To read the first post in this series, begin HERE.
As Christians many of us get frustrated with God because He’s not showing up the way we want Him to. I don’t know if we’d really admit it but so many of us live our lives feeling like God “owes us” a good marriage, a nice house, a job we like, but the truth of the matter is that God doesn’t “owe us” anything.
I think about this with our kids, our youngest has been provided for from the time she was born so in her mind if she wants something, she has this attitude that we “owe it to her”. With our oldest, she came into our family, not having been raised with a loving family, and not provided for, but now that she has a family she has the attitude that we “owe her”, as if bringing her into our family wasn’t enough.
God has been speaking to me a lot about this topic from a parenting perspective but when He flipped it on me and showed me how we do this to Him, it broke my heart. When we come into our relationship with Him feeling like He “owes us something”, we set up a level of expectation for Him that He will never be able to meet. We also set ourselves up for disappointment.
I don’t think any of us would come outright and say we think God owes us a nice house, a good job, food on the table, but I’d be willing to bet our prayers and thoughts prove otherwise.
How much of the time do we spend praying for things we want, rather than thanking God for what we already have?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s bad to ask the Lord for things, but when you ask from a heart of gratitude, rather than a heart of “you owe me”, how much more do you think your Father would be willing to reach down and bless your socks off.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
God wants to bless us, He wants to provide for us, He wants to give us the desires of our hearts – that is truly His heart – but He also cares so much about who we are becoming, our character and our hearts.
He’s not going to give us what we want because “He owes us”, He’s going to bless us because He loves us.
Think about the last big thing the Lord did for you, or provided for you. Now think about your response – was it to thank Him profusely and then tell those close to you how amazing He is and what He did for you? Or was your response, “oh, that’s awesome, I totally deserve that because of all the hard work I’ve been doing”?
The Lord will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.” Proverbs 10:3 (NLT)
We need to take time to examine our hearts. What is our motivation behind the things we pray for?
Do you want the Lord to provide a good job for you so you can buy a big house and drive fancy cars, or do you want the money so you can give to your church faithfully, send people on mission trips and bless others in need? There’s nothing wrong with buying a big house and driving fancy cars but we must examine our hearts, be honest with ourselves and know the real reasons we are asking for those things.
God sent Jesus to die on the cross for us, to forgive us of our sins, so we can live with Him for all eternity – He already gave us the ultimate gift – but it doesn’t stop there. He is a hands on dad, He wants to bless us more than we can imagine blessing our own kids.
Let’s not deprive Him of His generosity because our hearts have the wrong motivation.
I’m asking you, for the Lord, please be honest with yourself, please examine your heart, your motivations – maybe you’re not getting that thing you want because God is doing something in you, exposing something, so He can cover it with His wrap-around presence and heal you from the inside out, so He can give you everything you desire.
For the Lord God is brighter than the brilliance of a sunrise! Wrapping Himself around me like a shield, He is so generous with His gifts of grace and glory. Those who walk along His paths with integrity will never lack one thing they need for He provides it all!” Psalm 84:11-12 (tPt)
This should be the prayer of our hearts every day of our lives, so I’m going to place it at the end of each of the posts in this series –
God, empty out of my heart everything that is false – every lie, and every crooked thing. And give me neither undue poverty nor undue wealth – but rather, feed my soul with the measure of prosperity that pleases you. May my satisfaction be found in you.” Proverbs 30:8-9a (tPt)