By Lee N. (Guest writer)
I have been grappling with God. Family situations were a mess and their mess was wounding my life. Oh I was praying! Big time asking, claiming, seeking and trying to hear and get hold of God. I was praying the prayers in the Bible He gave me. And it wasn’t working. That is: I wasn’t getting peace or seeing things change and I knew I didn’t believe they could change. It looked impossible.
Then I read this by J. Gresham Machen – something I have known, but have to learn over and over again as if I never knew it before!
So simple and so hard.
“’…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’
The reception of that gift is faith: faith means not doing something but receiving something; it means not the earning of a reward but the acceptance of a gift.”
I thought of John’s post a few days ago. He said something that was quiet and subtle but I heard it loudly. And it was the seed to prepare me to hear the huge solution, the complete answer. In the midst of a struggle with his quiet time, John wrote this simple statement, “I let go and release.” Then the presence of the Lord came to him. I wanted that same presence, so I grabbed the secret!
I decided to just ‘release Him’ from my grasping and struggling. What I needed was faith and peace so I let go of my life, my problems and my effort. I released the Lord Jesus Christ. No more striving, trying and gripping. I just waited.
All I have to do is receive what I need. I had struggled for faith, tried to hold onto God and all I had to do was receive. I thought, “Could it be that easy?” In a short time both faith and joy just appeared within me. I had asked for peace but what came was peace and more. I was in joy! How? I couldn’t tell you.
It was as if I stood in my house yelling to God for help and doing it so loudly that I couldn’t hear His voice over my own. Somehow He broke through my noise and said so simply: “Open your door.”
I had actually blocked His help by demanding and grasping and that is plain unbelief. My begging was doubt that He would solve it. He was waiting for me to calm down and just receive. So I opened the door and on my front porch, Christ stood waiting for me, His arms full and overflowing with every provision.
Whatever I needed was mine to receive by opening my will so He could come IN. All the treasures are Jesus! Peace, joy, faith, hope. On and on He gives! His gifts are available like a vault of gold.
Everything is already given through Him, by Him. All I have to do is receive HIM and all He is becomes mine. It’s too good and too easy.
Therefore I say to you, all things
for which you pray and ask,
believe that you have received them,
and they will be granted you.
Norman Grubb said, “Believing is receiving.”
What a statement! I make myself poor by believing I don’t have what I need. I hold Him so tightly that I shut Him out, trying to control God instead of letting Him live and give!
I am not supposed to be the aggressor; I am to be a receptor.
P.S. Wish I could tell the story! The family problems, like an immovable iceberg, are beginning to melt. Going and gone!