A delightful paradox to which we should all be aware goes like this: Is life a human having spiritual experience or a spiritual being having a human experience? Influences and things that happen could be interpreted either way. Embracing the one that best serves our personal response to God as our Father is priority.

My choice was confirmed in Hebrews 12:9: “Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live?” The writer identifies God as the “Father of my spirit”. The emphasis is on God as Spirit and His intentionality towards cultivating of our human spirits.

We witness an encounter in the heart of David as a spirit having a human experience:

And David said longingly, Oh, that someone would give me a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem by the gate! And the three mighty men broke through the army of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem by the gate and brought it to David. But he would not drink it but poured it out to the Lord. And he said, Be it far from me, O Lord, to drink this. Is it not [the same as] the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives? So, he would not drink it. These things did the three mighty men (2 Samuel 23:16-18).

Limiting our emphasis to one distinct point is crucial. Humility is the needed therapy for our own human spirit. Our indispensable lesson is this: God may not answer our heart cry directly but enlist others to provide the answers for which we prayed.

David’s heart response toward those who risked their lives on his behalf expressed honor toward others with strength and clarity. A good father, the one we identified in Heb. 12:9, requires our dependence upon others. He hears our prayers. He may not always give us a straight answer. He may send answers in the container of another person. How we receive the people determines reception or refusal of the answers.

He that receives the prophet, receives the prophets reward. If we receive the person as one being sent, you do receive Me, said Jesus (Matthew 10:41).

Help us, Lord Jesus, to see and honor those whom You have placed in our lives with answers we are needing. With humility, we receive answers. Answered prayer may not be the result of great biblical knowledge, personal spirituality, but the fruit of humility that causes us to want to “pour the answers out before the Lord”. The lesson learned becomes more important than the answer!


Bob Mumford


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