Devotional Thought of the Day:
18 When Jesus noticed the crowd around him, he ordered his disciples to go to the other side of the lake. 19 A teacher of the Law came to him. “Teacher,” he said, “I am ready to go with you wherever you go.” 20 Jesus answered him, “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lie down and rest.” 21 Another man, who was a disciple, said, “Sir, first let me go back and bury my father.” 22 “Follow me,” Jesus answered, “and let the dead bury their own dead.” Matthew 8:18-22 (TEV)
9 When they talked to him about committing himself personally, his reaction was to reason in the following manner: “If I did, I could do that…, I would have to do this other… “ The answer he got was: “Here, we don’t bargain with the Lord. The law of God, the invitation of the Lord, is something you either take or leave, just as it is. You need to make up your mind: go forward, fully decided and without holding back; otherwise, go away. Qui non est mecum…— whoever is not with Me, is against Me.”
Our culture seems in love with negotiating, or at least the idea that if we negotiate we can get a better bargain. We negotiate for our homes, our cars, computers, vacations, our pay, never mind the fun of going to a swap meet or yard sale and negotiating to pay 3 dollars instead of 4 for something we don’t need or have room for in our garage.
We even try to negotiate with God.
This is not something new, people have been trying to negotiate with God for since the beginning. Or at least they imagine they are negotiating. They take his lack of a counteroffer as a kind of approval, or simply don’t listen to what God has already told them.
Why am I saying “them”, I am just as guilty of trying to make deals with God. Though we can couch this in pious prayers, offering God what we should already have given Him, what is His by right, if only he would bless us in this way or that, or remove this or that. I
I am not saying we shouldn’t pray, but prayer isn’t a negotiation. Neither is salvation or sanctification. And to try and make a deal, or to set the conditions means that we need to go back and examine what the word faith means.
It means trust, it means to depend upon, rely upon.
We don’t bargain with God just out of respect or fear. We learn not to bargain with Him because we’ve learned to trust Him, to know that He has our best interest at heart. That His love, His patience, His desire is to make all things work for good. We can’t negotiate a better deal that He offers in the New Covenant.
That is what God being Lord is all about, it is what being in the Kingdom of God is all about, knowing the Lord who loves us, and calls us to be His special people.
Rejoice, the best is already yours. AMEN!
Escriva, Josemaria. Furrow (Kindle Locations 274-279). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.