There is a popular idea that exists asserting that if we ask Jesus for help, He will give it to us…whether that help is encouragement, wisdom, direction, etc. There are some who believe that if we ask, Jesus will grant (supernaturally) what we ask for to come to pass.
While there is some truth to the idea that we should ask Jesus for things and seek Him for help…our corrupt nature often perverts the meaning and context of this practice. We tend to slide down the slippery slope to treating Jesus’ Name like a “good luck charm” and His instructions like “consultative suggestions.”
Jesus is not a consultant to His people. He is Lord. One either bows to Him as Lord today… or one bows to Him as Lord later…but He is Lord whether we acknowledge Him as such or not. The point is, He is not our good luck charm, our pitcher waiting in the Bullpen for the 9th Inning, our “homeboy” of “BFF” to support us on our endeavors, or our consultant that we call to get sage advise on our new ideas.
The Lordship of Christ demands that we seek Him and His hand. We seek the connection of relationship which gives us understanding of His orders. We then seek His empowerment to accomplish His orders as He instructs us to act.
As it works itself out, the bulk of our time and energy upfront is invested in knowing Him and discerning His purpose for our lives. Sometimes this is a secluded exercise of quiet solitude. Sometimes it is an active exercise of moving forward on what we already know as we wait for further instructions.
Allow me a military analogy. No Infantry division determines for itself when it will engage in a war. It stays in the rear waiting on orders and training for multiple scenarios. Until the unit is ordered to battle, it does not engage in the conflict. This is akin to the solitude example above. There are times though when HQ will order the unit to move from a holding area to a forward staging area so that they can be redeployed from there. They were never going to “fight” from the staging area, but they were ordered to go forward of their base and prepare to receive new orders en route.
In the Christian life, we do find ourselves at times being CALLED to solitude and preparation. There are seasons of that in our lives. Most often, we are en route to a mission and waiting on clarification of our objective. (For instance, no one has to pray about whether God wants them to make disciples of all people, or to bear witness of Christ, or to proclaim the Kingdom, or to heal the hurts of mankind around us. Those things are written in the Book and given as instructions to us. The are standing orders. Sometimes, in the midst of obeying those orders, Jesus will give a “frag order” and clarify our objective further or redirect us on a new mission. We will likely not be dispatched to this new task if we are lying on a bunk back at base camp. So, we should be doing what we know we are called to do while constantly monitoring communication channels (prayer) for new orders, or to call in support for the mission we are engaged in presently.
So, today, don’t treat Jesus like a consultant or your personal therapist. Treat Him like your Boss. Go into His office and ask if He needs anything from you today and if so, WHAT? They run to do it.