Curiosity Feeds Your Faith
And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32 (NKJV)
Unbeknownst to them, Cleopas and another disciple have been walking with Jesus. When they reach town and turn toward home, Jesus moves like He intends to continue His journey. They extend the hospitable invitation for Him to join them for dinner and to rest His head in their home for the night.
It is their insistence that sets them up to see Jesus for who He really is. And that insistence is born out of not letting the excitement of the day rob them of the curiosity of the evening.
They had walked with Jesus for nearly seven miles—almost three hours. And after all that time, they were still interested.
It's been a full day, especially in the immediate aftermath of the Passover celebration and against the backdrop of the drama of the crucifixion of Jesus a few days earlier. And yet, Cleopas and the other disciple remain curious about this Stranger—so much so that Cleopas asks Him to give the blessing before dinner.
When Jesus prayed and handled the bread, then their eyes were opened. Their curiosity was rewarded with blessing.
Don’t let life make you stop wondering what might happen if you turn it over to Him. Stay curious, my friend. There’s always something Jesus is revealing.
Meditation and solitude and giving and mercy and worship are all spiritual disciplines. I suggest to you that curiosity is a spiritual discipline too. Curiosity is food for faith. In fact, when faith wants to eat at a buffet, it goes to the buffet where curiosity is the cook.
Let curiosity feed your faith.
Let Jesus Handle It
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14 (NIV)
We have a tendency to want to handle things on our own. But part of growing in faith is learning to let Jesus handle things in our lives.
The Bible tells us to not be anxious about anything but to bring everything to Him in prayer and supplication. That’s why we surrender our will to His will and trust Him enough to walk our lives by faith and not by sight.
We often have a reflexive response to the hurts, fears, and disappointments we encounter. We want to strike back. We want to protect ourselves. We want to show strength. We want to cut ties.
But when Jesus handles things in our lives, He brings a different meaning to the situation—a meaning that discloses who He is, which in turn helps us to better understand who we are. The way Jesus handles things is different. It forces us to forgive our enemies. It helps us to wait on the salvation of God. It helps us to not be impulsive and to sit back and wait for God to show His hand.
There are times when we must back up, be still, and know that God is God. When we do, He demonstrates His might and strength, He discloses His character and reveals His will, He opens a door and makes a way.
The hard times may be difficult to endure, but when we allow Jesus to handle things, we emerge from those times and realize how the Lord was synchronizing events and experiences to make us who we need to be.
The Best Way to Pray
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Psalm 145:18 (NIV)
I heard the story of three preachers who were discussing the best position for prayer. They were sitting around trying to compete with each other in theological dialogue about the best posture to be in so that God would hear their prayers. Nearby was a telephone repair man who was working.
One preacher says, “Kneeling is definitely the best posture for prayer.” Another one says, “No, no, no. Kneeling is not the best posture for prayer. I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to heaven.” The third preacher says, “Y’all are both wrong. The most effective prayer position is lying prostrate, face down on the floor.” The telephone repair man had been listening to them prognosticating theologically—having their competition about what is the best position in prayer—and he chimed in and said, “Hey fellas, the best praying I ever did was when I was hanging upside down from the top of a telephone pole.”
I don't know how spiritual you are when you pray. You might have a little prayer closet or corner in your home. You might have a prayer shawl that you put over your shoulders, special lighting, or meditative music for your prayer times. But life is going to push you into some predicaments where you aren’t going to have a chance to use those wonderful prayer places, positions, or props. When life hangs you upside down until you don't know which way is up, you still can have a little talk with Jesus and tell Him all about your troubles, and He will hear you!
When it comes to prayer, it’s not so much about the how, when, and where. It’s about the what, why, and who.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)
Does Jesus only fit into your life to direct the stage upon which you are acting out life? Or does He have enough lordship in your life to take the script and make some adjustments? Can He change the scenes and adjust your role when necessary?
I love the role Jesus has given me, but I don’t always like some of the script changes. Why? Because I like being the hero. I like it when somebody is in desperate need, and I get to put my cape on and fly to the apex of the mountaintop and rescue them from the hand of the foe. But I don’t like it when I’m the one in the valley, and somebody has to swoop down and pick me up.
I like it when people come to me and ask me for encouragement, and it flows out of my mouth because of the gift of wisdom and the power of the Holy Spirit. But I don’t like it when I’m the one walking around in confusion and can’t figure out two plus two.
We can’t always be the hero of the story. There are times when Jesus takes the manuscript and says, “Hero in scene one, but desperately in need in scene two.” He does this to keep us humble so that we don’t become conceited and think more highly of ourselves than we should.
Learn to exercise patience while your script is being edited. Learn to see in your blindness. Learn to produce in your pain. Learn to discern in your detours. Pay attention in your fatigue. Breathe in your frustrations. Be aware in your mistreatment.
Allow God to place you in the specific role that He has for your life, and then play your part faithfully under His direction.
Jesus Is the Cure
He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Psalm 107:20 (NIV)
Jesus is the cure.
He is the treatment, the therapy, the remedy, and the medication.
And because He is all of those things, you don’t have to live—at any point in your life—settling for spiritual sickness.
You’re not supposed to live in pain about your personhood, your purpose, your placement, your power, your potential, or your possibilities. Life for you is not intended to be one of diseased mental journey, gripped in fear, haunted by bad experiences, settling for anguish and hurt.
Jesus is more than a cushion for our fall. He is the cure for what ails us. And before you seek help anywhere else, come to Him for your remedy. He makes it available in so many ways.
He can prescribe it through His word, through His work, and through His will. Jesus is our cure.
My challenge to you is to stop living so long with the stuff that is infecting you and impairing you and interrupting your God-intended path and your God-intended pace. Stop negotiating with what makes you spiritually sick because you’ve got a relationship with the Great Physician and you’ve got every right to ask Him for the help you need to live a spiritually healthy life.