Daily D – Proverbs 28:9
God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law. PROVERBS 28:9 (NLT)
God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to him.
Christmas is coming soon. We know this because a guy bought a pickup and an SUV for his wife and himself. She chose the pickup. He likes red. I don’t watch much TV, but I have seen that commercial a dozen times already.
She got better than she gave. He didn’t get what he wanted because she didn’t listen to what he had to say.
There are lessons there. First, become incredibly wealthy while remaining a nice guy. Second, keep on being nice even when your wife takes the pickup you have been wanting since before you ever learned to drive.
Actually, there are more lessons than these.
It is quite possible to pray earnestly and come up empty. God listens, but he often chooses not to respond the way we want. While every case is unique, the person who coined this proverb was on to something important. If we do not listen to God and do what he says, we will probably not end up with the pickup of our dreams.
We may not have a December to Remember if we write the rules and ask God to play by them.
God’s instructions are not meant to be burdensome. Neither are they legalistic rituals which, when performed like a witch’s incantations, produce the results we desire.
Instead, our Father in heaven teaches us how to relate to him and to others. He wants us to join him in seeking his highest good for all people, including us. His highest good may mean Toyotathon passes without a new Highlander in the driveway.
Our prayers should align with God’s truth and intentions. We cannot expect God to alter his purpose for our lives to fit our moods. Have you ever prayed earnestly for something for a long time and then realized how terrible it would have been if God had said yes?
What God wants is better than what we want just as what Commercial Guy wanted for himself is better than what he wanted for his wife. Our prayers are more effective when we say, “I like red,” when God offers red. Our prayers are more fulfilling when we learn to trust God enough to say, “Whatever you want is what I want, too.”
Thanksgiving once again comes before Christmas this year. Before we ask God for the blue truck, let’s thank him for what he has done, including not giving us what we asked for on many occasions and for giving us something infinitely better. Seeing his better plan over the course of years and a lifetime provides a better indication of what he wants for us going forward.
Here’s a good prayer to pray today and every day: “Our Father, what do you want for me?” God does not ignore that kind of prayer.
I will listen for and seek for myself what God wants.
Our Father, what do you want for me? That’s what I want, too. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”