Today, we have a new slant to our season of preparation from Thirty Days of Devotion. We’re focusing on expectations. It’s like I mentioned last week, this season is one of hard work and little return – few rewards.
But this message today is a hard one to swallow. God has said no to you before, right? How did you take it? Or how DO you take it?
God tells us to ask for our needs, even our wants, but He never promises to be that lamp genie. We can’t hold onto the expectation that just because we ask Him for something—no matter how fervently or sincerely or even how often—He’ll give us an automatic deposit.
On the contrary. Jesus perfectly exampled how our prayers and expectations should be in the garden. “… not as I will …” (Matthew 26:39). He, being God, could simply have changed His mind, yet His very character is steadfast. And His intentions were for our salvation. Yet His Spirit included this section in His Word so that we could see this brilliant example of how we are supposed to pray.
Was it King Hezekiah who persuaded God to let him live longer than God wanted? I think so. And his extended years counted for nothing. They were miserable and without legacy. (Though he had been a good king with much to show for God’s blessings until that point.)
I heard a preacher one time going on about prayer. He said something to the effect, if you’re someone who stands quietly and says, ‘dear God, if it be your will to heal this man, please do it,’ then I don’t want you in my hospital room. I want prayers there who will go BOLDLY to the throne and claim the blessing expecting to receive it.
It sounded more to me like he encouraged a demanding of blessings instead of an asking for them. And I couldn’t disagree with him more. If I’m in the hospital, and the Lord wants me to come home to Him. Don’t you dare pray against His will on my behalf! That doesn’t mean don’t pray fervently for healing, restoration, futures, our loved ones, etc.
But it does mean that God’s will supersedes our requests. Again, no matter how imperative, or intensely prayed. (Jesus sweat blood!)
Your Turn: Looking back, can you see times in your life when the answer of No was an incredible blessing to you?
I hope you’re having an outstanding Lord’s Day. Come back tomorrow and join us for a committed week of daily quiet time with God. This habit is so important! We’re reading through Thirty Days of Devotion and tomorrow, we’ll discuss the section entitled, “How God Woos.” Talk to you then!