Take A Deeper Dive Into This Week's Message, "For You"!
This week, as we continued our “For You” series, we talked about worry and how God has something better for us; the fact that we can retool our brains so that we don’t have to focus on the worries and anxieties of life. This week, as we dive deeper, let's look at another aspect of this freedom.
At the core, worry and anxiety are created when we imagine a future where God is not in control; a future where God does not exist or reign. In turn, this worry causes fear, doubt, and difficulties in life as we begin to feel like we’re on our own. But thankfully, this isn’t true. Let’s look at what Jesus says about God and his relationship to us.
Let’s dive into Luke 11:5-13:
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity* he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 ‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.’
11 ‘Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’”
When we first read this story it may sound like the man in bed gets up because of his friend’s persistence at the door, however, in verse 8 there is a better way to translate, “your shameless audacity.” This particular Greek word is often translated as “shameless,” but the true idea is, “without shame.” Now the question becomes, who is Jesus talking about being “without shame”? Typically, this parable is translated to reflect the idea that it is because of the man knocking on the door, but Jesus is really talking about the man in bed being “without shame.” Let me explain further.
In the ancient Near East, Israel was a society built on hospitality. If the man in bed had not gotten up to help his friend, it would not only have brought shame on his friend, but on the man, his family, and even on his village or city. So, when Jesus says that this man gets up because he is a man “without shame,” he is saying that because of the man’s character he will do what is being asked of him so that he does not bring shame upon anyone, including himself. Jesus is not saying that we need to cry out over and over, and eventually God will do something. Instead, it’s saying that not only does character count, but that this, in fact, is what God’s character is like.
The next verses (9-12) dovetail perfectly with this idea as Jesus teaches us to pray, ask, and really trust. He tells us because God is not going to bring shame upon himself or his people, we can ask, and that if evil people will treat their children well, how much more will God give good gifts to his children.
If God is our Father, and in Jesus Christ, we are His children, know that God’s character is such that He will never bring shame upon Himself or upon us. We were never meant to do life on our own, and this is one of the reasons that God has given us the Church. So we need not worry or be anxious, because not only is God looking out for our best, but he has given us a people that He works through every day.
Whatever you’re dealing with right now, whatever worry you’re experiencing; if we really believed that this is what God is like, how would we look at our circumstances differently? Would we be more apt to talk to God about our situations in life? Would we begin looking to God as the Healer, not just of our past, but of our present and future?
Take a look at Philippians 4:6 again and notice that the emphasis is to pray about every situation. And notice that we are instructed in multiple ways to connect with God.
Sometimes it may feel like we should worry about our situations. Check out Matthew 6:34 where Jesus tells us that tomorrow will, in fact, worry about itself. Let’s just focus on today and live in the present.
Sometimes we are given more than we can handle. Check out 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 where God, speaking through Paul, tells us we were never meant to handle it on our own and what we can do for others in difficult circumstances.
If you feel that you need prayer, you can always send your requests to our prayer chain at [email protected]
Have a Blessed Week,
John Schaaf, Associate Pastor | Care Ministry