Ask, but don’t ask amiss

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:3 (NIV)

God answers every single prayer. His answer could be Yes, No, or WAIT! When he says wait I am convinced that it is because we are asking with the wrong motives. Well it could also be because he is using this as an opportunity to teach us something. We have two options. Sit and learn, or like some students, sit and think about other things while the teaching is occurring.

You see God’s timing is not our timing.  We are limited in our thinking in terms of time and space.  God’s overall plan for our lives is for us to grow in the faith and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Having a Lexus may not be what he wants for us at the time.  Giving us the funds for that dream house may not be what he wants for us at the time.  Think of how many saints in both old and new testament who have suffered and never realized their dreams.

Hebrews 11 is replete with the number of saints who lived by faith, but did not see the final promise, “ All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth” (Heb. 11:13 NIV).  Does this mean that God did not keep his promise to them, NO!  These individuals lived by faith.  This earth is not our final destination. He has promised us that no matter what happens in our lives he will never leave us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”(Heb 11:6)

Seek him, he is right there waiting for us to truly seek him.  He never denies his children anything that is good for them.  However, his ultimate goal for us is perfection in him, and heaven is our reward.  We may have to walk through the valley of the shadows of death to get there, but he is right there with us (Psalms 23:4 NIV).

So, ask away my friends do not be discouraged when you do not get the answer that you want.  Make sure that your request lines up with the plan of God for your life.  Look at why you are asking him for the specific thing.  Then wait, learn, pray, and pray even more.  Believe that he wants the best for you and has your best interest at heart.  When we pray, pray with an expectation of , “but if God does not answer I will still believe him” (Dan. 3:17-18).  This is how 3 Hebrew children prayed when Nebuchadnezzar threatened to put then in the fiery furnace.  You see they still ended up in the furnace. However, God put his hedge of protection around them.  So ask, ask for the right reason, ask your Father in Heaven and he will answer.  Just be willing to accept the answer that he gives you.

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