Straight and Narrow

“What we usually pray to God is not that His will be done, but that He approves ours.” – Helga Bergold Gross

I came across this quote in the 1998 release of the Reader’s Digest “Quotable Quotes” book.  This thought had never really occurred to me; after thinking about my prayer life and the content of most of my chats with God, I have realized one major thing: when I ask for something, it is not that His will be done…it’s a question of approval of the decision(s) I intend to make.  This disturbs me.  Granted, when it comes to other people’s lives and the prayers I make for them, I almost always ask for His will.  Not for myself though.  It’s almost as if I delay praying until after I’ve decided what I want to do.

So, my question is: when should I be praying to ensure I am seeking His will, not just His approval?  “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Then all these things will be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33).  “Delight yourself with the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4). I was raised to be aware of my identity in Christ.  Although I am not entirely there, I have a few basic understandings: (1) I am a daughter of the Most High God, a branch grafted into the vine, adopted into the Kingdom of the Everlasting; (2) I will never be able to obtain the right to be loved by God, yet He chose to give me love unconditionally, not matter how many horrible things I do, say, or think; (3) I am fearfully and wonderfully made, God knows the number of hairs on my head, and He knit me together in my mother’s womb; and, (4) every act of kindness, gentleness, love, peace, patience, self-control, and other fruit of the spirit is my love language to Him.

With this knowledge, I know that whatever He has planned for my life (be it blessing, trial, joy, or hardship) is the greatest gift He could give me.  It also means I can be the greatest gift to those in my life.  So, why then do I not first ask Him what kind of decisions or directions I could go to, not asking Him if the decision I am going to make is ok with Him?  I somewhat pride myself on having great foresight…thinking back, I’ve been completely short-sighted a lot of the time!

All that being said, God gave me free will.  I have the choice to walk through open doors of opportunity, search for and open doors or windows I really want, or just simply break into places that, quite honestly, should have stayed foreign to me.  He’s used all of my choices to bring me to where I am today, and I am extremely grateful He did not give up on me, even when I chose to ignore Him or out-right defy Him.  In each of these places, He’s allowed me to influence and be influenced for good, and – I’m sorry to say – for bad.  The price we pay for decision making.  And He will never re-neg on that promise.

Anyways, what I am thinking is this: go one week of saying a short prayer pre-decision-making and giving a short period of time to listen – I mean, really listen to the spirit – before going ahead and choosing something.  Now, each person hears the Lord differently and uniquely (just as uniquely as He made us).  What I am hoping to discover is an open doorway of conversation with God, where He speaks into my life and helps me become the person I was made to be.  Could you imagine the outcome of doing things God’s way (the perfect, unconditional, righteous way)?  Oh, how exciting of a prospect is that!?  Not only for myself, but for everyone in my life!  Maybe that’s what it means to “walk the straight and narrow.”

About montologist

I am a young, aspiring writer who loves research, essays, prose, poetry, and faith based writings. I have strong beliefs and opinions, but am no stranger to critical thinking. I love my God and believe wholeheartedly in Christ and the Holy Spirit walks with me on life's journey.
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2 Responses to Straight and Narrow

  1. Biblifiction says:

    I agree on many levels but there is one aspect not touched on that I think is valuable. Perhaps it is our fear of God saying NO to what we want that stops us from asking but I think we may be in need of realizing that his NO is rarely just a NO. We forget to realize that it is he that will rather give us what truly fulfills instead of us running after what we think will fulfill.

    Why do we assume God’s answers are NO or YES rather than a conversation about what would be good and perfect, like his will for us?

    • montologist says:

      I assume we think this way because we were brought up to think this way. The standard line of thinking is black and white, yes and no, wrong and right. What we fail to consider is that truth encompasses the whole spectrum, and separates the wheat from the chaff; the wheat, however, is not always the same size or shape.

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