I want a house. On second thought, I want a house like yesterday. It’s not that I’m homeless. I just prefer to live closer to my job and church. I would also enjoy having more space because, with a wife and two daughters, we are busting at the seams in our current dwelling. Regardless, God has been telling me no. I say that because we’ve recently had two contract offers rejected. Other times, we did not have enough cash on hand to make a down payment and cover the bills.
I should have seen this coming. As far back as August, I heard different people at my church sing “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” If you’re not familiar with that song, there’s a verse in there that says “I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land.” The author of that song is right. So is my pastor. He’s instructed me on several occasions now to give God the flexibility to say no. Why? Because God knows best. He is God after all, and He knows what’s around the corner for my family. It’s also possible that God is telling me “not right now, Chris.”
I will admit neither answer is easy to swallow. There have been times where I wanted to give the Almighty a lump of coal for Christmas. For starters, my Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). Moreover, Scripture says to “ask, and it shall be given you (Matthew 7:7 KJV)” and “whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that I will do (John 14:13 KJV).” Still, a sermon I heard mentioned that “if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us (1 John 5:14 KJV).”
Did you catch that? If we ask anything according to His will, he heareth us. Just because I ask or you ask or everyone asks, does not mean we all get everything we want. Jesus also teaches us to acknowledge God’s will:
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10 KJV).
This was a mindset that Jesus Christ had the night of his arrest:
“Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42 KJV)
Another thing my pastor told me in recent weeks is that is possible that what I’m going through is to help be a blessing to others. God has a purpose in all that He allows or does not allow in our lives. Maybe what He’s doing is because of correction or prevention, to keep me humble, or to help someone down the road who may be going through the same thing.
God may not give me what I want for Christmas. He may deny everything on your wish list. But He has given us something we all need. That gift is Jesus Christ. Look to Him. Study Him. Pray to Him. Jesus knows what it is like to want something, while at the same time knowing how to deal with the very real possibility that God may say no (see again Luke 22:42).