Ever had one of those days when you read the Bible and your meditations on the Word lead to random connections that you never saw before? I have had this occur so many times, I have come to realize that this experience transcends mere free association or brainstorming. It is the Holy Spirit revealing His ideas and truth to me in a way that helps me understand God, my relationship with Him, and His Word better.
Some days are, admittedly, ho-hum. But today is not one of those days.
Although it is only 8:30 a.m. at the time of this writing here is a journey through my mind this morning.
5:30 a.m. — I wake up 20 minutes before the alarm is supposed to sound. I am too tired to be annoyed and the random memory of a pastor once saying that if he awakened early he took it as a sign that God wanted him to spend some extra time in prayer flitters through my mind. So, I begin praying for my family and my day.
6:00 a.m. – I am in the shower now, trying to modulate the water’s temperature somewhere between steamy and scalding, when my mind briefly jumps back to my prayers for my children and what I forgot to say. Then I think, “Ever thought of posthumous prayers?”
“What on earth would a posthumous prayer be,” I ask.
The answer washes over me as easy as the warm water on my skin: “They are prayers that last beyond your death for those that you love.”
I have never thought of this before. But it makes sense when I consider it. One day I will be gone. But God will not. He will continue to act in the lives of my wife, children, friends, etc. And the prayers I utter now, the faithful petitioning of the only One who can save, help, lead, protect, and enlighten my loved ones may be unfulfilled when I die, but that does not mean that God is done. These are posthumous prayers. Prayers that last beyond the grave, much like Isaiah 64:9 when the prophet asked “Be not so terribly angry, O Lord, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people.” Such a prayer did not end with Isaiah’s death. It continued beyond his death, held securely in God’s hands to accomplish God’s purposes in God’s timing. These are posthumous prayers.
6:45 a.m. – Doing my morning devotional. Today I am reading Colossians 1 and as I read v. 22 “he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him” I realize the connection with Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”
Then I ask, “What is the connection between how Christ loves the church and how husbands should love their wives? Christ did this by dying. What kind of dying am I doing in order to present my wife blameless before God? Is her holiness something I am willing to sacrifice myself for? And if so, how do I do this?”
7:40 a.m. – Listening to a sermon on the way to work. In reference to Job, Dr. John Piper says, “while Satan may be involved in this world, battering the world in many ways, God maintains an overarching control so that He brings everything together under His sovereignty and governance to a good and righteous end for all who trust in Him.”
This reminds me of a lesson I learned several years ago about Job, namely that throughout the story of Job, he continually asks for an audience with God so that he can interrogate God and get an answer to his question of “Why me?” But when God does show up and converse with Job, the question and the need for an answer evaporate as Job receives not what he wants but what he needs, i.e. a deeper and more intimate relationship with who God is.
Then this comes to mind: “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:20-21)
Suddenly I realize that Job is not only a historical account but also a living metaphor to us who read his story of God’s redemptive purposes. Job does not tell the story of one man’s suffering only. He demonstrates to us all how God subjects the world to senseless suffering in order to set us free from our bondage to corruption. In order to move us from what we want (peace) to what we truly need (intimacy with God), God uses suffering to help man seek Him and thereby receive a deeper understanding of not only His sovereignty but also a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the manifestation of His wisdom and His grace which is our hope. In other words, God subjects us to futility in order to create dependency.
That’s it! Those are my random thoughts for the day.
What are the random thoughts the Spirit has brought to your mind today?
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