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“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”
Colossians 1:16 NIV
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
1 John 4:10 NIV
Why do we get an attitude when we ask God for something, and we don’t get it? We work for God, He doesn’t work for us. I know, take a deep breath. This shocked me too!
I’m not sure when we started looking at God like He’s a genie, but He’s not. He created us in His image and likeness, and strategically placed us on earth for a purpose. “All things have been created through Him and for Him.” Purpose fixes problems. For example, the purpose of an umbrella is to protect us from getting wet from the rain, right? It was created to fix a problem. Same for us. When we die, a problem in our world, our sphere of influence, should no longer exist.
I think where many of us get tripped up in our faith is that we forget that we are the sinners. Look at our foundational text from 1 John. True love is not that we love God. That’s great! But true love is that God sacrificed His only son, Jesus, to save our sins. Are you sacrificing your only son for anyone? Probably not! Side note to the singles: if you ever want to know if it’s true love, look at the sacrifices. God modeled it for us so that there would be no confusion. True love means laying your life down. If the person won’t even accommodate you in their schedule, there’s your answer—it’s not true love! Jesus died so that anyone who comes through Him would not have to. Our sins were crucified with Him on the cross.
I know we want things in life, and we feel we deserve certain things. Like “God I tithe faithfully and live righteously, I deserve to own a home.” The only thing we deserve is wrath. But God is merciful, meaning He spares us from what we deserve, and gracious, meaning He gives us what we don’t deserve. Don’t lose hope when you pray for things and don’t receive them. Instead, have a heart of gratitude. Live in such a way that you thank God for both His no and yes. Paul asked God to remove his thorn, but God told him “my grace is sufficient.” The thorn wouldn’t stop him from reaching his calling. He had to learn that having God is having all that you need. Daniel asked God not to throw him into the lions’ den. Instead, God shut the mouths of the lions. How will we know the many facets of God if we only know Him to provide what we ask for?
God shows us grace when we deserve judgement, and mercy when we deserve punishment. He’s loyal in spite of our fickleness. He’s good in spite of our sinfulness. His love is consistent in spite of our unfaithfulness.
God has already done His work for you. Will you do yours for Him?