The Overweight Businessman
There is the story of the businessman who, even as he
was gaining in accomplishment and accolade, was gaining
in another area: weight. Finally, he said, "Enough is
enough. God, from here on out I'm going to lose weight
with your help."
Well, he started off wonderfully, even going so far as to drive
a different route to work so he would not go by his favorite
pastry shop. (Remembering Paul's admonishment to "flee"
temptation.) Shortly his co-workers could see a difference.
One day he arrived at work and, to the astonishment of his
co-workers, he was carrying a humongous pastry, obviously
laden with dozens of grams of fat and thousands of calories.
One of his colleagues followed him into his office and said,
"Giving up on the old diet, eh?"
"Oh, no, Fred, today, this is the will of God!" proclaimed the
businessman. "See, I turned the wrong direction this morning
and before I realized it, I was on my old route that would take
me by this pastry shop. Now, I've been very good on my diet
and there for a second or two I thought, ' wouldn't it be a fine
way to reward myself for my diligence to stop at my favorite
pastry shop.' But then I thought that might just be a
rationalization, so I said, 'Lord, I'll know it's your will that I
have a pastry this morning if there is a parking space right
in front of that pastry shop'."
"And you know, Fred, there was! Of course, I had to circle the
block, but on the tenth time around, there was a parking spot, right in
front of the pastry shop!"
* * *
Beloved, how many of us are like the overweight businessman?
No, not that we've put on some weight, although I can certainly
relate to that, but that we approach our prayer life as he did;
trying to superimpose *our* will over that of our Heavenly Father.
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He taught them to
ask for God's will (Matt. 6:10), and the New Testament is simply
filled with instances and examples of the occasions upon which
Christ prayed. More numerous than the miracles are Christ's
prayers. And in the Garden, shortly before He was betrayed,
He prayed to the Father, "may your will be done." Matt. 26:39.
Even Christ, with His high standing as the only Son of God, did
not attempt to superimpose His will over that of the Father, but
rather accepted the will of His (and our) Father over what He
would will. And let us recall Paul's strong teaching to the church
at Thessalonica: "Pray continually." (1 Thes. 5:17.)
So if even the One True Son of God recognizes the Father's Will
as the only right will, who are we to pray or rationalize otherwise?
As we attempt to please Father God and follow His will, satan
loves to suggest sneaky little detours (the parking places of
"our will"), but if we keep our focus upon God and get on our
knees and in His Word and seek His will, our prayers will defeat
satan and his minions.
Beloved, prayer is the most powerful thing we can do as Christians
and it is simultaneously the easiest and most difficult thing we do.
And there is absolutely no substitute for it. Show me a Christian
who doesn't pray, and I'll show you instead a heathen whose initial
salvation may well be a sham.
So when we pray, let's seek His will -- only His will -- and pray
accordingly. We probably won't be able to pray without ceasing
until we are in His presence, but that standard should remain as
our standard, just as Jesus' life should remain our standard.
Suggested prayer: "Father, thank you for the many blessings in life,
chief among them prayer. How awesome it is to be able to pray to
the maker of the universe, Father, and to remember that the Creator's
will is perfect. Remind us, father, of your Son's sacrifice and that His
focus was at all times on You and Your will. Help us, Father, to
remain in Your Word and to seek Your will for our lives. Help us to
pray as Your Son taught us: may Thy Will be done. In Jesus'
precious name, Amen."
And let's not forget the lesson of the businessman: if we want the
pastry, fine, but don't blame it (or the resulting fat) on God.
Have a prayer-filled day in His Grace.
[ Author Unknown -- from Greg Dutson (firstname.lastname@example.org) via Bill Champion ]
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