Friday, January 15, 2016

who called first?

Today we read the January 15 selection from A Year with C.S. Lewis.

He talks about how we are always responding to God. That God is the actor, and we are always the reactor. It reminds me of a passage from Narnia, which we will probably read later in the year. But the kids are talking to Aslan, and he says that they would not have called to him if he had not called to them first.

That's a good thing to keep in mind. When we strive to be holy, we're not doing it on our own initiative. When we ask for wisdom, or ask for God's blessings on our friends, it wasn't our idea first. We're responding to the goodness of God. We're asking because He first asked us to ask. We're agreeing with Him.

This helps us make sense of the Lord's Prayer. It might make you wonder why we pray things like "Lead us not into temptation". Why does Jesus tell us to ask God not to lead us into temptation? It seems like an odd thing to ask, since we know God doesn't tempt us to sin. But when we realize that our prayers are in a sense agreeing with God, it makes more sense. We realize that we're in essence saying "You don't lead us into temptation, You deliver us from evil." And much of our prayer lives are learning this "agreement". God WANTS us to be full of wisdom, love, grace, hope, peace... all of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. So when we ask for these things, we're agreeing with Him that we should be like that.

That's how prayer is something of a conversation. Even when you're asking for things... for your own life or intercessions for your friends and family... you're just responding to what God is already doing in your life and in theirs. You're participating in the good that He's already doing, and has BEEN doing since the beginning of time. Pretty amazing that He allows us that participation.

Thanks, God, for acting in love so that we can react and receive that love, reflecting it back to you.