for God. These are now bold conversations. This guy is not even afraid that God might not answer, He’s asking in broad daylight, in public in the presence of so many people. Now my small faith would be thinking, wuuui, what will happen if God does not answer this, I might as well whisper so that I am the only one embarrassed. But this guy has the faith, the persistence it takes. But most of all He knows this God well enough to know He will do this.
My bold conversation
What is your bold conversation today? What are you struggling and playing around without taking it to the Lord?
Is it a child who has become so rebellious you are afraid to even pray for? Is it a loneliness and desire to get married that you think lets God down? Is it a prayer for a job that you’ve prayed for so long you are afraid to pray over? Have you met one David who even asks God for ‘how long will I wait for your response?’ Have you met this lady who Christ at first tells off but she refuses to go. Have you met this persistent judge that does not stop knocking?
He has promised the nations. Are you bold enough to ask? Am I bold enough to ask? Is my relationship with God a serious one because when we get serious with God He gets serious with us? He is inviting me, He is inviting you to come let’s reason together. He is asking as He did to the blind man of Bartimaeus, what do you want?
This sermont (Fervent prayers) always get to me, when I am disillusioned. Dare to ask.