3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.– James 4:3 NLT
God always answers our prayers. He answers us in one of four different ways.
1. Do it now–and of course that is the answer we want so we recognize it right away.
2. Delay–It wasn’t what we wanted to hear so we assumed God didn’t answer our prayer.
3. Don’t do it – I’m not hearing that so God must not have answered.
4. Dynamically Different–He answers in such a better and highly effective way than what we anticipated that we don’t recognize it as His answer.
When our prayers are from wrong motives and for selfish reasons, His answer is always no. Then, because of our pride, we get angry with God and accuse Him of all sorts of things. God understands that anger and when you get through pouting and ask Him, He will forgive you. God is not bound by our desires or our timetable. Even the “yes” answers are not always immediate. We have to wait on His timing. Do we really want our answer or would we prefer God’s answer? Remember in 1 Kings 19:3-5 when Elijah prayed “I have had enough, Lord, just take my life.”? Then think of how God answered that prayer in 2 Kings 2:9-12 when God took him up in a chariot of fire! If God had taken Elijah’s life when Elijah wanted him to, Elisha would not have been trained to become Elijah’s replacement and Elisha would never have seen all the great miracles. God answered Elijah’s prayer in a way far better than Elijah could have thought of or dared to ask. So when we don’t get the answer we want or it is not in the time frame we wanted it– relax, God is still in control.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
This is a great post, Wally! Thanks. I especially like the Elijah and Elisha example.
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