Holding those cards close to the vest...

Can I get you to stop what you are doing for just a moment to consider something? Do you have 100% confidence God hears you when you speak with him? I really would like you to consider very carefully your answer to that question. We don't always live in this bold confidence, do we? We sometimes just 'float things out there' past God's hearing ears in an attempt to see if we might be "on track" with what he might be 'inclined' to do in our lives. It is like we ask, but we don't really know for sure that God will honor our 'ask'. Scripture assures us that we can and should live in this bold confidence - God hears our voices. Sometimes he hears our collective voices - like when we are all gathered together and praying for a matter that we are all intent on seeing him take action in. Most often he hears our singular voice - when we cry out to him for those deeply held secrets and pains of our heart. I don't think the 'collective' voice carries anymore 'weight' with God than the singular voice of one of his kids. He hears them ALL.

We live in the bold confidence that God hears our voices when we ask for things that fit His plan. And if we have no doubt that He hears our voices, we can be assured that He moves in response to our call. (1 John 5:14-15)

We call - he hears - and he moves. If we are not seeing or sensing God's movement in our lives, then maybe we haven't really expressed our inner longings or desperate needs to him all that openly. I have said this before - God may know the inner thoughts of our minds, but there is something powerful that happens when we give voice to them in shared communion with him. Not the communion that involves bread and juice, but the "let's just hang together for a while" kind of communion in which thoughts begin to be spoken and hearts begin to be mended. Communion begins with our coming to him - it most often ends with us knowing he has come to us. He never left us, but we just weren't all that aware of his presence with us until we stopped long enough to commune with him.

Let me be truthful here with each of you - a little vulnerable, if I may. I can hold things pretty close the vest, so to speak. It isn't that I want to live a secretive life, but I am like the card player who is holding those cards so close to my chest in order to keep others from knowing what I am going through. I have a few close to me who can 'see all my cards' without fear or worry that they will 'share my hand' with others. In turn, they do the same with me. We need to be willing to lay down our cards, to have them seen and known, if God is to help us 'play the hand we are dealt'. Just as in a card game, you don't have much control over the hand you will receive, but you do have the ability to play it with his oversight and knowledge of how to play them! 

Ask - he isn't put off by our need. Know - be certain he isn't unaware of our need, nor uncertain as to when or how to meet it. Receive - we don't know until we ask; we don't ask if we don't expect to receive. Just sayin!

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