I Plead the Fifth
A few Sundays ago we looked at the idea that God means for us to live in a dimension (we called it the fifth dimension) that many cannot even see. He wants us to live as if he is active in the world and interactive with our lives. Jesus even invites us in Luke 11 and 18 to be bold and persistent in our expectations of God when we pray. He says that just as a person should expect his friend to help him in trouble (isn’t that what a true friend does) and just as a person should expect a judge to give us justice (isn’t that what a judge does) so we should expect God to answer bold, persistent, reasonable prayers (isn’t that…?) We should believe.
This idea is promoted throughout the Old Testament and this last week I saw it again. In 2 Samuel 15 David discovers that his own son, Absalom, is marching against him to end his life and take over the kingdom. David is distraught but his immediate response is to see the whole situation under the governance of God and to depend on that. When his own advisor joins the cause against him David prays, “LORD, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness” (2 Samuel 15:31). When Ahithophel gives good advice to Absalom another advisor, secretly allied with David, gives contrary advice. We read that Absalom and “all the men of Israel” believe the latter’s advice is best. Why? “For the LORD had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom” (2 Samuel 17:14). God got invol
ved and it was all over for Absalom. This story encourages us to believe.
Are you feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, fearful, or just plain stuck? The lesson of both Old Testament revelation and Jesus is that we can lay hold of God by earnest faith and we can expect his help. Our troubles are meant to teach us to live in the fifth dimension.