How often do you go to God and ask him plainly for something you want?
No qualifiers. No “I know this isn’t something I need, I’m SO content with life and you don’t HAVE to give me this, but it’d be so great if you could do this for me,” not even “I know it might not be your will and you can totally say no and whatever you actually have for me is EVEN BETTER than what I think I want…but could you just think about giving me this?” Simply asking. “Hey God, thanks for how much you love me, can I have [insert gift here]?”
Probably not often.
I first started thinking about how ridiculous that is this past spring when one of my pastors mentioned it in a sermon. He said that when a kid has a good dad, they go straight to him and ask for things. They don’t carry on with five minutes of disclaimers before getting to what they want.
This made sense but I still couldn’t do it. It made me anxious and didn’t feel right. God is not a human dad, and I’m asking for bigger things than for him to open my juice box.
The other day I was asking him once again for something I’ve been asking about for a minute. And I realized, when we feel the need to assure God that it’s okay for him to say no, or that what we’re asking for is a good thing, we aren’t making those disclaimers for God. They’re for ourselves.
“You don’t have to say yes.” I’m protecting myself so if he says no, I can remember that I gave him permission to say no.
“I know I don’t need this.” I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t believe whatever I’m asking for is a need…but maybe sometimes I really do feel like I need it, and I know I shouldn’t, so I’m trying not to admit it.
We say that and all the other things because we’re convinced that God doesn’t actually want to give us good gifts, or that we aren’t really asking with the good intentions we think, or maybe we just feel like we’ll be less disappointed if God’s answer is no when we’ve put that safety net under us.
So as I was praying, and I said “You know where my heart’s at. You know I’m finally content here…” and then I really heard myself and couldn’t stop laughing.
He’s GOD, y’all. We aren’t telling him anything new! Of course he knows my heart. He made it and he’s been right there growing it.
And yes, he also knows what we want before we ask him for it…but we still need to ask because he ASKS US TO. He wants us to come to him. He doesn’t need us to bring all our defenses with it, just our requests. Because he’s a good dad and delights in giving good gifts to his kids. Because asking brings us closer to him no matter what his answer is.
Maybe once we’re asking from a place of trust and contentment, we don’t feel that need to protect ourselves anymore. Maybe he only ever says no so he can say yes to something better later(and maybe I’m recycling words now).
Maybe. I’m still in the middle.
Verses that got me here:
1 John 5:14-15