When We Don’t Like How God Answers A “Life Essential”

You will not always like the way God answers. Mark my words.

In fact, we often complain when our prayers are answered. Moses prayed in Exodus 13: “I pray if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You…”God’s ways are higher than ours, and if we’re not careful, we will confuse His ways with our expectations of His ways.

We are like Naaman, the leprous captain of the Aramean army who came to Elisha to be healed. When he heard that the answer to his prayers would result from taking seven dips in the Jordan, his response was immediate.

“Naaman was furious and went away and said, “Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper’.” (2 Kings 5:11)

  • We pray for more people to come to church. God answers, but now we complain because we have parking problems.
  • We pray for people to receive Christ. God answers. Now we have to work harder and actually make calls to follow up on them.
  • We ask God to increase our ministries. God answers. Now we have to deal with new people who are caught between weird and normal.
  • We ask God for more ministry. Now I complain because I am stressing out due to ministry demands.
  • We pray for a spouse. He answers. Now we say, “It’s the woman you gave me!”
  • We ask for children. He gives them to us. Now we ask God to take them back!

God’s Methods

When we ask God to teach us forgiveness, He doesn’t send us “forgiveness” in a Fed X package.Instead He gives us a way to forgive.

When we ask Him to help us not be angry, we soon find ourselves in a situation where self–control is required.

When we ask Him for an increased love, He does not give it to us. Instead, He puts us in a situation that demands us to love more deeply.

I don’t know if I like the way He answers prayers.

I just wish when I prayed, He’d wave His hand over me and change things. But that is not the ways of God. His goal is not to change the situation alone. It is, that along the way, He changes me.

Solomon reminds us to “keep our words few” and not crave things we’re not ready for.

Good advice.

The other week, a pastor was bemoaning the fact hat his church was not growing fast enough for his liking. I asked him if he was ready for growth? Did he have the disciplers in place should they come in droves? Did he have a way to assimilate them? Follow up? Did he have enough small group leaders to handle the increase?

Did he really want growth, or did he want more numbers? If we are not ready, the people could come but leave dissatisfied… not just with his church, but with THE Church!

Before God changes the situation, He changes us. That’s His way.

We read about the Disney way or the Nordstrom way. It’s time we agree with Moses and say, “Teach us YOUR way.”

Comments 1

  1. Dear Pastor Wayne Cordeiro,

    I have been reading all your leadership articles, and it has been a blessing, I sometimes feel like commenting on all of them, and at the end giving you a big tight bear hug, because all of those articles on leadership has has some resemblance in my leadership experience, I work for my parents in their Medical Ministry here in India in a leadership position, and there have been testing time, after findig about mentoring leaders, I have been feasting on it, its amazing how you incoperate the Bible in everything you do, which is the right thing to do, I hope your reading this, you are being a blessing to many people around the world and in India, you are loved and prayed for, love you very much for you faithfulness to the Cross.

    counting it all joy

    Jonathan Mathew

    Executive Director

Leave a Reply