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When God Does Not Give Me What I Want…

When God Does Not Give Me What I Want…

James 4:2,3   You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

God does not answer my prayers… God won’t help me… He has abandoned me… In my addiction, I prayed and prayed that God would change me but I got no answer. I began questioning if God was even there and if He was, why was He not answering my prayer? I eventually had to face the fact that if God was lacking or if I was lacking, the deficit was most likely with me, not God.

I came to realize what James was saying. Our prayers are often frustrated because we are as a child asking for a new toy. In the picture above, I was hungry and wanted to eat now! My own appetite ruled and there was no reasoning with me. Facts and logic did not matter (supper was minutes away). I wanted something, I was not getting it and I was mad.

James says were are all like demanding children. We ask for all the wrong reasons and motives. But God, how could I be wrong in asking? I just want to be clean and sober! I demanded the magical fix to my situation. I wanted God to repair my circumstances. What I needed to ask was for God to undo me, no matter what it took. I however, was not willing to change anything.  I wanted God to miraculously fix just one area of my life. I studied for a C and prayed for an A. James says God does not work like this. He is not a genie in a lamp.

You want to get better? Be obedient to me. Confess your bad behavior. Go to treatment. You have been following yourself for years, now you need to work as hard at following me as you did at following yourself…

I was not willing to do any of those things. I just wanted God to snap his giant fingers and get me out of my mess. God, if you get me out of this, I’ll do anything. I’ll go to Africa to be a missionary. God told me that Africa did not need an addict at the moment. I then had the audacity to blame God for my behavior. This is your fault. You will not help me…

I frequently hear this from those struggling with addiction to some behavior (not just drugs/alcohol). God just won’t answer my prayers… James says that we are frustrated because we are asking wrong. We need to be willing to do whatever it takes to follow God. We need to ask God to give us wisdom to know what we need to do and then ask for the strength to do it. We need to do whatever it takes to follow God and then patiently and humbly wait for him to work in us.

If I could follow my own desires to destruction and then go to God for a magical clean up, what would I learn? I’d learn that I can do whatever I want and there are no consequences. God however, is not mocked. I reap what I sow. If I pursue destruction, I will find it. If however, I do whatever it takes to pursue God, I will find him.

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