Have you ever noticed how often God asks questions? We often think of ourselves as asking questions of Him. But He asks questions of us all the time. Of course that’s not because He doesn’t know the answer; it’s because we aren’t paying attention to the answer. Jesus was always asking questions. How will you answer the questions Jesus is asking you now?
Christianity has often been presented as a list of truths one is supposed to intellectually agree with. But in all Jesus’ teaching He spent comparatively little time giving information. He was much more interested in telling stories and addressing matters of the heart. And that’s how He so masterfully used questions.
As a personal coach I’ve realized that as valuable as the information and perspective I have to offer is, that doesn’t often help people make a big change. I’ve learned that the more questions I ask the greater impact the person experiences. Now I turn my recommendations into questions as often as possible.
There are enough questions in Scripture to write probably several books on. But let’s consider nine of them today. I encourage you to look up the Scriptures included here. How will you answer the questions Jesus asks?
Where are you?
No, not “In Austin, Texas,” or “At the grocery store.” God is asking about the location of your heart. It was the first question He asked Adam and Eve when they were hiding. (Genesis 3:9) He asked Hagar basically the same question: “Where are you coming from? Where are you going?” (Genesis 16:8)
This is a question of brutal reality. It’s about your story, and the impact it’s had on you. What roads have you traveled in coming to where you are? Are you hiding from your reality? Where is your heart right now? Stuck? Angry? Overwhelmed? Anxious? Hopeful?
So, where are you?
Who told you you were naked?
This second question God asked Adam and Eve is about who you’ve been listening to, and what you’ve come to believe. (Genesis 3:11) You learned things – about life, God, people, intimacy, communication, feelings, conflict, the world – long before you were old enough to know you were learning them. And you keep hearing messages every day.
Who are you listening to? And even more important, who are you believing? So many of the messages we hear – and believe – do nothing more than heap a mountain of shame on your soul. Adam and Eve were listening to the serpent.
Who are you listening to, and believing?
What have you done?
Oh, more brutal honesty. This is God’s third question to Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:13) God never ignores or glosses over the truth. This is a question about guilt – what you’ve done, not shame – who you are. Jesus was addressing the same idea when He said to the woman at the well, “You’ve had five husbands.” (John 4:17-18) There’s always a story behind our behavior.
And the moment we answer that question truthfully, God has a remedy. He gave Adam and Eve the promise of the Redeemer. (Genesis 3:15) Jesus revealed Himself to the woman as Living Water. (John 4:26)
So, what have you done?
What do you see?
This is the vision question. God asked this of the prophets often. (Jeremiah 1:11, 24:3, Amos 7:8, Zechariah 4:2) And Jesus asked it of the blind man He was in the process of healing. (Mark 8:23) It’s what Elijah prayed for for his servant. (2 Kings 6:17)
What you see makes all the difference about what you will do next. If you only see obstacles, you’ll be paralyzed. If you see possibilities, you’ll be empowered. You will also need to ask God to stretch your vision.
Be honest; what do you see?
What do you have in your hand?
This is the ministry question. God asked it of Moses when he was sent to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt. (Exodus 4:2) Jesus asked it of the disciples when He was about to feed thousands of people. (Mark 6:38, 8:5) God asks you to put everything you do have on the line. But He always works from what you do have, not from what you don’t have.
God uses every part of your experience and all your resources for a reason. Where you came from, the traumas you’ve experienced, the victories you’ve gained, the things you’ve learned, the people you’ve connected with – let Him have it. All of it. That’s when ministry happens.
So, what’s in your hand?
What are you doing here?
This is the obedience question. When Elijah was running away out of fear and exhaustion, it’s the question God arrested him with. (1 Kings 19:9,13) God’s not condemning Elijah, or you; He’s calling you to listen, and follow. I’ve experienced God asking me this question, and it led me to make some significant changes.
You may not be doing something “wrong;” it may be God is simply calling you up to something better. What are you doing in this relationship? In this job? In this mindset? What about this drive for “success?” If God is calling you to “stand still,” do so! (Exodus 14:13) But if not, what are you doing here?
What do you want?
This is the question of desire. Jesus loved this question! (Mark 10:36, 51, John 1:38, 5:6) We sometimes think desire is ungodly, but far from it. God created our human hearts to deeply desire goodness, beauty, HIM. As C.S. Lewis wrote, our problem is not that we desire too much, but that we desire too little.
Look below the superficial desires to the deeper longings in your heart. Why do you want money? So others will like you? So you’ll feel successful? You don’t only want sex with your spouse; you want to be wanted, to be connected. Connecting with our deepest desires brings us to realize the goodness we long for, and that nothing satisfies the same as God Himself.
So, what do you want? Really?
Why are you so afraid?
Hundreds of times in Scripture God says, Don’t be afraid. Then why do we struggle with fear so much? It’s what Jesus asked His disciples when they found themselves in a boat that was sinking in the middle of a storm. (Mark 4:40)
Why are you so afraid of people? (Psalm 56:11) Why do you worry so much about material things? (Matthew 6:31-34) Or about trouble? (Romans 8:31-39) Or about the future? Or anything else? Perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18) So if you want to get rid of fear, go where love is. Knowing who God is becomes enough.
This is a process. But really, why are you so afraid?
Who do you say that I am?
This is perhaps the most important question of all. It’s what Jesus asked His disciples. (Mark 8:29) And He asks it of you. There’s nothing more important than your picture of God.
If Jesus is your Savior, you need not fear the future. If He is your Lord, everything in your life comes into submission to Him; your money, your time, your sex life, your relationships, everything. When you know Him as your Friend, you’re never alone. When He is your Shepherd, you lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1)
Who is He to you?
How will you answer these questions Jesus is asking you?
Your Turn: Which of these questions is God asking you right now? How will you answer? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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