I think one of the statements I see most often is some variation of “I tried talking with God but…He’s not listening…He didn’t do anything….nothing changed….”
Luke 11:9 says: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
and then James 4:2b-4 says: “You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility towards God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
Wow, right? The thing is, most people know the Luke verse, but we can’t accept the Luke verse without also being aware of the James verse.
God is always listening! He never slumbers or sleeps (Psalm 121:4) but He is our Father, and He knows better than us. He is always listening. But He cares about us too much to give us something that could actually harm us. So very often, the “answer” ends up being: Wait. But not because He’s not ready. But because we’re not ready.
Our circumstances do matter to God. He cares deeply for us. We might go to God asking Him to change our circumstances – but instead, He wants to change us first. We do often have wrong motives for the things we want. We want things to be easier, happier, better. We think that somehow because we follow God, the road of life should be trouble-free. But that’s not what He told us, instead He said in John 16:33:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
He’s overcome the world! We aren’t at the mercy of our circumstances. He’s given us everything we need to rise above them and instead of being defeated by them, we can be changed from the inside out.
Matthew 16:24: Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Are we willing to deny ourselves to follow Him? Are we really following Jesus or are we asking Him to be some divine Santa Claus and just give us the things we want? I hear so many talking about how God’s not answering and yet what He might be saying is “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
I don’t think the problem lies with God. The problem is us. He’s waiting on us. Will we surrender the control of our life to Him? Our dreams? Our passions? Will we lay it all down to serve Him?
What is truly incredible is that if we’re willing to step back and see what we’re really being offered, we would be quick to surrender.
We are like a little child holding tightly to a fistful of dandelions. God is asking us to give them to Him. But we love our dandelions so much. We can’t imagine anything other than our dandelions. But He keeps asking us gently, “Give them to me.” When we finally do, He takes the dandelions and leads us to a garden overflowing with every flower imaginable. Gifts of every shape and color. But we can’t go into the garden until we trust Him enough to hand over the dandelions. Until we are willing to give up what we are holding onto to follow Him wherever He may lead.
What are the dandelions in your life?