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Arguing with God

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Most people hate arguments. I do. Though she may think otherwise, I especially hate arguments with Kristie, my wife. “I got into an argument today . . .” is usually not the first line of a happy story. But I am going to urge you to argue with God. No, I don’t mean an antagonistic venture where the emotions are fierce and the tension is high. What I mean is that I want you to present your case to God about things. Actually, it is God who wants you to make this case. An argument here means that you are coming to God, expressing your desire, and explaining why you think he should respond according to your desires.

I often encourage people to argue with God. I don’t think many of us do it enough. Of course, when we think “argument,” we think of uncomfortable conversations that usually don’t go anywhere, because we are too emotionally invested to see things clearly. We think in terms of those encounters that create tension and drive wedges between the people involved. This is not the type of argument I am talking about here, though some of these elements are definitely present.

Whatever arguments bring about, at least they cause people to think more deeply about the subject about which they are arguing. We should not ever get into arguments casually. Right now, my wife is arguing that I should get her a new car. This is not a fun argument for me. I finally got her Expedition paid off; I was so excited to not have to worry about making payments on it anymore. When she approached me with talk of a new car, I wanted to hear reasoning that went beyond, “Your sister just got a new car and it is so pretty,” or “I am just sick of my old car.” Since this post is not about whether or not to get my wife a new car, let’s just say her reasoning was not too bad, especially when she tossed in the coup de grace, “You just got a new car.” The point is that arguments get us more fully engaged in the subject beyond the casual mindlessness of blindly groping for what we want.

I think God wants us to argue with him in this way. He is not looking for rebellious “know-it-alls” who think they know more than him. He is not looking for someone to correct his thinking on any subject. He is looking for people who are so engaged in prayer and conversation with him that they can actually make a good sustainable argument for their requests. Continue Reading →