Posted by: bshelley | March 19, 2008

Seeking God’s Heart- by Bryan Shelley

Entry for March 20, 2008

Today’s Verse: Judges 11:30-31 Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, “If You will indeed give the sons of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon, it shall be the Lord’s and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” NASB

Ah, the sad tale of the demise of Jephthah’s daughter. Jephthah no doubt expected on his return to be greeted by one of his many lambs or a goat, most certainly not his daughter. God did deliver the enemy over to his hands, but because of his foolish and unnecessary vow he lost his only child. How often have we made foolish promises? “I’d give anything if I could just get a ______.” “I’d give my right arm for one of those _____.” Foxholes have been attributed with many a commitment to become a monk or priest or whatever, if only they would be delivered from peril. The saddest part about Jephthah’s vow is that, not only was it foolish, but unnecessary. God had already committed to deliver all these into his hands just as He had already done with others. Is it our tit-for-tat mentality that makes us seek to trade something with God in order to gain His favor? How many have wondered if they put more in the offering plate, would God reward them with even more? God does not desire our earthly goods or bargains. He desires that we love Him and love others with the very fibre of our heart. He has already promised to hear and answer our prayers. He has already offered reconciliation with Him through Christ. He has already promised to provide for our basic needs. God wants our love, our hearts. He desires obedience, not vain promises or foolish offers. God answers our prayers. He only gives good answers to His children. What we may often misunderstand is that He gets to decide in His perfect will and knowledge what “good” is. If that bothers you a bit, you have to ask yourself  why would you ever want anything apart from His best for your life anyway. Instead of trying to think of something to offer God to bend Him to our will, we are to seek His will and do that. God does not want our vain promises. He wants us to submit our will and our lives to His will. That, offered in love and sincerity, is what He seeks. Instead of asking God what He is going to do for you today, offer up thanksgiving for what He has already done. Instead of praying for more abundant blessings, worship Him by offering up the best of what we have already received. That You mold me into the image of Your Son that I might be useful in Your hands is my prayer. No deals.

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