We all know of families where the parents decided that, to love their children, they needed to give them everything they wanted. We also know… that did not end well.
There is a special word for children who get everything they want… “spoiled.”
Spoiled children grow up feeling that the world revolves around them. They are self-centered, self-consumed – and barely have a thought, or concern, about anyone other than themselves. Spoiled children are the result of misguided parenting.
When it comes to God, the Bible teaches us that He is a Good Father. He loves us immensely. And He is committed to raising children that are thoughtful, kind, considerate, and able (and seeking) to be a blessing to others. He is also committed to raising children who love Him, and respect Him, in a proper way – who grow up with a healthy outlook on life and who are able to truly honor Him, with their lives.
Bottom line… when it comes to His children: God is going to raise us up right!
And lesson number one, is this…
What that means is that He is the One Who gets to call the shots. He is the One Who gets to decide what we receive, and what we don’t. Our part is to trust that He is good, that He loves us – and if He denies us something, He is not being mean.
That is difficult for us… until we come to the realization that God is not committed to giving us whatever we want… He is committed to giving us what is best for us – and to growing us up into a healthy respect for Who He is (see lesson one).
It is fairly easy for us to conclude that God must give us whatever our hearts may desire (and we can desire a lot!). We even misquote that Scripture: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) We seem to forget that the “delighting yourself in the Lord” (and what HE desires) part, must come first. Only then, are our hearts ready to receive what He desires to give us.
Too often, we are tempted to treat God as if he were that proverbial “genie in the bottle.” That He only exists to give us what we wish. And if He doesn’t… well, we will search around until we find something, or someone, that does…
That is why our faith must not only rest in God’s supremacy (He is able to do whatever He wants) but also in His sovereignty (He gets to decide what is best).
Until we can embrace God’s supremacy and His sovereignty, our faith will always be childish, at best. And our growth will always be stunted.
We can end up with the mindset of a spoiled child.
The key to a true faith is believing God for the things that He wants to do for us. As the apostle taught us: “This is the confidence that we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we already possess what we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15) True faith begins with seeking God for what He wants!
We must always keep in mind: a true faith is defined by what heaven wants to bring to earth – not the earth, getting things from heaven.
Prayer focus: God, help me to see when my requests do not line up with what You want – and to re-focus the desires of my heart onto what delights You.