Billy had been misbehaving and was sent to his room. After a while, he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over and then said a prayer. “Fine,” said the pleased mother. “If you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you.” “Oh, I didn’t ask Him to help me not misbehave,” said Johnny. “I asked Him to help you put up with me.”
I think Johnny’s heart wasn’t as open as it should have been.
Johnny paints a familiar picture of prayer as we really don’t like to be told what to do by anyone, including God. Yet we can pray for direction, and we want precise instructions from the Lord. I don’t know about you, but many times I feel as though I have only received partial instructions or none at all. Yet, as I read the stories of Joseph, Moses, David, Paul, and some others, they received details of the next steps. I am aware of the words of Solomon in Proverbs, 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your HEART and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” So why did Joseph and the others get specific instructions? Was it because they spent more time in devotion to the Lord? Was it because they knew Jesus personally? Although these are important and part of the equation, I believe these heroes mentioned continued to get specific directions because they remained receptive to God’s guidance as well as obedient to God’s guidance. Their hearts were open and willing for the Lord. I have heard it said that divine guidance comes only to a prepared heart.
“Divine guidance” then begs the question, is your heart prepared? Do you pray for help, and God gives it to you, but you reject His way of help? Is your heart willing to be led His way? Do you even realize that you need God’s direction in your life, and not just for the “big things”?
I am going to try not to be like Johnny, but more like Joseph.
Lord, thank you that you are so willing to make our paths straight. You desire us to be everything you intended, even more than we do. Lord, grant us a thirst to sit in your Word and let you change our hearts to be more receptive and obedient to you. Father, you did not send Jesus to die and give His all for us to live and give half. Cleanse our hearts, and may the desires of our hearts be your desires. In Jesus’ name, Amen.