Can Our “Motives” Delay God’s Blessings?
“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalms 37:4)
Sometimes, understanding God can be a bit difficult. Jesus promises us that whatever “we ask for in His name, He will do it” (John 14:14). However, He doesn’t always answer when we want Him to or exactly how we expect Him to. Does that mean God is lying? No. Sometimes some things we ask for just aren’t the will of God for our lives, that’s why when Jesus was praying to the Father, He said “not my will by Yours” (Luke 22:42). Even if it is God’s will for our lives, that doesn’t mean that it was His timing.
You see, when the Bible says that if we delight in God and He will give the desires of our heart, that didn’t make Him a genie. Many people try to use that scripture to manipulate the hand of God. If you have a child that’s sixteen, straight-A student, they love God with all of their heart, and they even have manners (because that’s definitely rare today), that doesn’t mean the child deserves a brand new car. Are you angry with your child? No, but they don’t need everything they ask for. If that child gets mad and says “but all of my friends have cars”, does that mean they need one? Nope. Too many people expect things prematurely, but that is not always a good thing. Receiving blessings early can do more harm than good.
When the word of God says to delight in the Lord and He will gives the desires of our heart, it wasn’t lying at all. I know you may doubt the word of God when you don’t see it coming to pass immediately. The issue is, many of us don’t realize that when we delight in Jesus, our desires are going to change. If you say you are getting closer to Jesus and you’re still spiritually stagnant or chasing sin, then you’re not actually growing. You see, spiritual growth is evident in every aspect of your life. Many of us are still missing some exes because the part of us that needed them isn’t healed yet. Many of us are still seeking shallow things like earthly approval or “likes” on social media because we aren’t fully aware of who we are in Christ. When you start to delight in Christ, you will never be the same. You won’t keep chasing what you want, but you’ll begin to seek what God has for you. You won’t keep chasing the things that kept you in bondage, because you want to please God. When you start allowing God into your heart, He will push out all of those insecurities, sins, frustrations and stress you have in your life.
Our Christian walk is similar to a parent-child relationship. The parent, in most cases, is saying things that we don’t understand. We feel restricted. We feel unloved. Some may feel “abused” even when it comes to slight discipline. However, most loving parents do certain things to protect us, we just don’t recognize it at the time. The areas where you feel God is isolating you from all of your “friends”, He’s actually insulating you from that destructive path you were on. When you see that God isn’t sending a spouse yet, God sees that you have insecurities and bad habits that need to be broken.
Life isn’t always about the destination, God is trying to work on us while we are in route to that blessing.
You ever noticed as an adult that something your parent said just never made sense to you until you were in a certain predicament that required it? Here’s a quick example: My parents didn’t play games when it came to the house of God. My brothers and I grew up with two God fearing parents that never allowed us to disrespect the church, talk down to leadership, play while the service is going on, and other things down the line. As a child, you can easily find church boring and try to find a new way how to sneak out or fall asleep without getting caught. Let’s just say, that one of my dad’s favorite scriptures just has to be Proverbs 23:13. Look it up and you’ll understand lol. However, as an adult now, my brothers and I still see the value in the church. No matter if we strayed, we realized where to go for peace. We know where to go to be restored. We know that the world doesn’t have much to offer, and it’s all because our parents instilled some principles that we needed in life.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
I say all of that to say, God wants to work on our motives. Sometimes, God will withhold a good desire until He finishes working on our hearts. Many of us think all we need in life is a spouse, so He has to help us not make an idol out of marriage. Many of us only want a spouse because others have one, so He works on the envy in our heart. Many of us want to have a spouse just to have “sin-free” sex, so He wants to work on the lust in our heart. Whatever state you are in now, just ask God to work on you. He won’t withhold His promises from us, He just has to prepare us for them.
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 4:3 ESV)
God is able to give us the desires that we have, but not every “good desire” is a “God desire”. When you are seeking God, remember to seek His will over your own. One way to know if your desires aren’t selfish is to ask yourself this, “If God gave me everything that I asked for, would this benefit only me, or those around me as well?”
Grace and peace,