Demanding God for Stuff

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It’s the biggest rage again, it seems. Or maybe not. But lately I’ve been running across the same teaching I was exposed to when I began my relationship with Jesus. I loved it, of course. Who wouldn’t. I was taught essentially to demand God for stuff. I should just wave my magic wand, and boom. God would answer. If He didn’t, I didn’t have enough faith. After all, God put me on earth so He would be at my beck and call, right? Wasn’t He here to serve me instead of me here to serve Him? Not. Not at all. Not even remotely. Oh, how I didn’t see. How I didn’t know. How I didn’t understand. How I did not want to see or know or understand. I was so utterly stuck on my magic wand way of living – even if it didn’t work like I wanted it to.

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 So just the other day, a friend told me she was upset over a book she had read a snippet of that encouraged readers to demand God for stuff. It was the same book I had shared with her my concern about, so I was not altogether surprised at her concern over the book. A week or so passed, and I once again stumbled upon the “demand God for stuff” teaching. Out came my magic wand. Actually, I couldn’t find my magic wand. Do you know why I threw my magic wand away?

Because as I dedicated myself to an deeply intense, daily, pursuit of the Lord through studying His Word and spending time with Him, I came to know who He really is and who I am in relation to Him. I am here to love and serve Him, not the other way around. I realized it was utterly foolish, and wrong, of me to think I could – or should – ever wave my magic wand and demand God for stuff. So I threw away my magic wand and became a true Jesus follower. Jesus never told me to wave a magic wand in God’s direction, but He taught me, and teaches me, plenty else. For starters, that I would have to deny myself (my own dreams, desires, ways, and ambitions), take up my cross every day, and follow Him in an enormously challenging, but phenomenally rewarding, satisfying, fulfilling, joy-filled, peace-filled, hope-filled walk with the Lord with heaven as the final destination.

When I finally understood I would have to take up my cross, I realized my hands weren’t designed to hold a magic wand. My hands, and heart, were created to love and worship and serve the Lord, and to love my neighbor as myself. As I began to understand the enormity, and magnificence, and majesty, and glory of the Lord, I came to see, and to know, and to understand the truth. It is one thing to pray to God, and to have faith for Him to answer according to His will. It is another thing altogether to demand God for stuff. And when I find myself reverting to that old, wrong, attitude and accompanying actions, I know what to do. Repent.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 NASB

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