Are we asking God the wrong questions?

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Have you been praying for something for years?  Do you find yourself thinking God only moves in other people’s lives?

Let’s see what Jesus says.

We read of Jesus’ healing ministry beginning in chapter 8 of Matthew. It’s literally two entire chapters of healing leprosy, a paralyzed servant, Peter’s mother in law, and multiple demons possessed. This goes on and on.

God is moving!

These are situations where the Glory of God was revealed through Jesus.

Matthew 8:2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said,”Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Discovering God’s Yes

The next part jumped off the page at me.   The first words Jesus speaks in the section of the gospel demonstrating his Holy Power are “I am WILLING!

Jesus said I. am. WILLING.

You see it, again and again, all throughout the chapter.

Matt 8:7 “I will go and heal him.

Matt 8:13 “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.”

I am willing.  I will go.  It will be done.  Will. Will. Will.

I can’t help but go back to the Beatitudes where yet again we see Jesus speaking similar words:

Will be comforted

Will inherit the earth

Will be filled

Will be shown mercy

Will see God

Will be called Sons of God

Y’all…Jesus IS willing!!! It makes me wonder if we are asking him the wrong questions.

When we need Christ’s power to move how many times in the state of panic or struggle, do we ask the question, “God! Tell me what I need to do?”

How many times have we asked, “God if it’s your will” or “If you are willing,” Or what do I need to do to have clarity or hear God’s voice, or feel His power?

If the Bible says Jesus is so willing, then what’s the holdup? Why aren’t more people experiencing or walking in a life described by the leper, the servant of the Centurion, the demon possessed, and the sick?

Why can’t more people relate to this section of Matthew?

Jesus has CLEARLY said He is willing!  He has given us His YES!

Our question needs to change from,  “If you are willing? ”  to “What am I missing?”

What can we learn from the people Jesus healed?

The man with leprosy was an outcast; therefore, had no pride.  The Centurion man understood authority and had great faith; therefore, was humble to authority.  Peter’s mother in law was healed and began serving immediately or had a servant’s heart. The demons possessed were tormented, but had friends or family to bring them to Jesus.  And the crowds that followed him were simply curious.

Y’all…these were all people who had hearts that were humble, desperate, broken, and the curious! Their motives were panic, struggle, desperation, and curiosity.

When struggles or confusion come about in life, it’s easy to slip into trying to earn God’s good graces so that He’ll do something.

I hear this all the time in women’s groups. “Oh, I need to read my Bible more”, or “I need to start going to church,” and “I need to pray more,” then God will hear my prayers.

Pretty please with sugar on top, don’t miss that Jesus wants your heart!!

[Tweet “Religious practice without heart change causes us to miss what God IS doing”]

He wants what’s on the inside, and yes; all those practices are good and great, but if there is no heart change, you’ll miss what God IS doing.  You won’t see how willing He actually is if you are so focused on your acts of obedience.

God IS willing. God is always at work.

We serve a God of Yes! We follow a Jesus who is willing!

Questions to Ponder

Let today be the day we begin to ask the better questions!

What am I not seeing in my marriage that IS good?

What prayers have you answered that I’ve missed because of hurt or a bad attitude?

What am I missing that you want me to see?

Where am I blinded to what you ARE doing in this situation?

What do I need to change in myself that is keeping me from seeing all the ways you ARE showing up?

Where in my life have you already said yes, but I am trying to earn your yes?

What am I NOT asking you for that you  said I CAN ask you for?

Some of my favorite words Jesus speaks are “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”

This is Jesus giving us His Yes.  This is Jesus saying He is Willing.  This is Jesus saying,  I am here.  I am for you. I am fighting on your behalf.  You aren’t overlooked.

[Tweet “Check out these tips from @lbtonge for asking better questions when your prayers seem unanswered”]

Healing and Obedience

It’s important to notice that obedience had nothing to do with these people’s healing.  Multiple times, Jesus said to keep quiet about it.  And nobody ever did.  That takes obedience out of the equation as a prerequisite for God showing up. Jesus knew they wouldn’t keep quiet.

Yes. God desires obedience; it’s simply not a requirement for His Glory.  The poor in spirit, the faithful, the servants, the humble, and the curious saw and experienced the Glory of God in chapter 8 of Matthew.

There is one situation that I’ve been praying over for 10 years…years people! If I didn’t know the Lord was willing and working, it would be very easy for me to get discouraged and feel forgotten by God.

Let’s take these truths from scripture and allow them to change our hearts today!

Dear Heavenly Father, We thank you that you are a God of yes and that we serve Jesus who Is willing.  Help us to come to you already knowing that.  Help us to feel your love for us and bring to mind anything that is keeping us from seeing you.  Please put people in our lives that can speak the truth in love that we need to hear so that our lives and hearts match that of Jesus.  Thank you for your work on the cross. You are everything.

In Jesus name,