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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Honesty of Soul

3 God won't starve an honest soul,
   but he frustrates the appetites of the wicked. 
(Proverbs 10:3)

The book of Proverbs was written by Solomon to his sons.  He desired nothing more than to have his sons know the truths God had taught him over the course of his life.  Throughout the book, he writes about various relationship issues, how to be a good spouse, what value words have, and how not to live your life as a fool.  The instructions of a father to his sons - how fortunate that we can benefit from the lessons of a life of such a wise man.  

God won't starve an honest soul - the thought provokes us to consider what it is to "starve".  What is it that Solomon could have been referring to when he spoke of the "starvation" of a soul?  First, let me say that starvation is more than the effects of a lack of food in the natural sense.  There are many forms of starvation - emotional, spiritual, intellectual, etc.  I think we'd do well to consider the idea of starvation in light of the spiritual sense.  

God does not let his kids suffer from spiritual poverty or need.  He delights in meeting the needs of our hungry souls and the desires of our seeking hearts.  God does not delight in seeing us crave more of him and then sit back while we "suffer" through that craving.  In fact, it is that craving that he rewards - he immediately moves to see that craving fulfilled.  The fulfillment of the craving for more of God's love, his grace, or his character created within us moves his heart into action.  

God won't starve an honest soul - the thought of an "honest soul" gives us some indication that there may be times when we "play games" with God about the desires of our soul.  I know this to be true in my life, so I am pretty well convinced that others play these "games" spiritually, as well.  Let me just say that we often "say" we want more of God in our lives - but the intention of seeing that fulfilled is really not there.  We half-way commit, by our own will-power, hoping to make some change in our lives that we see as making it possible for us to realize more of God's grace in our lives.

The fact is that we cannot do anything to "make God" move in our lives.  What God responds to is the honesty of our need.  He responds to sincerity - not manipulative attempts to get him to do anything.  Sometimes we think we can manipulate God to do what it is that we desire.  Let me assure you that God is not moved by our manipulation - he is only moved by our honest estimation of our need and our sincere cries for more of him.

He frustrates the appetites of the wicked - we often wonder why we experience frustrations in our spiritual life.  We might do well to examine our motives in approaching God with what we present as our "needs".  He might be waiting until we are truly honest with him - in the meantime, we experience the frustration of waiting for his answer that seems to be delayed in coming our way.  I am not saying we are "WICKED" in our approach to God, but we are not being honest about the intentions of our heart, mind, will, and emotions.

God's delays create much frustration for us.  Sometimes his delays are our doing.  He is waiting for us to come to a place of honesty with him.  At other times, he knows that the answer needs to be delayed simply because our heart, mind, will, and emotions are not prepared to receive what he has for us.  Regardless of the delay, we experience frustration.  That is a response to us perceiving that God is delaying something that we think we need, or that he is simply not listening.  The fact is....he always hears!  He may delay simply because we need the time!

So, let's learn to be honest with God in our needs.  Come straight out and let him know where we are sensing our need.  He will clarify if that need has a deeper source.  We need to trust him to respond to our honesty.  I know we may find that foreign in our relationships - but with him, it is a pre-requisite to having our needs met!