How do we respond to God properly? How do we respond with thankfulness and not with presumption? How does our response show how we have received (or not received) His grace?
King David was a man of many failures. Also, he had many high points in his relationship with God. Perhaps that is why he can be of such help to us as we all struggle/stumble/trip/fall/get back up in our pursuit of God.
2 Samuel 7 records an amazing prayer of thankfulness that David prayed God makes covenant with him. It is well worth meditating upon but the first line jumps off the page.
Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?
This is how to pray. This is prayer to God that understands his grace. And when we understand God’s grace, our disposition to Him will be similar. When we don’t, it tends to veer to the opposite.
Who am I? David prays with total humble thankfulness. He knows that he deserves nothing from God. Why? Because he remembers where he’s from and that it was God’s grace alone that brought him to where he is. He is King (no small achievement). he has had success (by God’s power). And he knows that everything is his life is a gift (it’s this way for us all). He has a low view of himself and his efforts – not in a low self-esteem way but a healthy way. He has no sense of entitlement. He is at the top of his life and knows he doesn’t deserve. God’s grace has made him amazed, thankful, and reverently worshipful. He gives all the glory to God. This is a response of one who has a sense of God’s grace.
Who are You? Without a grasp of grace, we will either become arrogant in ourselves or will turn demanding of God. Instead of an amazed ‘who am I?’, we may begin to ask God ‘who are you?’. Not in a searching, seeking way but in a demanding way. We believe that God owes us something – for our good behaviour, or just because we’re entitled to a good life. But we’re not. Everything comes as a gift from God. When we forget that, our amazed thankfulness will turn to demand. And because the life we want is rarely the life we get, we could doubt God’s goodness or blame Him in some way. Who are You? we could ask, demanding that He give the life we desire.
God’s grace given to the undeserving is the heart of Christian faith and a key to the amazed, worshipful, and thankful soul.