Tuesday, September 8, 2015

God won't give you what you want.

I'm going to start off this post by saying something that might scare a lot of you.

Honestly, it scares me at times.

I've grown up with a lot of dreams... visions of the way I've always hoped my life would turn out, and to be frank, my life doesn't look the way I pictured it. Really. I'm not currently doing any of the things I planned, except going to college... that was on the list. But as far as everything else, well... God hasn't given me what I wanted.

Funny... especially when people throw around verses like:

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4 
"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11 
"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us." 1 John 5:14
I guess I always thought those verses meant that if I really prayed hard enough... if my heart was in the right place, if I was humble, if I asked in just the right way, my life would look the way I dreamed, that God would give me good gifts. Funny thing though... it didn't work that way.

For a while, that left me baffled, frustrated and hurt. At first, I started relying on verses about everything being in God's timing, not mine. I figured he would give me my desires someday, just not yet. Then, I started wondering if maybe, like a telephone, there was a bad connection on my end. After all, God is perfect, so the problem couldn't be on his end. So what was wrong?

Well... you probably hear it often enough... but NEVER use a verse out of context.

You want to know something funny about those verses I mentioned above? Context.

Matthew 7:11 comes from the sermon on the mount, following several verses about tangible needs... food, clothes, shelter. Needs, not wants. Darn it. And 1 John 5? Well, there a key word in that verse that's come to mean a lot to me... HIS WILL. God grants requests asked according to his will. And all that hangs on Psalm 37's "delight yourself in the Lord."

I guess what I'm trying to say is that when you focus on your relationship with God, when you really develop that relationship... when you and God are close... you grow to stop caring about the same things. Material comfort isn't such a big deal anymore. Your treasures start becoming of the eternal variety. Crazy huh? And eternal treasures? Well, that's God will. So by delighting in the Lord, my will conforms to his will, and so therefore, when I ask something of God, of course he'll say yes because it's what he wanted anyways.

Never saw that one coming.

Closing thought? I think Paul says it best in Ephesians 3

 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen
My life certainly doesn't look the way I planned, but God's in the middle of it... I trust in that... And honestly, while not perfect, I'm rather content with what God has given me. And surprises are just fine.

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