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Circumstances for Clapping Hands is a blog about reasons to give praise to God, despite my circumstances. As Henry David Thoreau once addressed, “There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.” The challenges: 1) Find value in everything you do and 2) Find joy in doing it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One Step at a Time...

Recently I've engaged God in a deal making process. You know the type: You do this for me and I'll do that for you. Needless to say, I've come to the point that God's nature doesn't operate under the guise that He needs our help...or does it?

Bare with me for a moment (if you would) but after recently reading an interesting description relating to man's relationship with God, I've gained much respect for God's tolerance of His creation. The author Neil S. Wilson describes in one event that, "Elisha knew God's power relied on the faithfulness of those whose faith was being tested."

Think about it. Everyday choices are made, good and bad. Things constantly sway and improve for some while things worsen for others. Maybe the solution stems from the previously mentioned quote. Are we faithful? Maybe prophets such as Elisha, Elijah, Nehemiah, Micaiah (lesser known-see 1 Kings 22) and such had strong faith due to their VISUAL encounters with God's work. Not that they saw Him necessarily, but they saw His work in progress. Note-The Prophets of Baal, a Chariot of Fire, the construction of a Wall, and the immediate outcome of a previous description.

Having served in Christian Education for some time, two questions I always enjoy asking my students are, "Does God change His mind?" and "If so, does free will effect His plan?" Ultimately students voice their opinions endlessly, with no real answer given. However I believe to have found a new, simple statement to leave them with. "God's power does rely on the faithfulness of those whose faith is being tested." I don't think we control God by any means, however I do believe God limits His power in times where lessons are apparent. How else would we grow in our faith?

The point: What decisions did you make for God today and what decisions did He make for you?


  1. So when are you going to talk about your beliefs about Free Will? That's a heavy one.
    Draw out some of these heavier, meatier ideas...

  2. I just have to say that your blog is such an inspiration! I hope you continue to write because you have profound thoughts and insight. Thank you for sharing! Oh, and this may be a random question...but what would be on the top of your list as far as books to read? It seems like you might have some good resources in that department - thanks!

  3. i am such a believer in the power of choices.

  4. "I don't think we control God by any means, however I do believe God limits His power in times where lessons are apparent." I think this is a very important truth (cf. Mark 6:5). On the "Does God change is mind?" issue, I always find 1 Sam 15 very refreshing, because of the way that Samuel (whose view I think represents the writer) is viewed struggling with this very problem. Sandwiched between two statements -- one by God (v. 11) and one by the narrator (v. 35) -- to the effect that God regrets having made Saul king is the rather striking declaration by Samuel (v. 29), that God does not change his mind. While "regreting" and "changing one's mind" might seem very different in our minds, they're depected by the same verb (niham) in Hebrew.