"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
In a world of ME ME ME, you need more of the Father, Son, and Holy spirit. The world goes round on its own agenda, doing what it knows best to do with everything it's been given. There are many things you can do and many roads you can take to get there if you're thinking "What about me?"
But what about God?
"Oh, I pray to God all the time! He wants me to be happy and to thrive, so that's what I'm doing by being a part of _____ or doing _____. (fill in the blank)
Well... did you consult with God before you got into _____ or started doing _____? How do you know what God's plan is for you if you didn't consult with Him first?
"But it doesn't seem as if He ever answers me, so I assume what I'm doing is okay..."
Have you ever thought that maybe since you didn't go to Him first that He's just leaving you to your desires? Isn't that even remotely scary to you? The God of heaven has a plan for your life, and you don't want to see what that is because your plan is... better?! By what standard is your plan better than God's plan?
"For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them."
Yeah... He knows you like that! So not only is there nothing that's better than what He has for you, but you also cannot hide anything from Him. If you say you are walking with Him when you really aren't, He knows that. He will not force Himself upon you, nor will He plead with you to walk in His path. The Psalmist who wrote the above psalm is David, who wanted nothing else than what God had given Him and blessed him with since he was following after God. Because David was faithful, He was blessed with more than he could have ever imagined. Despite all of the trials he might have come across, he was still faithful. When he was wrong, He admitted it and confessed it before God. Whenever David was happy, He praised God. Whenever he was angry, he was honest with God.
"You mean... I can be honest with God???"
Honest to God, YES! How can you call someone father if you cannot talk with them like they're your father? Our heavenly father will meet you where you're at if you come to Him to seek relationship with Him. He will answer you, and He will provide your needs if you only ask Him.
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
That brings me to a time where I wasn't sure what to do in a certain situation. My family was telling me to ask for a raise at my place of employment. They told me what anyone else would tell me:
"You've been there for two years now. Some places won't just give you a raise. You need to ask, because they won't just give it to you."
Now me, knowing that God has provided every need for me before, knew that God would not give me anything I didn't deserve and He surely would reward me if He thought it was right for me to receive it. So I did something less common in this circumstance. I prayed, and then I waited for God to respond. I didn't feel it was the right thing to do to just go in and ask for a raise. I kid you not, in less than a month I was called into the office and I was given that raise.
My point here is very clear. If you pray to God but you honestly don't want to have anything to do with what His will for your life is or have anything to do with Him in general, and you only go to Him because it's just "a good thing to do", then you will not receive anything from Him. You will continue to move FOR God, but your endeavor won't be blessed by Him. But if you sincerely go to Him, and your "What about me" is directed in such a way that you genuinely want to be used by God and receive what He has planned for you, then I know for sure that He will answer you. Your sincerity and meekness of heart will be seen by God, and He will bless you.
This life is not about you. You are here to serve God, and what you do should be pleasing to Him. If you truly want what God has, then don't CONFORM to the world and do what all the supposedly "wise" are doing. If you are truly wise, then you would RENEW your mind and fill it with God's promises, and most importantly, His COMMANDS. You must OBEY God before you ASK anything of God. This is how you know for sure any motive of yours is PURE. So now that you're renewing your mind, you can accurately TEST what the will of God is. You can see for sure whether or not it is GOOD, ACCEPTABLE, and PERFECT.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding."
If God is not a person you REVERE, then you are not truly SINCERE. Come to Him and ACKNOWLEDGE Him for who He is, CONFESS to Him where you have come short, give THANKS to Him not only for what you have but who He is, and the last thing should be your SUBMISSION or what it is that you request of God, be it whatever your needs are or healing, etc. I will elaborate on the ACTS model of prayer in my next blog post. For now, I hope you have a better understanding of what God desires from You.