I have very exciting news. I submitted an article to a fairly large Christian magazine and my article made it to the second round of evaluations! I am very excited but at the same time, trying hard not to get my hopes up.
As I prayed about it, I found myself evaluating my prayer - did I have the right attitude? Was I suitable humble, yet sincere? It dawned on me that I was trying to manipulate God to answer yes about this by praying "just right."
Have you ever done that? I sometimes find myself saying, "Well, I shouldn't do THAT if I want God to answer my prayers the way I want." As if God is up in heaven waiting for me to mess up so He can say no to what I am praying about!
God really isn't weighing our performance with the blessings He has for us. There are some specific promises in the Bible that do tell us, if we do x, God will bless that. But God is not waiting with a colossal rubber stamp that says NO! if we happen to pray and not say, "thy will be done."
The truth is that God often blesses us when we don't deserve it at all. I mean, when do I actually measure up to God's standards anyway? Psalms 103: 12 says, "The Lord is compassionate and gracious; He is slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness." And He has to be to put up with me on a daily basis.
This belief that we can somehow get God to grant us blessings or answers to pray based on behavior can also work the other way. What if we are striving wholeheartedly after God, obeying Him, and doing what He is instructing and something bad happens? If you believe blessing is based on your performance this could cause you to either beat yourself up needlessly or turn to God with a shaking fist, asking why He would do this to you.
The bottom line is God's ways are not our ways. We are to listen and obey, to worship and adore, to read His Word and listen to what He is telling us. The Bible tells us He has a storehouse of blessings for each of us. I don't want to miss out on that because I am too busy evaluating my performance!
~ Blessings, Bronte