Borrowed Truths

Expectations

Picture of Borrowed Truths

Expectations

Do you believe that you earned the right to receive what you have asked the Lord for? I am going to presume that this is not a question that you have pondered, much less been asked before, for are not the Scriptures clear, “And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matt. 21:22) Now of course, other verses must be searched out so that we can know and understand the entirety of the subject matter, so, we can see in James 1:6 that if we waver, if we do not fully believe as we just saw in the Book of Matthew, we will not receive what we have prayed for. There are others of course, James 4:3 says that we will not receive because we ask only because of our own desires, Matthew 6:10 says that our request must always be asked in accordance to the will of the Father, Matthew also tells us not to expect answers for vain repetitive prayers in Chapter six, verse seven.

Doubt instead of belief, out of the will of Gods designs, our own sinful lusts and simply a lack of faith are just a few of the hindrances that our prayers find on their way to our Lord. The man of God who is not treating his wife correctly will find that his prayers will fall on deaf ears until he repents of his ways towards her. (1st Peter 3:7) I recently saw two women at a sporting event praying with their hands in the air in the last few seconds of the game asking God for their team to win. Their team lost, and I must admit that I was not only a little ashamed, but somewhat upset that these two would attempt to sway the Most Holy One for such a transitory and meaningless thing as a sporting event. I have since wondered if their faith has been lessened, or if they just fell back on the ‘old standby,’ “It must not have been in Gods will.”

Those that pray only for their own lustful desires are those that are driven by the waves of those desires and the emotions that tend to rule their lives, and very rarely are they aware of the will of God in either their prayer life or the spiritual path that they are to be on. And herein is where we find the main topic of this letter to you, have you earned the right to expect to receive what you ask of the Lord.

Too many Christians today believe that whatever we ask of God, as long as we believe, we will receive, it has become almost a mantra in their minds and even in some churches, believe and receive, and though I mean no offence, it still amazes me how gullible, just how easily we are deceived by the schemes of Satan, take Christ out of the prayer, but leave believe in. Here is a new mantra for those that have fallen into this trap of our adversary, if you think you can just believe and receive, you are being deceived. It is not the will power within us to believe, the fervent drive inside of us that says, “If I just believe hard enough, God will answer my prayers in exactly the way I want Him too.” That is nothing more that wishful thinking, believing that we can bend Almighty God to our will. You have done no more than embarrass yourself before Christ by these thoughts, you have demeaned His Holy Name and in essence told Him that He must serve you, you have tried to tell Him to serve your will, not His.

Individuals that pray after this manner rarely see any of their prayers answered, they are betting on the odds, as it were, that what they want is what our Lord wants also, without looking in the Scriptures for the truth, and again, “I guess it wasn’t in Gods will” becomes the normal catch phrase. These do not seek “To be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,” (Col. 1:9) and so their growth remains stagnant, their prayers nothing more than words blown away by the wind. You can believe all you want that the sky will be green and the grass blue tomorrow, but I think that I can guarantee you that it will not happen, nor is God going to give your sports team a winning season just because you are fervently praying for them to win.

These misguided prayers have led many down the path of disbelief, and a lack of faith in the sovereign power of our Lord is never far behind that emotion. They “ask amiss” (James 4:3) constantly, and so even in  those rare moments when they seek the Lords face in rightful prayers, those that actually are in His will, when they remain unanswered within their timeframe, they can find no reason to alter their prayer life, for they have not learned to calm the waves in their soul that are continuously tossing their spiritual life around. They will not rest in His will.

How then do we earn the right to expect to receive that which we have petitioned our Lord for?  Read with me 1st John 3:22, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” How do you come boldly to the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16) my friends, how can we know for a fact that the creator of all reality has heard our prayers and is contemplating an answer to them, because we have kept His commandments.

No parent of any merit gives a child what they ask for when that child continues to be rebellious and disobedient to the statutes and commandments that the parent has set forth for them. Although an unruly child can be extremely difficult to control, to bring under the bondage of righteous authority, it can be done, even when the punishment requires a painful and harsh answer, ask your Father about His children Israel. When we disobey our Lords commandments, until true repentance is sought for in humility, you might as well go outside and pray to a tree, because God will not listen until that heartfelt prayer of forgiveness is offered to Him, and when it is, He will not despise a broken heart and a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18) The moment that is done, fellowship with Him is restored, and your prayers will again ascend to His throne room. If you are not willing to follow the commandments that Christ has laid out for us in the Scriptures, do not expect your prayers to be answered, they will be, in effect, like the prayers of the heathen, He hears none of them, (John 9:31) they are an abomination to Him, (Prov. 28:9) He will hear only one prayer from them, the same first one our Lord heard from you and me, the deep welling of the heart rising up to beg for His forgiveness, the acceptance of His wonderful Son as our only means of Salvation.

I will not burden you here with a full exploration of the commandments of our Lord, they are easily found in the Scriptures for one who will but open the Word and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They are not grievous and are easy to bear, (Matt. 11:29) and for the child of God, they are the only way of life, they are a joy to read and obey, and it is our honor, privilege and rightful obligation to follow them.

I would be remiss here though to leave out the last part of 1st John 3:22, “and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” I state here only my own thoughts, and not the mind of God, but for me to do the things that are pleasing in His sight means that I must first and above all  realize that our Lord is sovereign, that He created all that is, and is in complete control over all of that creation. That the first thing that should be in the forefront of my heart at all times is a submissive and willing spirit towards His sovereignty, the recognition that He alone is eternal, that He is God Almighty. It is beyond absurd for me to think of my will, my pleasures, my desires in the revelation of such truths. When I add onto this the unending love that He has for me, a love that sacrificed itself on a cross for me, I can do nothing less than submit, and humbly offer my entire life to Him in whatever way He sees as best for His glory and the glory of His kingdom. I am to serve, not be served.

We are Gods children, and like all children we will whine and complain when we don’t get what we want, when we can’t have it our way, when our prayers are not answered as we would like them to be. It is the time span between that complaining and the asking of forgiveness for it that our Lord pays attention to, and we should also, and as we mature in our faith, as we grow in the knowledge of His grace, that time span should become shorter. It is quite simple and easy to adhere to, when you really think about it, should not all of our prayers, indeed all of our lives, be in accordance to the will of a Holy, Righteous, Loving and Sovereign God who has faithfully promised more not only here but also when we arrive home to those who will obey, to those who gladly follow His commandments, should not what Christ has completed on that cross for us be enough to prove all of those promises to be true, how all of those things that are pleasing to Him should also be pleasing to us also.

Expect your prayers to be answered, expect your request to be granted, the day you truly make Christ the Lord over all of your life.  

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