Got any unanswered prayers? That may be a good thing. Sometimes the only thing worse than God refusing to give us what we want occurs when He gives us want we want.
Many years ago, our young daughter had only one thing on her mind.
She knew we planned an Easter egg hunt, and she asked if she could eat lots of candy on Easter. We told her no, but she kept after us, day after day. Easter came and she continued to plead. So we decided to let her learn by experience what she refused to learn by instruction. We let her eat as many little chocolate eggs as she wanted.
That night was pitiful.
“Oooooh, mommy, my tummy hurts!” She had learned by experience what she refused to learn by instruction. My toddler’s lesson gets repeated in the life of most of us adults.
But it doesn’t have to.
Two Teachers—Experience and Instruction
Have you ever considered that one of the harshest disciplines occurs when God gives us all what we want—even when what we want is wrong? After years of warning, He relaxes His hand and allows us to experience what happens when we refuse to learn by instruction.
Immediate gratification does a good job hiding the reality of long-term results.
Do You Really Want What You’re Begging For?
What are you asking God for right now? It’s possible He is about ready to give you exactly what you keep begging for. But keep in mind:
- God gave Israel the king they wanted—King Saul—and it didn’t go well (1 Sam. 8:7).
- God allowed those who refused to respond to God to have their desired immorality and, ultimately, judgment (Rom. 1:28-32).
Sometimes when God says, “Yes,” it’s a judgment. On the other hand, bear in mind that some of God’s most gracious answers were, “No.”
- James and John asked for the most prestigious seats in Christ’s kingdom, but they asked in ignorance (Mark 10:38).
- Mary and Martha asked for healing for their brother, but instead Jesus allowed him to die—that the Lord might do a greater work than mere healing (John 11:14-15).
God often keeps quiet about what He allows—and refuses. Only eternity will reveal how often God’s best answer to us was to say nothing.
Tell me what you think: When has God been gracious to you by saying, “No”? To leave a comment, just click here.