“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 (NKJV)
One of the things I decided to do this year is to really embrace God’s promises.
I use to have an issue with believing that God would really grant me the desire(s) of my heart; give me exactly what I ask for.
So, for a while, I hardened my heart and pretended like I didn’t want anything from Him… I wouldn’t ask Him for anything because of the fear of being disappointed if I did ask and didn’t get what I wanted. But He knew that I was still longing for so many things.
A handful of people knew about that issue, and they gave me the best advice they could. But my pride was too strong; in the way. I just could not fathom The Almighty God, giving me what I really desired in my heart. It was hard to see it happening for me. Like, there was just no way that He would really grant me that much favor… I mean, why would He? That’s the question I often asked myself.
I’ve read Psalm 37:4, many, many times… and I really thought I was believing it, too… Until I came to that one thing I really wanted…
It was then that I found myself struggling to believe that scripture for myself, totally.
I felt like I was wanting what I wanted a little too much… And I felt like that’s why I wouldn’t get it. I was afraid it wasn’t meant for me to have because I wanted it so bad. I figured it had to be a bad thing for me to crave something that way… To me, it couldn’t have been God trying to give me what I was really longing for… But truthfully, I didn’t want it just for me… I wanted so that I could glorify God with it.
There’s no doubt in my heart that I would have given God the glory for what He would have done if He would have done what I was afraid to ask Him for. But, still, I couldn’t fathom Him giving in to that desire of my heart… I just couldn’t.
Well, one day, I was reading in James chapter one… And this is what it said: “But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:6-8 (NLT)
At first, when I read it, I didn’t really catch on… But as I sat, gazing at the passage; meditating on it, I realized how screwed up I was in how I was thinking towards God and what He could/would do for me… And I couldn’t take my eyes off of that passage.
I was that person who’s loyalty was divided. I was that person who did not put all my trust, hope and faith in God… Even though I knew He was a GREAT God and could do anything He wanted to, before I even acknowledged the struggle, I would ask for stuff without faith. I would just throw up prayers and hope God caught them. If He didn’t it was, “Well, it is what it is.”
I was still in awe; amazed at my foolishness but then, I was led to Psalm 37… once again.
I didn’t just read verse four, though.
Here’s what I read: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him (there’s more to that passage, but I stopped right here).” Psalms 37:3-7 (NKJV)
After I read that passage, I felt even more foolish.
I realized that I was not truly taking hold of God’s promises. I was doubting Him to be the Faithful God (promise keeper) that He is. I was speechless… There was so much I was not embracing in that passage. But it didn’t stop there. God continued to lead me further into His word.
“I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His descendants begging bread.” Psalm 37:25 (NKJV)
I love that passage… It’s so relevant to the whole situation. He’s always kept His promises.
But let me show you what else I read: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11 (NKJV)
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14 (NKJV)
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3 (NKJV)
“Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
“For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:6-12 (NKJV)
After reading all of that, I couldn’t take it anymore… I had to repent for doubting God and calling Him a liar (with my words and my actions).
I sat still and dumbfounded, once I realized that I wasn’t patient with Him at all… I didn’t really trust Him and I was faithless in that area. But He fixed me, though. He left me no room to continue to doubt His power. Plus, He’s done so many other great things in my life.
I’m can’t doubt Him anymore. I know it was only yesterday that all this was revealed to me but I didn’t waste any time getting in order.
I know that there will be challenges that try to pull me back to where I was with this, and Lord knows I don’t want to go back to that. So I’ll be standing on His word.
It feels so much better to believe. There’s relief in it… His truths about His promises comforted me and gave me hope… The truth set me free.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 (ESV)
I share this story/testimony with you all in hopes that if any of you are struggling with the same thing, you’d get over it as I did by opening God’s word and embracing His promises.
His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours, and the fact that He is able to do far more, exceedingly and abundantly, above what we can ask or think just makes me assume (or realize), that our desires are nothing compared to what He might really want to do, just because He’s God and He can. We just have to believe that He can and He will…
I mean, if He is pleased with me because I’ve delighted myself in Him and I’ve been obedient to His call, why wouldn’t He grant me the favor I seek Him for? I really have no reason to doubt that He will grant me my heart’s desires in abundance. He told me to ask, seek and knock. He told me to ask in His name and He’ll give. He told me that I didn’t have it because I asked amiss… He showed me that my loyalty was divided because I didn’t really believe.
We definitely have to check ourselves (motives) before we come to God wanting anything…
Because we really deserve nothing.
That’s the main reason why I started struggling to believe in that area… Because I know I am so undeserving… But I also know He is a God of mercy, grace, and love; if He wants to show out in my life, He will.
Now that I just sit and think as I write this, I’m thinking that He could have been simply protecting me, telling me to be patient and/or holding on to it until I was mature enough to handle what I wanted from Him. And if any of that is the case, I’m so grateful. He’s only been looking out for me.
Here are a few questions I had to ask myself after everything was revealed to me: Have I really been delighting myself in Him? What are my true motives? Will it pull me from God or push me closer to Him?
Then this one; Am I even grateful for what He’s already given me?
If we can’t appreciate and cherish what’s already been given, how dare we look for God to continue to give like He hasn’t already given enough.
Delight yourself in Him first… Then you can truly embrace His promises. He won’t hold back. You’re His child!
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26 (NKJV)
Have faith… Trust and believe that is more than willing and able to give you the desires of your heart. But with that, you also must be sure that you’re delighting yourself in Him; actively waiting on those promises/desires to be fulfilled.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
“But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)
This final verse, I love the way it reads in the New Living Translation: “You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” John 16:24 (NLT)