“Son of man, how does the wood of the vine surpass any wood, the vine branch that is among the trees of the forest?”
“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!”
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”
This past week, God knit a thought into my head and heart. A growth step in my faith.
It started with this book I’m reading: “Don’t Call It a Comeback” by Kevin DeYoung. In it I’m learning about one of the attributes of God that is among the hardest to grasp: our God is a King of unrivaled power, holiness, love and glory. He is a King before whom we would fall flat on our faces.
“God doesn’t owe us. He cannot be manipulated by our demands, our claims, or our boats. He is not beholden to us, and we have no rights independent of him. We cannot instruct him, as if a pot could instruct the potter. The pot is made and unmade as the potter pleases.” – Kevin DeYoung
These words have challenged me to look my prayer-life.
I’ve always been one to pray. I remember, as a kid, praying for the kinds of things I asked my earthly parents for — you know, “stuff.”
As I grew older, I started to pray for more “appropriate” things. Healing, focus, strength, endurance, patience, forgiveness. God was still just a provider to me, but now I was beginning to see that He was a provider of things greater than just “stuff.”
I’ve realized that I’m not praying the way God desires me to pray. Or at least, I’m missing something.
We need God’s strength, healing, forgiveness, etc. But like a good parent, God has made up his mind on what’s best for us.
This past weekend, I observed this concept in action through my cousin and her daughter Alex. Alex wanted a snack after dinner, but my cousin wanted her to eat the dinner — the good stuff — first. She told Alex that if she showed her “clean dinner plate”, she could have the snack. Being the wise 4-year old she is, Alex re-propositioned and said that if she got the snack first, she’d go get her plate. Clever…
Sometimes we’re like this. God has this beautiful plan for us, with a very specific order, for our own well-being. But we don’t see it that way. We want what we think is going to give us the most satisfaction right now and we’ll worry about the rest later.
God has laid out this amazing plan for us, and most of the time we’re praying for Him to change it, or just fudge it a little to make it easier. I’ve discovered that our prayers really need to be about God revealing Himself to us. Revealing His plan. Helping us to see as He sees. Does your prayer life reflect submission to God’s plan for your life?
Think about it.
How is your prayer life? Are you praying for God to change His plan? Or are your praying to more clearly see God’s plan in your life?