And Jesus answered and said…
“You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you?…”
Why are people so enamored with their body image? Mostly the female gender of the human species, but there are some males out there that worship their bodies too.
It really makes no sense because the human body is actually revolting.
I mean, seriously people…?
It’s pathetic how humans are so enamored with their bodies when the body is just a decaying organism.
A young woman posts photos online about her hunting experiences. She receives death threats from those who don’t agree with her point of view.
A young man makes a mistake and accidentally causes the loss of life of a young child. Those who hear about it and have strong opinions about the matter make the decision to send him death threats.
A politician states a conservative or liberal view in an article or interview. Those who don’t agree send them death threats.
I have news for you people…
Those threats didn’t come from guns, knives, explosive devices or any other form of weaponry. They came from people.
They came from people who don’t have boundaries anymore. People who believe they have the “right” to threaten someone with violence if they don’t agree with their way of thinking.
Matthew 7:7-8 – NASB
I’ve become a little hard pressed to believe that God will ever answer my prayers the way I would hope.
I’m not saying I don’t pray or that I’ve lost my belief in God. I do pray, and I do believe in God, but what I’m saying is that God has put so many stipulations on prayer that I’m not sure that God will answer my requests the way I hope because when I pray, I don’t meet the stipulations that He set for when we pray.
Here are some of the stipulations that I’m talking about…
I didn’t list those in any particular order, just listed off at random as they came to mind, but they are stipulations God has placed on how we make requests to Him and whether or not those requests will be answered.
Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that God will never answer prayers…Far from it. He does answer prayers, but what I am saying is that I don’t know if He’ll ever answer mine because I’ve failed to meet the stipulations He’s set for my prayers to be answered.
More importantly, I doubt that God will answer me because of a sincere lack of faith and thankfulness based on past experiences and past requests that never got answered over the years.
(Yeah… yeah… yeah…’don’t live in the past’…blah, blah, blah… Preaching to the choir, people!)
But seriously, I always thought and believed that my past prayers were made in faith, in the name of Jesus, with others who were like-minded, with an attitude of thanksgiving in my heart and a hope that God would answer in the affirmative; consequently, God saw fit to have me sit back and watch while He gave what I requested for myself to other people. Therefore, my prayers didn’t get answered as I had hoped.
Am I admitting my selfishness and pride here? I suppose I am. Which leads to one more reason that God didn’t answer my prayers the way I had hoped. After all, God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6).
Was I deserving of those things I requested? — Maybe. Maybe not. — I won’t know the answer until I come face to face with God, and even then He probably won’t tell me because at that point…it won’t matter.
However, that hasn’t stopped me from developing excuses and rationalizations as to ‘why’ God won’t or hasn’t answered my prayers the way I had hoped.
Excuses such as: “Maybe I wasn’t ready to receive the gift…”, “Maybe it was because of sin…”, “Maybe I didn’t deserve something that wonderful…”, “Maybe I’m not worthy…”, “Maybe God’s got something better…” , “Maybe my motives are incorrect…”, “Maybe there isn’t anything better…” or “Maybe all of the above…??”
All of these excuses have set in motion a downward spiral of introspection which has ultimately led to self-judging, self-loathing and self-condemnation. All of which have slowly encased my heart in a shell of petrified callousness and led me to a sincere distrust of whether or not the almighty will ever answer my prayers in the manner of which I hope.
Truth be told… I have a broken heart.
Ironically, even though my prayers haven’t been answered the way I hoped, I still pray and make requests to God all the time.
I’m constantly pouring out my feelings and desires to Him while requesting things with a sincere belief in the power of Jesus Christ that God will answer me; however, when I pray, the doubt remains that God will never grant my request in the manner in which I hope.
Therefore, thankfulness is a distant memory, and any faith that might have assisted in my prayers being answered is lacking a solid foundation.
Please know that I do believe that God exists . . . I do . . . but quite frankly I’m not confident He really does reward all those who seek Him.
I know I’m not alone. There are many in this world who have the same doubts about their prayers ever being answered or whether God will ever bless them again.
Heck, even the prophets in the old testament were given over to wonder if God was hearing them or if they would ever be answered. Some even felt deceived by God.
Look at the words of Job (13:24-28):
“Why do You hide Your face and consider me Your enemy? Will You cause a driven leaf to tremble? Or will You pursue the dry chaff?
“For You write bitter things against me and make me to inherit the iniquities of my youth. You put my feet in the stocks and watch all my paths; You set a limit for the soles of my feet, while I am decaying like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten.”
And then Jeremiah, a prophet of God’s very own choosing, writes:
“Why has my pain been perpetual and my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream with water that is unreliable?” (Jeremiah 15:18)
“O Lord, You have deceived me and I was deceived; You have overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; Everyone mocks me. For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction, because for me the word of the Lord has resulted In reproach and derision all day long.” (Jeremiah 20:7-8)
Both prophets went through a period of time where they struggled to believe that God was listening to their requests or that He would answer their requests the way they hoped.
Jeremiah and Job were dedicated servants of God and they humbly performed every task that God asked of them, yet there was a time in their lives they both struggled with doubt and thought that God had pulled the proverbial rug out from under their feet.
Interestingly, both of these men provide a great example of how doubting God can lead to anguish and self-depreciation. The struggles both men had with doubt cause each of them to curse the day he was born (read Job 3 & Jeremiah 20:14-18).
My point here is that every human being, even those who were specifically appointed by the LORD Jesus and God the Father, can and will doubt that God will answer their prayers they way they were hoping.
As for my situation, I began having doubts that my prayers to the Almighty God of Heaven and Earth have never gone further than the ceiling of my home after decades of the same failures. And…If by some strange miracle the words I directed towards God did reach Heaven’s doorstep, I fear those words never made it past His threshold!
From a very young age I’ve attempted to live a life that follows the narrow path. I found the words of God, and I ate them; and they became for me a joy and delight of my heart. I believed that I was called by God’s holy name and His eternal word into an eternal hope of salvation through the LORD Jesus Christ. Therefore, I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, nor did I show or feel elation or jubilation as the result of any success I may have experienced.
I’ve tried to rejoice with others in their successes. I’ve tried to mourn and encourage those in their failures and losses. And yet…because of God’s hand upon me, I sit alone. Filled with the contempt, anger and annoyance provoked by what I perceive as unfair treatment from others in this world.
I’ve asked God why my perpetual pain never ends. Why the internal wound is incurable, refusing to be healed.
I wonder and ask God if He has deceived me by providing hope to promises that would never come to pass, but He remains silent on the matter.
Yet…once again…like a trained animal who knows and fears his master, I bow my head…I bend my knee…I lay myself prostrate before the throne of the Almighty God of Heaven and Earth, and I open my mouth once more to make a simple request of God with hope that He might hear me and answer me with blessings of good things.
I wait longingly and patiently for His reply. Hoping that the answer will finally melt my hardened, callous heart and sorrow would be replaced with joy and gladness.
I don’t know if any of you can understand just how agonizing the thirst for God to answer my prayer really is.
In all honesty I long for God to dip His finger in water and just touch the tip of my tongue to quench the thirst my desires bring. To give me a sign that He hears me. That He accepts me and that my requests are a fragrant aroma, not filled with putrefaction which cause Him to turn His face away and reject me.
To let me know that He delights in me, and my heartfelt requests aren’t falling on deaf ears.
But I’m reminded of the words of Job…
“But the falling mountain crumbles away, and the rock moves from its place.
Water wears away stones, its torrents wash away the dust of the earth; so You destroy man’s hope.
You forever overpower him and he departs.
You change his appearance and send him away.
His sons achieve honor, but he does not know it; or they become insignificant, but he does not perceive it.
But his body pains him, and he mourns only for himself.” (Job 14:18-22)
That quote is one of the best explanations of how man’s hope can erode over time by the many tribulations that engulf us. Tribulations that can change our focus and cause our thoughts, our attentions and our prayers to become more self-centered and less altruistic.
In those difficult moments we take our sights off the finish line and the rewards to come. We lose sight of the truth. We stop running the race. We forget who God is.
We forget His mercies never fail.
We forget He’s never stopped loving us.
We forget that God’s best is not the same as what we perceive as the best for ourselves.
We forget that He’s never walked away from us.
We forget how to be thankful in all things.
We forget how to be content.
It’s pathetic that after all that I still don’t know if God will ever delight in me enough to answer my prayers the way I hope He will.
I guess I’ll pray about it.
A weird adjective but with a strong meaning. — “full of… characterized by… or showing presumption or readiness to presume in conduct or thought, as by saying or doing something without right or permission.”
No one is immune to this. We all want to be recognized. We all want to have notoriety, so we cattle spend so much time living in pride and arrogance thinking…presuming… we were “called“, then we form arguments to justify our actions or words. More often than not, that justification is based on our own selfishness.
We want, but we don’t have…so we take by force to possess because we believe strongly that we deserve. However, that “deserving” belief is one that leads to contempt and strife because the one who was truly deserving is now without and the one who now possesses is filled with unexplained regret.
Moreover, to minimize the feeling of regret the one who now possesses justifies their actions by declaring they are deserving; but in declaring their deserving spirit hasn’t the one who now possesses become a judge over those who no longer possess?
This pride and arrogance…at it’s core is greed, hostility, contempt for others. It is selfishness.
So bold. So confident in our own beliefs. Thinking we are highly esteemed. Overstepping boundaries. Speaking out when you weren’t given permission. You’ve been warned that such attitudes have been condemned…
If a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die.” – Exodus 21:14
The man who acts presumptuously by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the Lord your God, nor to the judge, that man shall die; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.” – Deut 17:12
But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.” – Deut 18:20
How many have presumed their actions of harm towards another were justified? Or that their words are meant to be spoken because they had a “feeling of being “called” to speak or write a book“? How many have acted boldly or spoke with liberty that was not theirs to possess? Who took the reigns of a runaway cart where the horse was left behind?
Do they not possess a behavior that is perceived as arrogant, disrespectful, and transgressing the limits of what is permitted or appropriate by a Holy and Righteous God, yet they continue each day paying no regard to the truth. Living a presumptuous life of decay and immorality.
Disobeying willfully, and out of arrogance and pride they justify their disobedience with no regard to the fatality of their words and actions towards their own soul.
If only we all would pray as David… “Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression.”
Oh to be acquitted of great transgression and to live a blameless life!! What joys would be experienced. What love would be shared among all humanity. What anxiety, fears and regrets would be abolished!! What thanks humans would have from the cleansing of their conscience!! What humility would come from the renewing of the minds and heart!!
May the God of Heaven and Earth, the Father of our Lord Jesus protect each of you today from presumptuous sins.
At my last visit to the doctor’s office I had a conversation with the front desk nurses about healthcare costs.
We happened on the topic because I mentioned that my co-pays for office visits went up a whole $15 in the past 17 years. (For those cattle who can’t do math…that’s a little more than 88 cents a year. Conversely, my deductible has gone up about $60 per year, which still isn’t all that pathetic if you really think about it.)
Neither one of the nurses had much to say regarding the rising costs of healthcare, but they both expressed their concern about how many people are on medicaid who shouldn’t be.
Like say, the 24 year old college grad who refuses to work because they can’t “find a job”, even though there are tons and tons of jobs out there. Maybe not in the field of study for which they graduated, but a job just the same.
After listening to their gripes, I then mentioned how I would run for President of the USA and promote a four-step plan to offer free healthcare to everyone.
They were intrigued…until I laid out the steps…
Yeeeaaahh…much like you, the nurses weren’t all that interested in my plan after hearing it because they understood just how much money it would cost and how little freedom they would have in the healthcare field to actually treat patients.
By the way…I never said I’d get elected, all I said is I would promote a four step plan to provide free healthcare to everyone in the USA if I run for President.
I know I wouldn’t be popular, but at least I’d be honest.
I work on a team of three people. We had four, but one quit late last year because he was tired of people not doing their work.
Well…let me rephrase that…
He quit because after almost ten full years with the company he grew tired of having to bail out ONE specific person who refused to complete their assigned work.
Here’s the poop, each of us has specific responsibilities that we’re assigned to. Responsibilities that aren’t very difficult. Assigned by our supervisor. That should be completed in a specific amount of time.
Matter of fact…this is probably the easiest job I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, for a specific someone on my team…they tend to make it more difficult, and for some strange reason that person can’t seem to understand the concept of getting the work done on time. . . or at all.
For example, when a new request comes in that is assigned to him, he lets it sit in his queue for months.
There have been times where he will let work sit in his queue for up to a year or longer.
Never acknowledging the request was assigned to him.
Never updating the request with a status of where he’s at in the process of completing the work.
Never contacting the person who made the request to let them know if there’s a delay or a problem or when the task will be completed.
Oh, one might think that he’s probably burned out and doesn’t want to do this specific job anymore, but if that were the case, he’d do more to make that evident . . .
which he doesn’t . . .
So I don’t believe that being burned out is the problem.
Two years ago when I first started this job, I began hearing from a lot of people about how bad this co-worker of mine has been over the years. People were sharing their stories of failed orders, lack of accountability, communication, laziness, slacking and just down right unacceptable behavior.
I asked why they haven’t complained about him, but I always received the same reply…“we have!! but no one takes our complaints seriously! He’s been like this for over ten years!!”
Many of you reading this might be asking yourself if management knows about this person’s ineptitude?
Incredibly, yes they do.
Management has tried to move him to another team or even fire him; but since the human resources team here at my little pathetic basket of hell is afraid to do their jobs, he remains employed.
And of course, he always has an excuse for delaying the work or never completing the work.
His reasons are endless, but after only a couple years of being his co-worker I’ve managed to figure out the two main causes of why he’s so inept:
Neither of these are conducive for providing proper customer service or getting your work done in a decent duration of time.
That brings us to the here and now.
After a nice, long weekend I came in to work, opened my email and found an email from upper management who requested a status on something that was submitted over a month ago. A simple request to purchase something that would take maybe a couple hours to complete. Sadly, after a month of waiting the purchase has not been made and the staff who requested it has not been able to do their job.
Interestingly the email was addressed to our entire team and not just to the inept co-worker who won’t do his job and since the email was sent to our team, I could easily take care of the situation and complete the work . . .
But what does my co-worker learn if I do that?
Answer: he learns that his slacking off doesn’t have consequences and someone else will always bail him out when the pressure mounts.
Therefore, I’m not doing his work.
If he plans on being lazy, if he refuses to complete the work assigned to him in a decent manner of time; then he also needs to suffer the consequences. He needs to learn that his ineptitude won’t be accepted by his co-workers.
And that’s exactly what I said when I confronted my supervisor about the issue this morning.
I refuse to bail him out.
It’s not going to happen this time. It’s not going to happen in the future. He must take responsibility for his actions, or in this case, his lack of actions.
I’m tired of working with inept co-workers.
This workplace is really pathetic.