Think about the last thing you told God that you needed. Is that really the need or is it something to get you by until the real need is met? Are you treating a symptom or the cure? We have a tendency to ask God for things that we think we need, when he has something much better for us. For example, I may ask God for more money when what I really need is for God to show me how to become a good steward of what I have. I may tell God I could feel more in love with my husband if he would only do x, y or z, but God wants a covenant love for marriage would fulfill in ways that x, y, or z never could.
Dirt Road Believer is spending a month on Christian doubts. We are calling it No Doubt November and it is taking us to the topic of “We doubt that God knows what we need”. We see it over and over in scripture. In Mark 2 a man’s friends cut a whole in the roof where Jesus is preaching. They go to all this trouble to lower their lame friend down on a gurney to where Jesus is and Jesus forgives the man. This man wanted healing, after all, that appeared to be the most pressing need, but Jesus saw it differently. This man needed forgiveness. Healing wasn’t the real answer.
The man at the Gate called Beautiful in Acts 3 asked Peter and John for money when what he really needed was healing. Straight away his new legs carried him jumping and dancing to the temple where the miracle brought glory to God. In the man’s eyes, money would help his problem, but God is less interested in temporary band-aides and more interested in complete and total restoration.
And lastly, John 5 tells of a man who had been on his mat for 38 years beside the pool of Bethesda. Each time the healing waters stirred, his attempt to get into the pool was thwarted day after day and year after year. Jesus came along and did not answer his request. He said get off of the mat where you have pitied yourself for 38 years and walk. Getting in the pool wasn’t the real need like the man had convinced himself of for 38 years. Perhaps walking wasn’t either; but an attitude of defeat and self-pity had gone on for far too long and Jesus had the answer… get up!
Most of the time when we ask God for something, we do the same thing. We ask for what will make things easier in the moment. But what if you asked God something so bold that it would change the rest of your life for the better? What if instead of begging God for your teen to stop exhibiting certain behaviors, you begin to ask that he or she would change lives for the Kingdom of God? What if instead of asking God for the picture perfect marriage, you asked for God to begin to do surgery in your marriage? Lay things open, cut away at things and remove what doesn’t belong is not a prayer most spouses are willing to pray, but it is what is needed to have a marriage that is truly Christ centered.
I believe that far too often believers are too passive in what they ask of God. If we are seeking God through His Word, asking for His wisdom and being led by His Holy Spirit then what we ask for begins to change drastically. Ask God to begin to reveal the true need in your life. Because your Father knows best.