God isn’t a Genie to Grant your Wishes

God isn’t a Genie to Grant your Wishes

Another older article reworked from 2015. The theme is very similar to “Ask and Ye Shall Receive?” in that it deals with unanswered prayers however the article is focusing more on the sin of putting other desires before the will of God which is a form of idolatry.

 

God isn’t a Genie to Grant your Wishes

I’ve been hearing a bit from people about the “name it and claim it” section of Christianity. These people treat God like some genie in a lamp to ask for whatever they want. Sure we’ve all had selfish prayers, but did we ever get what we asked for? And if so what was the price? Because we know God doesn’t always answer every single prayer. He also doesn’t give you status, money or romance just because you ask for it.

 

One of the Less Observed Examples of Christ

In the Gospel of Luke 22:39-46 Jesus asked the Father for another way to save us in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus did not want to face death. Despite the fact that God can do all things, he wanted the sacrifice of Christ to be the way of saving humanity of their sins. In the end Christ’s sacrifice was the most powerful expression of love that has ever existed. But it puts something into perspective. God’s son, being like God in every way, obediently stepped into death, on a cross, after the answer was no. That is not just contentment that is called obedience. On top of this he told his disciples twice to pray not to enter into temptation.

 

What Causes Fights?

“What causes quarrels and fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

-James 4:1-4 (ESV)

   The sentence ‘You do not have, because you do not ask.’ is one that gets twisted by the “name it and claim it” crowd. What I don’t normally see is the very next sentence, ‘You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.’ Or the one after, that explicitly states that friendship with the world is to become an enemy of God. Vain desires are the root of many unanswered prayers as well as what starts fights.  However I recall a certain verse in the book of Luke.

“And he said to all “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

-Luke 9:23 (ESV)

   If our cross is not having the latest toys we should consider ourselves lucky. Download Foxes Book of Martyrs. It should be in the public domain, meaning free. You’ll find the Christians before us had it way worse than us. My hope is that people who read this article will make people more thankful for where they’re at.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive?

Ask and Ye Shall Receive?

The following article was an article I wrote for the June 2016 issue of DevoBlast. I did have to remove a small portion because it made prayer to God look like a contract rather than humble service but other than that I think it turned out to be a good article.

 

Ask and Ye Shall Receive?

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

-Matthew 21:22 (ESV)

“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

-John 16:24 (ESV)

   The verses above are often used by those trying to manipulate God. These two verses are often used as the centerpiece of a message. People are essentially told teachings that claim God will give them anything they want if they have faith and ask in his name. Of course when a new believer or a visitor tries to ask something in the name of God that does not happen they have a tendency to leave the Church thinking it’s all fake.

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A Thanksgiving Prayer

In 2015, Ryan shared at a community Thanksgiving Service of multiple churches the following, we pray it will encourage many more in print here on the blog:

Giving Thanks in Our Times

Today may we give thanks.

Today, look away from all the cares and worries as Jesus commanded us. Do not worry about tomorrow, let tomorrow worry about itself and again let not your heart be troubled. Christian Faith is not dependent on emotions, circumstances, or conditions.

The Apostle Paul put it well in,

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Gen1toRev22: Amazing Obedience, 6:18-22

Scripture Passage: Genesis 6:18-22

Observations on the Context:

Not only does God reveal what He is about to do in judgment to Noah and instruct Noah how to escape the destruction of sin’s judgment, but God details much more for Noah on what type of catastrophe is coming.

God mercifully establishes a covenant with Noah, God initiates this covenant (like the covenant of marriage) till ‘death-do-you-part.’ The covenant was made with Noah and his family. In addition, God instructed Noah to take a male and female of every living thing (excluding sea creatures) into the ark to preserve them. Noah was also to take a supply of every sort of food that is edible.

It is fitting that the section concludes with the simple statement that Noah did all God commanded him. Read more

Do We Pray like Daniel?

    Daniel’s prayer is one of confession, repentance and for revival (for the re-viving of God’s people, Israel). Are you confessing the sins of your nation? Repenting personally for your own idolatry and backsliding? Are you crying out for God’s people to repent and turn back to God–that is Biblical revival, not masses coming to the Lord for salvation. Not that masses coming to God is bad, but Biblically that is Evangelism and Discipleship, not revival.

 

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; 2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. 3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: 6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. 8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; 10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. 12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. 14 Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. 18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

Dan 9:1-19 (KJV)