Post by: Christy Mobley
1 Samuel 8:6, “But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to judge us.’ And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Obey the voice of the people in all they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.'”
The Israelites were always whining and complaining wanting their own way. Their own will. They were never satisfied. They didn’t trust God to do what was best for them. They always wanted something else. I’m sorry to say I can relate. For most of my life I’ve been no different. Oh, I would have told you I trusted God, but still, I always thought I knew what was best. I knew a better ending to the story. My story.
About 15 years ago (in my guesstimation) my pastor sent out an email to the members of our church. I don’t remember the exact purpose of the email but I do remember reading a few lines on prayer and God’s will that stuck in my craw. Mostly because at the time the words bewildered me. Those words read something like this:
If you want healing, pray for God’s will to be done.
If you want safety, pray for God’s will to be done.
If you need a job, pray for God’s will to be done.
If you need financial help, pray for God’s will to be done.
If you are looking for peace, pray for God’s will to be done.
I recall thinking, what about my will? What if God’s will and my will aren’t the same? What if His ending doesn’t look like mine? Doesn’t God care about what I want?
It wasn’t long after, I decided my husband was bored with his job. (Notice, I said I decided.) I felt he needed something more challenging, a promotion perhaps. And I circled it in prayer. A lot of prayer. I thought I knew what was best for him, for us. Never mind what God thought. Not once did I pray honestly about my feelings and my struggles, or what was in my heart. Nope, instead I forged on, telling God my agenda, and asking Him to oblige with an answer.
And He did.
But it was not the answer I contrived in my mind. Nope, God loves me more than that.
Have you heard the saying, “Be careful what you pray for?”
God answered my selfish prayer.
He gave me what I wanted to show me what I didn’t.
He gave me my own way to show me how His way is better.
The next seven years were challenging to say the least. But God used everything that took place within those seven years to mold me for His purposes. Though God did indeed answer my prayer, the path He led me down would not have been one of my choosing. I can see now that it was necessary and it gave me a clear and personal understanding of Romans 8:28, “God works everything for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” Because it was during this trying time God showed me –
A way out of my spiritual desert.
How to be totally honest in prayer.
How to depend on Him and not on myself.
How to be joyful in all circumstances.
How His will is better than mine.
And how He is always faithful.
In the key passage from 1 Samuel, the Israelites weren’t satisfied with God and His way. They wanted human kings like all the other nations. And God gave them their human kings. He gave them what they wanted to show them what they didn’t need.
I believe it is important to lay our hearts open to our Heavenly Father and honestly tell Him our wants and desires. He wants that, but He also wants our surrender. Because at the end of the day He knows what ‘s best. And today I know that full well.
Jesus gave us the perfect example when he prayed “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven….”
Thy will not my will. Amen
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