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Not My Will, But Your Will

"I tell you, ask, and sit will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” - Luke 11:9-13

Many Christians are familiar with this teaching on prayer Jesus gave. Many read these verses and assume it means no matter what we ask for, what we want, whatever our desire is, if we just ask, seek and knock, God will give it to us. Seriously, does that look like your prayer life? Cause it doesn't look like mine! 

I have prayed for things that make me cringe now that I look back at them. David sometimes prayed that his enemies would be slaughtered. That's equivalent to me having a fight with someone and asking that God put them miraculously into freeway traffic so they get mowed down. When we read prayers prayed by famous men and women of the Bible, we're not to always use those prayers as examples. Just because David did it doesn't mean it was right. The point of seeing these men and women in all their warts as well as glory was to show us, though their prayers may have been outlandish and even shocking at times, they were pouring their hearts out to God.

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah" Psalm 62:8

The good, the bad and the ugly often came out in their prayers as it does with ours as well. God already knows what we're feeling and thinking so when we pour our hearts out to Him we're not shocking Him. It's getting everything in the open so everything can be dealt with in trust, mercy, grace and with wisdom.

When these verses in Luke are taken in to context, the point Jesus is making is actually even better than what we've assumed. It's even more startling than pinning a worldly wants and needs chart onto it. Read those verses one more time. I'll wait....

Do you see it? 

"how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Jesus' statement is absolutely astounding. He asks what earthly father would give a scorpion if his child asks for a fish? What earthly father would give a stone if his child asks for an egg? If we, as depraved, sinful creatures, wouldn't do that, how much more will God? The point is, He's going to give us what we ask for or better. He'll never give us worse then our requests such as a scorpion for a fish.

As any father, God knows what is best for us and will do what's in our best interest. He has all the authority and power to turn down our requests or fulfill them. He's turned me down on many occasions. As frustrating as it may have been at the time, now when I look back, I'm so grateful He didn't give me what I asked for. I really had no idea what I was asking for. Though He has said "No" at times, He never once exchanged it for something worse. The end result has always turned out far better. In fact, my silly request would have been far worse than I could have imagined.

Since our entire purpose is to give God glory; since our entire purpose in life, once we're saved,  is to be made into the image of Christ, God will answer with what glorifies Him. He will answer with what makes Him conspicuous not just to us, but beyond. God loves to make Himself conspicuous. He loves it when we and others can be in the most horrendous situation and be able to see or look back and see Him at work in it.

When Jesus pointed out "how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” He was telling us: "If you ask for comfort God wants to give you the Comforter. When you ask for provisions, He wants to give you the Provider. When you ask for healing, He wants to give you the Healer. When we need salvation He wants to give us the Savior. He wants to give us Himself. What on earth or in heaven could be better than that?

"Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26-26

When God gives us food for our bodies do we get hungry again? When he provides any material need does that mean we will never want again? When He heals us does that mean we will never die or get sick again? Lazarus was raised from the dead, but a few years later he died and didn't come back that time. What we must be seeking, asking and knocking for is God. He is the only thing that is eternal. When we line up our prayers putting God at the center of them, asking for Him and to glorify Him, amazing things will begin to happen. When we begin telling Him in our prayers "not my will, but Your will be done." (Luke 22:42) Or "this is what I desire God, but if that doesn't glorify You then I don't want it," God will show up bigger and better than we could have dreamed.

You may be in the worst time of your life right now. You may be begging God day and night to deliver you or your loved one from a terrible situation. You may be losing hope and fearful God won't answer. Understand this, God will never respond to your requests with something worse. God wants what's going to glorify Himself so it will reverberate and have maximum impact on us and beyond. If curing your illness or a loved one's illness will have the impact that glorifies Him, makes Him conspicuous and brings others to Christ then He'll heal. If allowing the illness and even eventual death will glorify Him, then He won't heal. 

Sometimes it takes great suffering to wake people up. Sometimes, it takes great suffering to bring us to Christ or bring us closer to Christ. This little vapor of a life we live is not about our temporal and immediate comfort. Our rest will finally come in eternity. It's about building Christ's Kingdom and glorifying God. Not praying is absolutely insane because He wants to give us Himself. There is nothing on earth, in heaven or the entire universe that is greater and more priceless than that. Only God will last forever. He is the greatest treasure.

"Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven..."- Matthew 6:10

Not ours...



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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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