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 ( via Bill Champion ]


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