"Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God." (Jeremiah 42:6)
When you pray do you really want to hear: hear His will, hear His plan, and hear His way? I'll be the first to admit that my prayers can be very selfish. I mean, how often do we pray and ask God for His will, yet our mind is already made up, our heart is already concerned with God blessing the path we have chosen rather than discovering the path He has chosen. Whether it's a relationship, or a new job, or a new school, or a new toy, we want what we want, and that's what we want. We really just want Him to affirm our desires, so when His answer differs from what we want we struggle, get upset, and even act in disobedience. I wonder how different our lives would be if we were willing to say, "Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey..."
God's people were facing some dangerous opposition, so they sought out the prophet, Jeremiah. Upon making their request for Jeremiah to seek the Lord on their behalf, they made this covenant, "Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey..." Sounds like a nice prayer, right? Unfortunately, they weren't truly seeking God's will but were hoping He would bless their selfish desires. You see, they wanted to go to Egypt, yet God's answer was to remain in Judah. The humble vow of submission and trust was nothing more than mere words...a lie...as they would reject the prophet, rebel against God, and resolve to do what they wanted to do, which would only lead to their punishment and destruction.
When you pray do you really want to hear: hear His will, hear His plan, and hear His way? Or are we just seeking for Him to approve our desires, our plan, and our way?
Let's no longer deceive ourselves by going through the motions of prayers of submission when our true motivation is our own selfish agenda. I understand that our human heart wants what it wants, but that's when we need to regain an eternal perspective and remember:
- God's plans are always better
- God's plan are always higher
- God's plans are always for our good
- God sees what we don't see
- God knows what we don't see
- God is love and His actions are always based in His love
I could go on and on, and each Truth of God's greatness further reveals why it's vital that we surrender our plans, our agendas, our desires, and our emotions. We can get so blinded by our desires that, before we know it, we find ourselves in a place of disobedience outside of His blessing. May we find that place of submission where we can honestly say, "Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, I will obey..."
Jesus, please forgive me for my selfish prayers, my selfish plans, and my selfish heart. Help me to gain an eternal perspective that I might lay down my desires and exchange them for Your perfect plan. When Your answer is "no" or differing from my hopes help me to choose submission, trust, and obedience that my life might bring You great delight. In Your name, Amen.