I don’t know about you, but sometimes I ask a question and I get an answer that isn’t relevant to what I want to know. When I think about it, I often realize that what really happened was that I asked the wrong question. If this happens in normal everyday life, why should we be surprised when it happens in our life of faith?
How often do I have to go to church?
Do I really have to give 10 percent?
How often should I read my Bible? Should I in the morning, at night, or both?
Should I start my day off with prayer?
How far can I go with this girl I’m dating and still be pure?
Insert your own question, any question.
I think all of these and most that we can think of are the wrong question. The answers we come up with will not be sufficient for our goal. What is that?
To draw close to God. To be like Jesus. To be holy as He is holy.
What is a really good question to ask? How can I get closer to God? How can I be more like Jesus? How can I become more holy?
When Jesus is our goal, then we can dispense with those other questions? When Jesus is our goal, we don’t have to ask how often we have to be at church or how much money we give. Our lives become a total sacrifice to him. Each moment is driving us close to Him.
When Jesus is the goal, the questions don’t have to be asked because He is the Answer.
Do you ever ask the wrong questions? Do you know the Answer?
I ask a lot of questions. It doesn’t really matter what situation I face, I’m probably going to what a question or a dozen. Here are five questions that I’m going to ask as I write these posts in 2012.
Isn’t that the ultimate question when you read or hear something? So what? Will it matter to me? Will it matter to those who take time out of their day to spend a few minutes checking out what I have to say?
Do I care about it? Will anyone else? Is this a subject worth caring about? Whether it’s ultra-serious or some humorous take that I have about something, really, who cares?
What Difference Does It Make?
Does it make a difference in my life? Sometimes I write something and I wonder: Is this making a difference in my life? Will it make a difference in anyone else’s?
Will It Build Others Up?
I’ve not always cared about this one. Will what I write edify my readers? Will it build them up? Am I being a positive influence in their life?
Will It Glorify God?
Here is the ultimate question as I hit the publish button everyday. Am what I am doing glorifying God? Am I doing it for His namesake? Is it all about me? Am I trying to glorify myself or Him?
These aren’t the only questions that I am asking in 2012, but I think they are the most important.
What other questions would you add to the list?
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that I usually end a post with a question. The thing I wonder sometimes is this: Am I asking the wrong question?
If you will notice, people asked Jesus a lot of questions. What must I do to inherit eternal life? Can I follow you? Can I see you? Even the Pharisees got into the act. They asked Jesus what to do with a woman caught in the act of adultery. Read the Gospels and you will see that Jesus was asked a lot of questions. Rarely did He answer questions directly. Instead, he would take the opportunity to give a different answer. He would answer their questions with what He was doing or where He was headed or what His relationship with the Father was.
That leads me to believe that while we have a lot of questions, most of them are wrong. Often we don’t even really know what we should ask Jesus. Maybe that is why the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us. Did you realize that? Yes, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us (Check out Romans 8:26). We go to God with all sorts of requests and questions. Evidently, we don’t know how to pray and the Holy Spirit goes to the Father with groanings too deep for words. I just have this feeling that the Holy Spirit does something like this.
Me: Lord, I don’t understand what is going on. Why is this happening? Please do something about this!!!!
The Holy Spirit: Father, make Larry more like your Son. He doesn’t understand why this is happening to him. He’s asking You the wrong question. He doesn’t really even know what to ask You. Don’t give him what he’s asking for. Give him something much better….even if it hurts.
I think we often go to the Lord with the wrong question. Fortunately, we have the Holy Spirit there to intercede on our behalf to straighten it out with Him.
How about you? Think you ever ask the wrong question?
I ask a lot of questions. Sometimes those questions will cause people to give me strange looks. Here is one that I had the other day.
Did Paul ask Jesus into his heart?
Does that strike you as a strange question?
Have you read the story of Paul’s conversion lately? He was on the way to Damascus to basically arrest a bunch of early Christians. A light knocked him on his keister and he heard a voice. He asked who the voice was and the answer was Jesus. Jesus appeared to Paul on the Damascus Road (I wonder if there was a road sign that said Damascus Road, but I digress).
Paul was blinded and told to go on into Damascus. He was to be told what to do there. So he went in and Ananias was told to go to him because Paul was God’s chosen instrument to the Gentiles. Ananias went to him, told him to be filled with the Holy Spirit, he regained his sight and was baptized. The rest is history.
So, my question today remains the same: Did Paul ask Jesus into his heart? I’m going to ask an even stranger question. Do any of us have to ask Jesus into our heart? I know this is the way we often explain it to children. I think it comes from Revelation when Jesus says that he stands at the door and knocks. But do we have to ask Him to come into our hearts? Do we use that terminology and believe that as the truth because we’ve always heard it?
That’s not what I hear the apostles saying in Acts. I hear them tell people to believe. I see them tell people to repent. But I never see them tell anyone to ask Jesus into their heart. That doesn’t mean we aren’t followers of His. I even know someone who when he came to salvation never asked Him to come into his heart. He simply believed.
So, back to my original question. Did Paul ask Jesus into his heart?
Do you have strange questions that you ask? Do you go with what you’ve always been taught and heard? Or do you check it out for yourself?