Receiving the Promises
Ever feel like you’re not receiving all that God promises you? The Collect of the Day (included in its entirety below) may have an answer for you.
As an aside: Why do we call them Collects? Because they are intended to “collect” the prayers of the different people together. It is assumed that each individual is praying (not just the person reading the Collect!) and the words spoken aloud simply draw those prayers together.
In the Collect for this Sunday, we pray, “increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command.” I love the fact that this collect does not simply ask the we be given what God promises, but that we come to love what God commands so that we are actually shaped as His people.
This is not God saying to us “Do what I want then I’ll give you what you want.” Rather, we are reminded that receiving the promises of God is inextricably connected with be formed by Him. The two go hand in hand. We cannot expect to simply be the recipients of God’s blessings without becoming the kind of people who can receive those blessings.
Over the years, I’ve spoken with far too many people looking for God’s blessing or wondering why God seems absent to them, but when pushed are not open to the kinds of changes that make it possible.
Do you want to experience God more fully in your life? It is not the Lord who is holding back. It is you who has not allowed yourself to be shaped into the person that experiences God more fully.
When we join together in this Collect on Sunday, make it truly your prayer. Be deliberate about being open to the Lord, not just for a moment on Sunday morning, but to be reformed as one who truly loves what the Lord commands. Then you will begin to find His promises coming alive in your life!
This column appeared in the October 25, 2020 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
I you are reading this at a different time, you may click here for the current eNews.