Do you value your freedom? Do you value your money? But your money is only as good as what you spend it on, and the same is true of freedom. Do you know people who spend their money foolishly and get nothing of value for it? I pose the question, why do you spend your money for that which is not bread? A similar question about freedom is even more profound. Do you see people spending their freedom on self-indulgences that do not build community or contribute to accumulating eternal substance? Do you spend your freedom on things that will lay up treasure in heaven?
Do you understand the concept of legacy? Have you ever received one? The heirs of someone who dies, typically their descendants, get their financial resources through inheritance. Have you ever received such a gift? Yet the concept of legacy is so much more than money. What else have others left behind that you have benefitted from? What have others invested in your life in a non-monetary way? What encouragement and character development do you realize came from without? You don’t have to die to pass on a legacy. In fact, the best parts of it can only be done while you are alive.
Have you ever taken time to wait on me for direction? How long did it take? What else did you do while you were waiting on me? I am honored if you choose to spend your free time in silence and stillness in my presence, but for longer periods of time I know that you have duties and responsibilities such as earning a living to support yourself. These things should not be considered an excuse for not waiting on me. One thing should not work in opposition to the other. Ask of me and I will make a way for you to commune with me while you carry out the necessary tasks of your life.
Are you familiar with the peace that surpasses understanding? Have you experienced it? Do you prefer a serene and comfortable life that is stable and predictable? If you are able to live such a life you should be at peace but this would be a reasonable consequence of such a life so it does not surpass understanding. If you live a life that involves affliction, and instability, and is unpredictable and you still experience peace then you can claim that it surpasses understanding, because it would be unexpected. Are you willing to live such a life to experience this type of peace?
Have you ever heard a prayer that sounded like a performance? Have you ever given one that meets this description? This is a temptation when prayers are offered in public. This is not an argument against public prayers, but I have addressed this matter in my word in ample detail and you should proceed with caution. Do not be like the heathen who use vain repetitions, and do not offer your public prayers with the intention of being seen by men. Should this be viewed as a prohibition of public prayer?
Have you ever attended a meeting run by parliamentary rules? Business is conducted by the resolution of motions considered. A motion must have a second before it can be considered, otherwise it dies for the want of a second. The second does not alter the motion presented, it just affirms it. How do you view your life of prayer? Do you prefer to introduce your own motions or second motions that I have made? Is it important to you to pray according to my will?
You know that you are saved by grace and not by works. How does this belief play out in your life? There is a school of thought that reduces this concept to a matter of intellectual assent to a list of propositional truths. Do you describe your faith as an academic abstraction? You also describe your faith as a relationship with me. So would it be more accurate to describe your faith as a matter of participation? This term seems more congruent with the idea of relationship than does assent to a list of doctrines.
You go to the store and expect to pay a price for the goods you buy. You consider your purchases and get those things that you value more than the money in your pocket. Are there other things for which you pay a price? Do you have an urge to belong? This is common to all people. Do you realize that belonging comes at a price? Any group that you would join requires accommodation to their values. So the same concept of benefit for cost is present in your associations as well as your purchases. Are you getting real community and acceptance in the places you belong?
Do you know who you are? Does this sound like an absurd question? Do you assume that you have complete knowledge of yourself? This would be a big assumption. Have you ever had anyone tell you something about yourself of which you were unaware? The search for identity, belonging, and meaning are universal human pursuits that no one can escape even if they come to bad conclusions. Do you think your true self is something that you assemble out of your life achievements, acquisitions, and accomplishments?
Are you familiar with the story of Jacob, who camped at a random place in his travels because he ran out of daylight? He didn’t think of it as a special place so he was quite surprised when he encountered me during the night. He woke up astonished and said, you were here all along and I never knew it. Do you hold the doctrine of omnipresence? This would have been too sophisticated for Jacob, but it is common today. Yet you can hold sophisticated doctrines as abstract concepts. Has the reality of my presence ever surprised you in a place where you least expected it?