(Psalms 66:18-20; Luke 15:16,17; 1John 5:14; Luke 18:1-7, Ephesians 1:17-23)
We know we all pray but most of us pray without knowing indeed what we need from God. More often we pray about what we want God to do for us. These things we ask God for are either what we want or need. What we want are things we desire to have but are not necessarily useful to us.
What we need are things we will make use of because they will be useful to us either we desire to have them or not. More often we do not recognize the importance of separating our desires into the two categories of NEEDS and WANTS. Our God being a good Father answers our needs first and may tarry before giving us our want. During His tarrying time He prepares us and works on us. By the time the Lord finishes working on us and particularly on our hearts, we will realize that most of our desires are just wants which are vanity. The Lord will also work on us such that we become strong enough to receive our wants from Him without backsliding because of them. Concerning our needs, Lord Jesus makes them top of His lists for us. Some times what we desire is actually our needs (that the Lord will be glad to do for us). However, some virtues that we will need for us to make good use of what the Lord will provide might still be lacking in us. So, our Lord as a good Father will keep working on us till we possess those virtues before He then provides those needs of ours for us.
Ultimately, we see ourselves as existing without any or specific plan for existing. We usually think “I need to start building my life” whereas we should seek God’s face for His plan for our life. God has a plan already for your life. Therefore whatever will not be reasonable to God’s plan for our lives is a want, the Lord may not necessarily grant it. Going by God’s specific plan for our lives, a desire that is a want to us may be a need to another person. Hence, no room for comparison, if we will not go off the track for our lives. God forbids, in Jesus name!
Beloved, let us consider the following points and may the Holy Spirit open our understanding to God’s will in them about our lives in Jesus name.
We do not receive our desires from God for some of the reasons below:
1) If we do not ask them in prayers according to God will for our lives.
1John 5:14, And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
The first step to take if God would hear our cry is knowing God’s will for our life. Our lives are different parts of God’s plan. If you look around you, you will see that your surroundings is made up of different entities and not just one. Each of these entities is uniquely different from another. So also your existence as considered and planned by God is a plan in His master plan. He has designed you to play a unique part in His plan for your generation. Again, He has plan also for your generation in the whole world as a whole. To know God’s will for your life is like receiving area of concentration for your test or examination. This takes struggling out and away from your life. How difficult is it to struggle with someone more powerful than you? So, is our struggle with God when trying to live a life against His will. So please, if we know God’s will for our lives and we make His will our desire, then we fall into God’s plan. How graceful will it be!
2) If we regard iniquity in our hearts.
Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me
A heart of iniquities comes to the Father as a pig coming from gutter with dirts all over its body. We know what our reaction will be to such pig, so is God’s reaction to hearts full with iniquities.
What are the iniquities?
Asking from God to be able to take vengeance on our enemies. This is not necessary. Unlike Joseph. Give vengeance to God. Even you, you are saved by mercy.
Asking to boast to people, in the mind of showing forth God’s glory. Think of it, are really showing God’s glory or you are boasting. Paul said, “that I boast except in the death of our Lord Jesus”
In this you squander God’s blessings, you bring shame to God instead of glory (God glories in our righteousness, holiness and faithfulness NOT in our lifestyle of FLESH ). You are showing forth glory in flesh which you still is perfect enough to pray and God answered whereas it’s by mercy and grace. Only God takes the credit. Even our pre requisites righteousness is God’s righteousness rained, confirmed on us by grace.
Some of these we do is in selfishness and greed (covetousness sins we have not been able to overcome which the devil overcomes God’s victorious children with. )
3) If we are far away from Him (Luke 15:16,17)
If we choose to be out of His plan for our lives. Sometimes we receive from Him and run away into the world to enjoy God’s blessings as loots with the enemies of God’s. Those times we receive from God (being sponsored by Jesus) but go in the ways of God’s enemy, the devil, to enjoy our blessings. Most times, the relationship we maintain with the Lord is give-and-take relationship. A give-and-take relationship with the Lord makes us responsible to Him based on how and what we receive from Him. In such relationship the love of the Father is not in us. What we will be able to receive from Him are limited. Our relationship with the Father should be “Lord I give you all because my all is not enough to pay back what Your love means to me”. In this You-own-my-all relationship, all that the Father has belongs to us too. We also possess right to the full goodness of the Father. The right possessed in this last type of relationship is full while the first one offers limited one.
4) Most times we do not really know what we need. We only know what we want from God.
We might want a car from God, while what we need is a humble heart that will remove the stumbling stone of pride from our life. It might be that, before God, our primary need is humble heart while our secondary need is a car. We might want a car to be easily mobile for God’s purpose while to God, we first need a heart that will be mobile for God selflessly.
5) Another point is a case where we know what we need from God but we do not seek God’s face for it with enough desire that can make Him have compassion on us. If you really seek God’s face with full desire, even if your strength is not good enough to receive it He will raise help for you spiritually. However, if we lay our requests before God with “half-desire” He will probably keep having patience with them. In times like this we think we are waiting for God, not knowing that it is God waiting for us (Luke 18:1-7).
6) If we pray to God concerning our desire but without faith in Him that He will grant our requests. Many of us pray to God but do not believe that a trust in Him can grant us our desire.
Beloved, please let us consider all of these points as the Holy Spirit has outlined for us in this week point of focus. May our inner eyes and hearts be open to see and know the will of God for our lives clearly.
1) Lord Jesus, teach me how to pray and to receive answer according to Your will and plan for me.
2) Holy Spirit, teach me to know which of my desire is my need or want, in Jesus name.
3) Father, I rebuke the heart or spirit of taking and running away from you, in Jesus name.
4) Lord, remove vanity from my desires, in Jesus name.
5) Father, let Your will become my desire, in Jesus name.