Often we ask for the things we THINK we should have from God, but have you ever considered that maybe God doesn’t always think it is in your best interests to have all the things you may be asking for? It’s okay to express a desire or a need for certain things, but ultimately we have to trust in Him to decide which of those things are actually beneficial to our growth.
Like a needy child begging their parent to have that piece of candy, what a child doesn’t think about is if they were allowed to have candy all day long—their teeth would rot. Having an unattractive smile would plague them for the rest of their lives. But the child isn’t thinking about the benefits of having a full set of teeth, they are just wanting to be satisfied in the moment. And who could blame them? They are too young to know any better. Their world is the only world they know.
Sometimes, we are just like that needy child. We think we may know what’s best for us, when in actuality, our Father may know what’s best after all. Spiritual immaturity can leave us falling victim to a limited scope in what we think is best in the moment.
Here is a great example provided by Dr. Tony Evans that better conveys the concept…
A small child once wanted a nickel from her father to go buy something. But the father saw that he didn’t have a nickel in his pocket. All the father had was a $20 bill. So he offered to use the $20 bill to buy the item the child wanted. But of course, the child, only seeing the attraction of the shiny coin got upset and instead kept screaming “I WANT A NICKEL! I WANT A NICKEL!”
Sometimes, we don’t realize the full value in what God is offering us. Instead, we just want that shiny coin, but God may be providing us with a more valuable paper bill.
Because we may be so focused on listening to ourselves, or friends, or the media, or our circumstance…and not really listening to the Word…we can easily get lost in our own understanding. Perhaps, if we would just listen to the Author of the Word, we’d save ourselves a lot of time and distraction.
I hope this helps you to put into perspective God’s will, as opposed to your own. I’m still struggling with this concept myself, as I so desperately want to control my own outcomes in life—despite the circumstances that I am given, that are often out of my control. But as I learn to SURRENDER to His will, I see that God moves me out of my way and into the better direction He wants me to go. And as I look back on some of the more trying events in my life, that I thought were more detrimental than beneficial, it’s surprisingly comforting to see that He leads me in the direction that He knows is worth more to my growth than just being handed a mere nickel.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”