Too many people here in Uganda want to come to America – land of opportunity – to solve their problems. It’s their answer to their problems. I am like my Ugandan brothers, I desired an experience. I desired God’s blessings. I desired God’s gifts. I desired means of grace. Yet those were not satisfying. Only God satisfies. Experience, blessings, obedience only satisfy for a moment. I was not desiring God.
One of my most pressing questions for years has been, “How much prayer is enough?” I saw in Scripture where people prayed for a long time – Jesus prayed all night when choosing His disciples, but Elijah prayed a simple prayer and it didn’t rain for 3 ½ years.
So I was looking for the right amount of prayer for _______ (fill in the blank). If it took X number of hours, that’s OK. If I wanted the thing badly enough, I just needed to put the time in. We saw in the last post, we still have to put that time in, but how God answers is up to Him (for example, Psm 127:1). Relationships really do not have formulas – just ask my wife.
So my experience with God was one like a store owner (God) and a shopper (me). My job was put the work in to find out the right currency the store owner requires (that could be sacrifice, offerings, obedience, hard work, prayer, Bible study, faith, etc.), then find out the right amount required for my need (blessing, assurance of some protection, healing, gift, etc.). That’s where I had the problem – how much was enough?
From what I can tell from Scripture God wants more than just to give us blessings or gifts, He desires to give Himself to us. Is that not what He did when He saved us? Sure He provides blessings, assurances, healings, gifts, etc., but more than anything else, He desires that we know and receive His Son.
So all of life’s problems: marriage problems, financial pressures, loss and grief, frustrations, addictions, failure, mistakes, sin, etc. He wants us to turn to Him. Depend upon Him. Trust Him. Not just for the blessings, not just for the release of the difficulty, but so that we, through the difficulties of taking up our cross may yield to Him; experience what He experienced and live in faith as He lived so that He is strong in our weakness.
While we desire to be released from the troubles, He may want to reveal His glory through those troubles. This is easier said than done. In fact, we can’t do it, but the best news of all is that Jesus can! Run to Him. Invite Him for a coffee and just chat. Keep spending time with Him and He will change your life.