"Dear friends -God invites; and we have the option of responding. This is simply the way it always is and always has been. Asking is central to God's nature. He invites; He requests; He offers; He opens. Dallas Willard (The DivineConspiracy) calls it "the power of the request," and urges us to also inviteas God does. Inviting and requesting - what RESPECT and connectedness areimplicit in those terms! Is it hard to live always "asking"? Sometimes,yes. But not if we know what we are asking is an invitation to Godliness,to God's kingdom life. Willard calls the request "the heart of community."It means we surrender our own agendas, and purify our hearts. "Asking isindeed the great law of the spiritual world through which things areaccomplished in cooperation with God and yet in harmony with the freedom andworth of every individual." (Willard). Jesus' life was both a statement("God so loved the world") and a question ("Do you love me?"). May the lifeof Christ in us demonstrate both the statement and the passionate longingbehind the question! May we learn to invite as God does!"
A statement by email from a friend much wiser than I.
I never before considered that God would ask me to do anything. Yes, I am given free will, and I can choose, essentially whether to follow the calling he has laid out before me. But that calling, those whisperings, those tugs on my heart, I never before considered them to be requests by God. Many times, I have found myself on my knees before my King, begging him to take me someplace, or provide me with something. He has remained faithful to me, giving generously of his own riches, and never requiring anything in return but my commitment to him. But, now I see it in reverse. He is on his knees before me, asking me to lead his people, asking me to follow him, asking me to do the things I know I don't want to and can easily turn and run from, but that he has done for me and prepared me for. It's interesting, because I never saw God as humble. I know the stories, and I call him a servant. It's almost trite now, to hear that "he gave his life." Instead, he is living his life for me. That is marvelous, mind-blowing, amazing.