The last post I wrote was on faith. Is God powerless if a person doesn’t have faith? The answer is no. God always commended faith when He saw it in someone, and we know faith pleases Him, but not having faith doesn’t make Him powerless. (View previous post).
I wrote that post not to say we don’t need faith, but to show the merciful loving kindness of God. And to show how we don’t need to try to get God to act on our behalf by using faith.
Faith is simply a gift given by Him. Faith means you are persuaded in knowing who God is.
My prayer is, as always, that the message wouldn’t bring you condemnation because ‘you aren’t there’, but that it would encourage you and invite you into a simpler place in Him. A safe and restful place of reliance on Him; free from condemnation and fear.
How God’s Justice Brings Answer to Prayer
(If you want to hear an audio of this message, listen below.)
When it comes to prayer are we supposed to keep on asking?
Knock, but then keep on knocking?
Seek, but then keep on seeking?
To do this seems like a struggle to me. So, when I looked it up I found this isn’t even in Scripture. The verse is really simple. It says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8 NASB
Nowhere in that verse do I see we are supposed to persist. In fact, I see the words ‘you will’ everywhere. I will! I will receive if I ask! I will find if I seek! I will have it opened if I knock! And I also see that everyone who asks receives! Not some people, everyone!
So, where did the idea that we have to keep on asking, seeking and knocking come from? I believe it came from a misinterpretation of a parable Jesus told His disciples.
Do you remember the story Jesus told of the unjust judge?
Luke 18:1-8 NASB
“Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
Jesus was telling them, His disciples, that they should pray without getting discouraged or disappointed because God is just.
He told them the parable of the unjust (unrighteous) judge, not to show them that they should be like widow and keep coming over and over begging and asking until the judge grew tired and finally gave in, but to give a contrast.
Jesus was not comparing the unjust judge to God. He was giving a contrast. Not a comparison.
In the parable the unjust judge finally gave in to the woman and gave her what she asked because she wore him out.
But Jesus made it clear God isn’t like the unjust judge. He isn’t making His people keep on asking, seeking or knocking. He even went so far as to say God will bring about justice for them QUICKLY.
Then Jesus asks a question. “However,” He said, “Will God find faith on the earth?” In other words, will He find people who are persuaded about who He is in the earth?”
Will people be persuaded that God isn’t delaying long over them? That He’s not requiring us to ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking or knock and keep on knocking?
Now, remember that Jesus gave this parable to His disciples before He had gone to the cross. Justice hadn’t been delivered yet. How do we know this?
Because justice means fair-minded. Equal. Picture the scales of justice we often see in a court of law. The scales when Jesus told this parable weren’t equal. On one side there was humanity in its sin, and on the other side was God the Righteous. Couldn’t God just reach out and tip the scales to make them equal? No, if He did that He wouldn’t be righteous. He would be cheating.
He needed to make the scales equal in an honest way. So, He came Himself, in Jesus, as man, to make the scales equal. He did it righteously so He could remain fair-minded. Just.
God was in Jesus reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them. (2 Cor 5:19)
Jesus told the disciples the story about the unjust judge knowing He was about to change everything; that He would be making the scales equal. He was telling them justice was coming.
And God did it. He served justice by condemning sin in Jesus’ body when He made Jesus to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.
(2 Cor 5:21)
Now we live under the New Covenant where justice has already been served. Sin shall no longer have dominion over us and the effects of sin (sickness and disease) have been shattered. Removed! Done away with!
We do not have to keep asking God for justice over and over. If you want to that’s up to you, but I find it wearies me. It discourages me. Makes me think God hasn’t heard me. If I know God has heard me then I won’t keep asking. I will thank Him instead. I will dance in victory! I will worship!
I choose to trust that God isn’t like the unjust judge in the parable because I know He has served justice already.
So, what’s the answer to Jesus’ question: “when the Son of Man comes will He find faith in the earth?” It’s a resounding, YES! For we know God is just. The scales are now equal. Justice has been served so we don’t have to keep on asking, knocking or seeking.
By the way, What was the widow asking the judge for? Legal protection from her opponent.
Selah. (Pause and think about that).
That, Beloved, is what we have. Right now. Legal protection from our opponent.