personal / ministry notes from Jason – 1st quarter 2024

personal / ministry notes from Jason – 1st quarter 2024

What Are You Asking of Me? by Jason Caywood

Early in the Fall of 2023 the Lord spoke to me. Actually, more specifically, He answered my direct question. This came as a surprise—as a bit of a shock actually. I was not in the best of moods on that day and was grumbling to myself about all the things that I had to do.

And so I said to God (out loud), “What are You asking of me?” (This question, “What are You asking of me?” came out of my lips with a tone of frustration and complaint.)

Immediately, almost as soon as the full sentence had come out of my mouth, I heard in my mind, “What are you asking of Me?” The tone of this reply from the Holy Spirit had some force to it—rather like a mild rebuke. And that is how I took it. I immediately realized that I had been complaining and grumbling when I asked this and so this was well deserved.

Since then I have thought often of this word of reply from the blessed Holy Spirit that day. I have reflected upon it many times. And the following are some of the content of my reflections. I share it with you because it may be of help to some.

What am I asking of God? That is the question, is it not? The matter of all the things and the responsibilities I have taken on, or those which have been placed upon me, is not the main point of concern ever. The main point is ever and always: Do I consider well what I do? Do I turn to you in the moment? Do even now, as I write this, am I embracing you, of God, or some idea of You? Is my aim to still take from you some good rather than embrace You?

When I so feel the impelling urge to “check out”, to take a mental holiday from being attentive You, my faithful God, what is happening? Am I entitled to such a thing? No, clearly not, as You bought me. Yet, how is it that I still entertain such folly that I am entitled to such a thing—whatever form this takes?

Theologically I know the right answer: That this is my flesh speaking and pleading and deceptively making a case for indulging in some way. I do not want to die, for that would be the end of listening to such deceit, and the demons’ whispers egging me on. Yes, I want to live, my Lord, and to flourish and so to properly enjoy creatures and to see them in You.

Am I asking of You? That is the question. The most important question is not what I must do, or the number of responsibilities I have. Am I asking of You, at all times? Do I bother to consult You, to stop and speak with You, in the moment? If not, then I default back to myself—to perhaps some past choice(s), to prior experience (whether good or bad), to personal preference, or (worse) to old vices and mere earthly inclinations.

To indulge the inclinations and cravings of my flesh is to cheat myself of Your many gifts to me:
The people I know and have come to love, the acquaintances You have set up for me to know and partner with in some way, those who are now strangers who You have determined to be my friends, those who You have set appointments for me to meet for Kingdom purposes. What am I asking of You? To see these dear people as You see them—to perceive and appreciate them as the gifts they are? You answered me, Holy Spirit, blessed God of truth: “What are You asking of me?”

I ask in this moment, “Instruct my heart; train my hands for war; open my heart so I can learn of You; change my perceptions of others.” Have mercy, holy Father, on your wandering son; for I am your servant through Jesus Christ the Lord.