Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Exposed by the Grace of God


2 Corinthians 1:12 "Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God's grace.

There are a few words in this verse that I want to highlight, because after looking into this passage, I was extremely encouraged, and I want to pass that along! 

First of all is the word "boast". The Greek word for boast here is kauchesis, and it means "the act of boasting, which can either be in the 'achievements' of self (negatively) or about God's grace (positively); glorying, rejoicing. 

The next word I want to highlight is the word "integrity", which in the KJV it is the word "purity". The Greek word is haplotes, which means "simplicity, purity, graciousness.  Properly, 'singleness, without folds, like a piece of cloth unfolded'; i.e. not compounded or over-complicated (needlessly complex)." 

"Sincerity" in the Greek is eilikrineia, which means "Clearness. Literally, 'judged in the light of the sun'; i.e. pure inner motives." 

And finally the word "grace", which in the Greek is charis, and is defined as "favor, kindness. Refers to God freely extending Himself (His favor, grace), reaching (inclining) to people because He is disposed to bless (be near) them.  Is preeminently used of the Lord's favor - freely extended to give Himself away to people (because He is 'always leaning toward them')."

WOW! Did that get you as excited as it did me? First of all, it was encouraging to see how Paul and Timothy lived their lives in a way that basically means they "laid it all out there" for everyone to see.  Based on the definitions of purity and sincerity, I pictured a white sheet stretched out on a clothesline in the sun - nothing special - but completely exposed.  They had nothing to hide and they were willing to live that way because of God's grace. 

Oh boy - God's grace!  Don't you just love the picture that develops when you read about the word grace as defined above?  God freely extending Himself, reaching out to people because He wants to be near them!  In fact, He is "always leaning toward them"!  That blows my mind!  

I'll be honest with you, I had initially planned on skipping over this passage during my study time, but thankfully the Holy Spirit urged me to slow down and take a deeper look.  I'm so glad that I did!  

Child of God, if the picture of living an exposed life because of the grace you've received from God does not encourage you, it is time to take a closer look at the condition of your heart.  We are to be children of the light, but we can't be that if we are walking in the darkness (see Ephesians 5:8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:5).  

Let me expose myself for just a moment.  I have not always lived my life in purity and sincerity, and if I said that I had, you probably wouldn't believe me.  But now that is what I strive to do.  The more I get to know my Lord, the more I want to resemble Him.  Thankfully, I now better understand that when I am willing to confess my sins - to God and to others - the enemy no longer has a hold on me.  It's when I try to keep my sin hidden that it becomes a stronghold and ammunition for the enemy to use against me.  But thinking about the grace of God, and how He is always "leaning toward" me, makes me want to live my life fully exposed.  I don't want anything to cause me to want to hide, and that is what He wants for me and you!  

If you are not a child of God, stop right now and ask Him to help you understand that He is reaching out to you, too.  That is exactly what Jesus Christ did when He died on the cross for you.  God makes it clear that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved (Romans 10:13).  Call on Him and run to Him today! 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Breeze or Bees

The congregation I belong to has been going through Romans 12 for the past six weeks.  One of the main principles that is emphasized in this chapter is that of transforming ourselves by the renewing of our minds.  This is also a principle that is strongly emphasized and encouraged in the Freedom in Christ Ministry (FICM).  FICM has played a very dominant role in my life.  God used this ministry to heal me from depression.  I have shared this many times before here on this blog, so I won't go into details again. 

What I do want to share is how God recently reminded me (again) of the importance of my mind-set.  I was working in the garden on a very pleasant day, and I was taking my time searching through the squash and zucchini plants.  I began to notice the breeze that was gently blowing and I was thoroughly enjoying my time outside.  The breeze was peaceful and I felt such calmness.  However, a few minutes later my attention shifted to the many bees that were buzzing around the blossoms on the plants.  They were only doing their job of pollinating, and at first they didn't bother me.  But the more I paid attention to them - or set my mind on listening to them - the more I began to feel anxious.  What if one or more of them decided to sting me?  I reminded myself that they really did not mean me any harm.  I told myself to go back to listening to the breeze, so that's what I did.  I set my mind on the breeze instead of the bees, and once again I felt peace. 

Such a simple act - changing my mind-set from the bees to the breeze!  How often do I miss out on peace because of what I choose to set my mind on?  More often than I care to admit.  Even though I have been through the Steps to Freedom, I still have my struggles.  Thankfully, the Steps to Freedom gave me the tools that I needed to recognize my struggles sooner than before, so now it doesn't take me quite as long as it used to to address things.  By the grace of God, I can more easily admit when I've slipped back into old thought patterns that lead to sin. 

What is your mind set on?  If you need help addressing this very important aspect of your life, let me encourage you to read Victory Over the Darkness and The Bondage Breaker.  These are the two main books that God used to help me. Oh, and you can read more about my story here.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Rolling with the Dogs or Walking in Righteousness?

Our dog, Sadie, has rolled in poo two times in two days! (She has done this sort of thing before, but never this close together.)  This greatly frustrated me and I walked around ranting and yelling at her because of it!

After bathing her - again - and while washing out the tub, I asked the Lord what He could teach me from this.  This is what came to my mind:

When I choose to sin, I am basically saying that God's bathing me, or cleansing me from unrighteousness, was not good enough.  I'm stating that I would rather roll in and be covered in poo! Other dogs might be attracted to me and welcome me into their pack, but to my Master, well - I stink!  My Master went to the trouble of stooping down to pick me up, carry me to the washing tub of the cross and cover my sin with the blood of Christ!  He then toweled me off, set my feet upon the rock of Jesus Christ, and clothed me in His righteousness!  So why do I then walk away clean and smelling sweet, only to go out and willingly roll in the stench of the world?

Well, I'm so thankful that God doesn't react to me the way I did to Sadie - by yelling at her and telling her how much she frustrates me.  No.  God is patient and kind, slow to anger and showing compassion (see Psalm 103:8).  He is my loving Master, Who time after time lovingly points out the sin I've allowed back in.  He then again stoops down to pick me up and washes over me with His grace!  

Oh Lord, You are too good to me!  Please help me to be more like You.  Even with this furry creature, help me to demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.  Thank You for not acting inconvenienced whenever I sin against You, but instead display yet again Your steadfast love that never ceases!  Holy Spirit, enable to me walk in the righteousness of Christ, transformed by the renewing of my mind and no longer conformed to the pattern of this world.  May my life reflect the cleansing Christ has done in me and for me when He died on the cross for me and rose again to everlasting life! 


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

When Life Gives You Poo

I've been gardening for several years now.  The garden has not only provided physical food and nourishment to my family and me, but I've also received several spiritual applications for my life as well.  I have shared some here on this blog, so feel free to look for those garden analogies (use search).  I want to share with you the most recent:

We used a lot of horse poo in the garden this year.  While digging around in the dirt and poo this morning, God told me that if I let Him, He will take all the poo that comes my way and use it to fertilize my heart & spirit, causing good things to grow and reproduce in/through me. BUT, I have to be willing to let go of the poo in the first place. Otherwise it will stay put and build up toxins in my body and spirit, causing disease and quite possibly leading to death! 

Lord, thank You for speaking to me in the everyday things of life. Thank you for taking the poo of life and using it to help me grow in ways I never imagined. I pray for my loved ones that they too will allow you to do the same in them and for them. Jesus, thank You for making all things new!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


I heard the name Malachi in my sleep this morning.  I took that as God's leading to read the book of Malachi, so I did.  I asked Him beforehand to help me to see what I need to see.  I want to share with you what I saw:

God is speaking to His people, telling them how they have turned away from Him.  He is reminding them that judgement comes as a result. He also reminds them that if they repent, He will bless them instead.

Malachi 1:10-14 talks about how God's people have cheated Him and profaned His name by promising perfect sacrifices but offering injured, crippled or diseased animals instead.  In verse 12 it says: "But you profane it [His name] by saying of the Lord's table, 'It is defiled,' and of its food, 'It is contemptible,' and you say, 'What a burden,' and you sniff at it contemptuously," says the LORD Almighty."

We are doing the same thing today.  We do not honor the Name of God.  We profane it by the way we misuse His name in our language.  We act as if His Word (spiritual food) is defiled and contemptible.  We consider His Word and His will as a burden and we sniff at it contemptuously.  We do this by compromising His Word to suit us and by rationalizing away our sin.  This injures, cripples and causes disease in us!

In verse 14 God says: "Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the LORD.  For I am a great king," says the LORD Almighty, "and My name is to be feared among the nations."

Week after week, many Christ followers go to worship services more out of a habit or sense of obligation rather than a desire to meet with God.  We have lost the fear of the LORD and our fruitlessness in our worship services and in our daily lives bears witness to that.

Malachi chapter two addresses the priests.  In verses 1-2, we read, "And now this admonition is for you, O priests.  If you do not listen and if you do not set your heart to honor My name," says the LORD Almighty, "I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings.  Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor Me." I think it's safe to say that the Church, especially in America is experiencing curses - even the blessings of our freedoms are being cursed!

Verses 7-9: "'For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge and from his mouth men should seek instruction - because he is a messenger of the LORD Almighty.  But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble, you have violated the covenant with Levi,' says the LORD Almighty."  Each Believer is considered a priest.  1 Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him Who called you out of the darkness and into His wonderful light." Back to Malachi: "So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed My ways, but have shown partiality in matters of the law."  Of course the entire book of Malachi was written to the Israelites, but God continues to use the whole of His Word to speak to His people today.  These passages parallel the state of the Church, (as I already mentioned) especially in America. Christians are daily being more and more despised and humiliated - just read the daily news! Church, we have got to remember who we are and why we are here!  In Christ, we were made holy! We need to repent of our sins and begin again walking as children of the light! 

Continuing in Malachi 2:10-12, "Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us?  Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?  Judah has broken faith.  A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the LORD loves, by marrying the daughter of a foreign god."   How does this apply to the Church today?  As I mentioned earlier, we have compromised the Word of God and twisted it to suit our own desires, and to justify our sins.  There are even some who are now saying that the Muslim's Allah is the same as Jehovah God!  This is not so!

Malachi 2:13, "Another thing you do: you flood the LORD's altar with tears.  You weep and wail because He no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.  You ask, 'Why?'  It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant."

All throughout Scripture, God uses marriage to represent our relationship to Him.  The Church is the bride of Christ and Christ is the bridegroom.  Again, God is telling us today that we are guilty - guilty of leaving our first love.  We have broken our marriage vows by adulterating with the world!  God is telling us, "So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth." (verse 15b)  He says this twice!

Chapter two goes on to point out, "You have wearied the LORD with your words.  'How have we wearied Him?' you ask.  By saying, 'All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and He is pleased with them', or 'Where is the God of justice?'"

Going on to chapter three verse six: "I the LORD do not change...Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty. And in verses 8-12 God points out how the people have robbed Him by neglecting to trust Him with their tithes.  He assures them if they will trust Him in this way, that He will bless them with so much in return, they won't have room to store it all! And in verses 13-15, God calls out the people for not trusting in Him and His ways.  They've been saying that it is "futile to serve God," because in their eyes it didn't seem to do any good.

Fortunately, we see a change of heart in verses 16-18: "Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard.  A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored His name.  'They will be Mine,' says the LORD Almighty, 'in the day when I make up My treasured possession, I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.  And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked between those who serve God and those who do not." I prefer the New Living Translation rendering of verse 17: "They will be my people," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. "On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child."

Oh, how I want to be in God's scroll of remembrance because I feared Him and honored His name!

Malachi chapter 4 talks about the Day of the LORD, which refers to the Day of Judgement.  Those who fear His name need not dread this day, because for them it will be a day of healing and release!
"But for you who revere My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.  And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall." (verse 2)

That image makes me smile.  Can't you picture calves out leaping and skipping because they are so happy to be out of the stall and in the green open pasture?  One day we will be released from our earthly bodies and into our perfect new bodies! Glory!

Malachi ends with these words: "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.  He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."

I'm reminded of a brief dream I had either before or after hearing the name Malachi in my sleep this morning.  I saw my son as a young child.  He was standing just outside the door.  I reached down to pick him up and bring him back into the house. I then loved on him just as I used to.  Oh how God our Father wants to love on His people! But we must repent - become as innocent children again.  

"They will be my people," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. "On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child."

Father God, how I pray that we, Your people, will repent of our sins.  Forgive us for allowing sin to enter our lives, causing us to be crippled, injured and diseased.  Forgive us for sniffing at Your Word contemptuously!  Forgive us for defiling Your name!  I pray that we will once again honor You and revere Your Name - for Your Name is great and greatly to be praised!  I pray that we will return to our first love, Jesus Christ, so that we can be presented to You as undefiled, without spot or wrinkle.  I pray that we will fear You and honor You so that we too can have a scroll of remembrance written on our behalf in Your presence!  Father, turn our hearts back to You. Amen.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Time Has Become Our Enemy

I wanted to share some thoughts that I have had off and on in recent years; thoughts concerning the Body of Christ, and how we are currently functioning.  I've actually addressed it before, here. My experience as a Believer in Christ has been as follows:

Saved at a young age (approximately 10 years old)
Attended church off and on (taken by my aunt)
"Church" consisted of:
    Sunday School, which consisted of:
    a prepackaged curriculum lesson, that lasted 30 minutes IF everyone showed up on time
followed by a main service, or "big church" as some kids call it.
This service consisted of:
  •     Singing a few traditional hymns
  •     Listening to a choir special while an "offering" was taken
  •     Listening to a sermon (which lasted for about 30-45 minutes)
  •     Waiting through an "invitation" (or a call to respond to the sermon)
  •      Going home 
  Repeat the following week

This is the pattern I have followed for the vast majority of my Christian walk.  The only thing that has changed is the style of music, and that, since my teen years, I have for the most part attended services on Wednesday nights that follow the same basic pattern, only on a more casual (for lack of a better word) level.  There were periods of Wednesday nights consisting of "prayer meetings", which is for another blog post! 

Before I continue, I want to address the quotation marks that I have used.  Please do not think that this post is an attack on the Bride of Christ, because as I have stated before, that is never my intent.  I love Jesus too much to ever want to attack His Bride!  What I hope comes through these typed-out words is a challenge to examine ourselves and the Scripture, to see whether or not the what and how we are doing things line up with one another. 

I do not pretend to have reached complete understanding of the Scriptures.  I don't think that any person will ever be able to reach that this side of Heaven.  What I am saying is that I would like to see all followers of Christ come together and examine the Scriptures to see if what we have been taught is true, just as the Bereans did (see Acts 17). 

"Isn't that what we are doing already?", one might ask.  I would simply reply, "No."  If you go back and re-read the format I shared above, you will see that there isn't any time for an in-depth examining of the Scriptures. Most of what we did and are still doing today is observing and listening. Time has become our enemy!

Again, I'm not attacking, condemning or even criticizing what takes place in most church services today.  I am simply asking, "Is it working?  Is it even Scriptural?"

These are questions that I have had for several years now.  I have seen these questions addressed by several friends.  In fact, it was because of some very close friends raising these questions first that I began asking them as well. 

A.D.D. MOMENT: I fear that this post will be too lengthy to keep the average reader's attention.  I place myself in the "average" cateogry, so don't be offended! But please bear with me.  

The thing about asking questions is that sometimes it come across more like poking a hornet's nest.  We don't want to upset things, so we don't ask the questions.  And for those who do ask questions, well, unfortunately they often get stung. 

So, back to what I mentioned earlier about time.  Why do I say that "time has become our enemy"?  Well, because how many of us can honestly say that we have more time than we know what to do with?  I know I don't.  Truthfully, it's not that we don't have time, we're just not making time to follow the New Testament model.  Take Acts 2:42-47, for example:

"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." (emphasis mine)

I would imagine that after meeting together every day, the New Testament Church grew to know one another very well.  In fact, the above passage states that "they had everything in common".  WOW!  Can you imagine having "everything" in common with a group of people?  I'm sitting here shaking my head "no" because I can't!  However, with God all things are possible!  (Matthew 19:26)

I long for that.  I crave to be like Acts 2:42-47 describes.  I yearn for the Body to function as Christ intended.  Not only with meeting together, examining the Scriptures, praising God, but also in the exercising of spiritual gifts, where everyone has one and knows how to use it!  (see Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14 Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4) And what would be the result?  According to the passage in Acts: "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." 

With all of that being said, this is what I think God is trying to say (at least to me), "If you aren't going to make the time, I will remove for you those things that are consuming it."  Christian, I believe that a shaking is about to hit!  Hebrews 12:26-28 tells us:

"At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.' The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." 

Jesus made it clear that we are to seek first God's kingdom and His righteousness (see Matthew 6).  Seeking His kingdom, from my understanding of Scripture, is: 

  • frequently meeting with other believers 
  • devoting ourselves to prayer 
  • examining the Scriptures 
  • and then doing as the Scriptures say (see the Book of James)  
The struggle that I come away with is the how.  Practically speaking, how do we do these things?  A big part of me believes that we won't really have to worry about that because, if the shaking that I referred to happens, we won't have any other choice! Therefore our current traditions and formats will be null and void.  We could very likely be forced to stop gathering in such large numbers in fine, comfortable buildings, and once again start meeting secretly in homes.  We very well may be stripped of the conveniences and luxuries that so many of us (including myself) consider necessities, and once this happens we will realize all too well just how much time we have wasted.  
God's ways, even His very thoughts, are so far above ours (see Isaiah 55:9)!  We truly have no idea how huge God is! We say we do, but our actions don't show it.  That is why I believe God is going to shake things up!  He must be glorified!  Jesus died so that everyone can be reconciled to the Father!  If we, His children, are not going to live in such a way that demonstrates this truth, then He will do whatever it takes to get our attention.  

So, Church, let's not be caught unaware!  Let's start now, acting like God's chosen people.  Let's devote ourselves to prayer and examine the Scriptures to see if what we are being taught is true.  And if we aren't being taught the truth, let's get the truth out there and do it!  

Thank you for giving of your time in reading this post.  I know how valuable it is!  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Christ's Example - a word study on Hebrews 5:7

Hebrews is a challenging book for me.  I confessed to God before I began reading it this time that I found Hebrews somewhat intimidating, but I trust that with the Holy Spirit being my Teacher, I will learn what I need to learn.  I want to share a word study I did on Hebrews 5:7.  Let me begin by sharing the verse in its entirety:

During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions [KJV uses "supplications"] with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. (NIV)

Since I am currently on a prayer journey, I take special notice of any reference to it, so this verse in particular stood out to me, especially because it refers to Jesus being the One praying.  In my studies, I have already learned that there are many different nuances when it comes to the words used in reference to prayer, so I wanted to see the specific definition that is used here in Hebrews 5:7 (I use the website http://biblehub.com/). I have found that often knowing the Greek word (or Hebrew in the Old Testament) and definition brings much more meaning and understanding to a passage.  This case is no exception. 

The Greek word used for "prayers" in this passage is deésis (deh'-ay-sis), which means: "supplication, prayer, entreaty." Now that doesn't necessarily bring much clarity in and of itself, but there is a more in-depth explanation given below, which is what really helped me to better understand the significance of the word:

Cognate: 1162 déēsis (deō, "to be in want, lack"; see the cognate 1189 /déomai, "praying for a specific, felt need") – heart-felt petition, arising out of deep personal need (sense of lack, want).
[1162 (déēsis) ultimately roots back to 1211 /dḗ ("really") which likewise implies a felt need that is personal and urgent (R, 1149).]  (bold emphasis mine)

Going on to the word "petitions", or rather "supplications" (which is in the KJV, and thus the word used when doing word searches), we see that the Greek word used here is hiketéria (hik-et-ay-ree'-ah).  The short definition is supplication, entreaty, which again does not necessarily give a person an "Aha!" moment.  However, the WORDS Help-studies portion below again gives more clarity: 

2428 hiketēría – properly, an olive branch; (figuratively) earnest supplication for peace (relief, reconciliation), used only in Heb 5:7. (bold emphasis mine)
 [An olive branch, held in the hand of a suppliant, showed heartfelt "supplication, entreaty" (Souter). 2428 (hiketēría) in ancient times was frequently used of a suppliant carrying an olive branch as a token for "seeking peace."]

1. an olive-branch; for suppliants approached the one whose aid they would implore holding an olive-branch entwined with white wool and fillets, to signify that they came as suppliants. (bold emphasis mine)

To think that my Savior, Jesus Christ, prayed such a heart-felt petition, arising out of a deep personal need, and essentially held out an olive branch to the One Whose aid He implored, well, that picture stirred my spirit to so much gratitude and admiration!  But verse seven does not stop there.

The Greek word used for "cry" is kraugé (krow-gay'), which means: a shout, clamor, outcry. 

 Cognate: 2906 kraugḗ (from 2896 /krázō, "cry out") – loud crying, done with pathos (great emotion); clamorous screaming (shrieking) that is extremely boisterous, like a wounded person emitting "unearthly" (non-human) types of sounds. (bold emphasis mine)

WOW! Can you picture the Son of God crying out like that?  

And finally we read at the end of verse seven that Jesus was heard "because of His reverent submission".

The Greek word here is eulabeia (yoo-lab'-i-ah): reverence, fear of God, piety.
Cognate: 2124 eulábeia (from 2126 /eulabḗs, "reverent, godly fear") – properly, "a taking hold of what God calls good"; "holy caution," inducing circumspect behavior. See 2126 (eulabēs). (bold emphasis mine)

It's amazing to me to think of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, crying out to the Father with reverent submission - taking hold of what  the Father calls good, using "holy caution" in His approach and response to the Father! 

How often do we toss up our prayers to God expecting, and at times inwardly demanding that He answer them according to our expectations?  

In this passage of Scripture we are reminded of Christ's humility and love for the Father.  Jesus desired what His Father desired, regardless of the pain that He knew He would experience: the pain of personal rejection, the pain of public humiliation, and the pain of physical torture that led to death!  If Jesus humbled Himself to follow God's will, who are we to do anything less?  

There are many times when God's will brings us pleasure and prosperity.  However, there are times when His will allots trials and discomfort.  Why?  In my opinion it is to make us stronger, more appreciative, and quite frankly to weed out those who are not sincere in their faith. 

So to wrap up this word study on Hebrews 5:7, I want to encourage you to follow Christ's example in regards to prayer.  Let's agree to cry out to God with a heart-felt need, recognizing that He is the One who can help us.  Let us not be too proud to even at times cry out with great emotion, even to the point of clamorous screaming when the occasion arises.  And above all, let us approach the Father with holy caution and take hold of what God calls "good" instead of what we call good.