Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking Him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.

Daniel 9: 3

 

We humans are a strong-willed and a stubborn lot. We truly put feet to the old expression that goes like this, “When all else fails, pray!” Personally, I do spend far too much of my time and energy in trying to figure out situations and in attempting to come up with solutions to challenges. I search my mind’s storage space for tried and true answers out of the past, and I look at endless scenarios in order to predict the probable outcomes that will result from various possible actions that I could take. This is all far more complicated than it needs to be.

 

The simple, unmistakable historical fact that I tend to forget in this entire problem solving frenzy of mine is that God has a very good track record of bringing about solutions to life’s real challenges and issues. He has stayed with His people through our most faithless times of wandering off, and the Lord has not abandoned us or ignored our cries for salvation and for mercy when we found ourselves caught in evil’s traps. Now, in the deep intimacy of Christ’s presence in my life, He seeks to walk through all of life with me. Christ is totally with His people. He speaks truth and righteousness into the chaos that is our world. God has invested Himself into us, and He seeks for us to invest our hearts, minds, and being into serving His will.

 

True solution is found in seeking God’s will. His will is made known by His voice as the Lord speaks to us through His Word and by His Spirit. This revealing is accomplished in large measure through the close and personal conversation that we call prayer. God wants to hear our urgency, our need, and our concerns. He also desires for our hearts to be humbled before Him so that they are open and yielded to His leading. The most honest and sincere times of our lives should be these times of prayerfully opening the deepest recesses of our beings to God. The place, the time, and the company do not matter. All prayer can and should be deeply intimate and personal. There is no one who knows each of us like God does, and there is no one else who will respond to us with the authority and the love that flow out of the heart of God.

Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious corner stone, of a sure foundation;

‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’ And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line.”

Isaiah 28: 16, 17a

 

If life were a film, haste might be the director’s command for our lives today. We are urgent to get where we are intending to go. Everyone wants answers that were delivered before the problem was even defined. People are quick to abandon relationships that aren’t working well enough, and we jump ideological ship when a small storm swell rocks it. It seems that loyalty is defined by self-protectiveness, and faithfulness often lasts about as long as a Mayfly lives. It is not all that shocking to me to realize that God sees things rather differently. He talks to us in terms that call out the dawn of human time, and then, as we start to develop a sense of our importance, the Lord reminds us that our existence starts at something like mid day on His clock.

 

The foundation that God built for us is firstly relational. It is, it exists, and it forms the natural undercurrent for life. This point of beginning for all interaction, whether from person to person, among humans and God, or involving us and our world, has as its basis and its underpinning the relational nature of God, Himself, with His three-in-one, fully communicative, integrated and yet separately well-defined existence. God intends for us to be in this life for the long haul. He desires for people to continually count the cost of our decisions and our actions so that we are mindful of the way that they impact and affect others in terms of whether we are treating people in a manner that is loving, just, righteous, and fair.

 

The corner stone that God has set out for us is also true, absolutely perfect in its orientation, and unshakable even in the face of the greatest forces that this world or that life can throw against it. For the sake of clarity let me say that this corner stone is Jesus Christ with His gospel, the Eternal Word. There is no other answer to the questions and the challenges that come our way. It would seem that God wants us to slow down and stop looking for new ways of thinking that will bring about miraculous solutions to all that is wrong in our world. The Lord wants people to spend time with Him and to search out His heart’s desire as it is set out in His word. When we do this we are settling into our place upon that eternal foundation that God has established for us. This is a place of complete security where grace smoothes our rough edges so that we fit perfectly into God’s building design. This is the place where our wandering hearts are aligned with God’s just and true course and where righteousness lived out builds God’s temple walls high and true.