Week 16

Getting It Right About Prayer: More than to Request, Asking Means to Receive

We can be in full confession of our need for God to enable us in our service to others, have full confidence that he is able and faithful to do so, deeply desire it, and even ask him for it – that is, to request it in the sense that “asking” is traditionally understood. But none of that will result in the enablement we need for living out his calling for our lives.

That’s because, asking for God’s enablement in the sense of requesting it is not the same as choosing to connect to his resources through which his support flows into our lives.

For this reason, we understand that,

  • in the Bible sense, asking means to receive – that it is the same as opening a door to receive someone into our home, or opening a window to allow light into the room, and that
  • asking, in the sense of requesting something desired from God, without taking time to receive it, is not a Scriptural concept.
Otherwise, the promise of Jesus, “Ask and it will be given you” (Matthew 7:11) could not be true.

“The entrance (entranceway) of your Word (or the entering in of God’s provisions) gives light.” – Psalm 119:130 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12D20

Teaching Truth: God’s Calling for Grace Counseling

Sometimes counselees hurt so badly they cannot hear the concepts we teach. So we pause a moment to express pathos for their hurting, and also to give opportunity for them to vent their anger, fear, and doubt, also to groan and cry.

Venting is therapy to help manage pain (pain relief) and can be life saving, especially for providing emergency care. It also helps counselors to identify and appreciate the PAIN being suffered. But, in and of itself, venting is not the solution. From the grace counseling perspective, the solution must begin with an understanding of

  • the PROBLEM at the root of the pain - that it is unmet health needs,
  • God’s PROVISIONS for meeting those needs, and
  • God’s PLAN for connecting to the support resources through which those provisions flow into our lives.  
So, at some point in our relationship with hurting people, our counseling moves forward to strongly focus on teaching the concepts that support that understanding. Sometimes we may seem unsympathetic, and counselees sometimes seek a different kind of support counseling, but God has called and enabled GracePoint to provide support in the unique way we do with the promise that those for whom it is meant will be helped.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12D19

Scheduling Connection to Supports: Strategy for Staying On Course

Our fallen human state will not tolerate us doing nothing. Someone has said, “Entropy loves company.” I think that means inactivity supports inactivity.
That is why we support our counselees to

1. at all times be either
  • connected to God’s resources for their lives which renew and increase their health and strength (John 15:1-8) or
  • engaged in redemptive service to others; and
2. schedule these connections and engagements because fallen human beings will not likely make wise choices that are not scheduled.

There are many examples in the Bible of men and women, including King David (2 Samuel 11), who fell into trouble because their inactivity left them exposed to the call of Satan, the world, and their fallen sinful nature.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12D18

Experiencing Recovery from Brokenness Thru Quiet Time Worship of Christ

Every day I am driven to my quiet time by the burden in my heart for the redemptive needs of others and also by the downside of my intense temperament type. The one is produced in me by Christ; the other is inborn, compounded by unmet support needs.

The Psalmist cried, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.” – Psalm 139:1

Not every person is afflicted as I am by temperament. Their moods are not dark but light-hearted and spirited. Also, the heart of every person is not weighted by the needs of a hurting world. They do not groan but seem to flit about like a bird.

At times, a brighter disposition seems appealing to me. That is, until in my quiet time, driven there by the pain of my human depravity, and also by my deep desire to be made competent and effectual in service to others, I experience the surpassing greatness of God’s power for healing and renewal through connection to Christ, which I would not experience otherwise.

“For this reason, I kneel before the Father…” - Ephesians 3:14 (See chapter for context.)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12D17

Husbands Called to Make Wise Choices for Health Motivated by the Heart of Christ in Him for His Wife

Every choice Christ made was in behalf of others. He came into the world (he himself said in Mark 10:45), not for self-serving reasons, but for the purpose of redemption (to rescue and recover the lost and broken).

This means, as we are increased daily during our quiet time worship (experience of him) to fuller measure of “who Christ is” within us, our motivations are purified so that the choices we make are increasingly driven by his heart within us for the redemptive needs of others.

This is especially true regarding the choices we make which renew and establish us in health. While we are properly motivated to make wise choices for health by our desire to feel and look good, fear of disease, and other common sense reasons, we are transformed by Christ so that, mostly, we make them in behalf of those we are called to serve.

Paul wrote exactly this to husbands: “He who loves his wife loves himself” and “For this reason (to invest in the redemptive needs of his wife, to be her savior) a man grows up and then leaves his father and mother to be united to his wife” (Ephesians 5:22-33).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12D16 

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