Suzie is an 8-year old ball of energy and cuteness with sparkling brown eyes and a mouth that never stops. She is adored by her parents because they see her as a special gift from God. Every night when her Dad tucks her into bed, he kisses her on her forehead and whispers, “I love you, my Suzie-Q.”
Now, you would think that Suzie, being so cute and so very loved, would always get her way. But, of course, her parents recognize that sometimes the most loving thing you can say is “no”. Candy before dinner, staying up late to watch more TV, and the request to “never have to eat spinach again” are all things they have wisely denied.
Suzie’s parents aren’t perfect but they are passionate about their daughter. They try very hard to do what is best for her, both for today and for the future. Even now they are doing proactive things that she knows nothing about, like putting money aside for college or whatever her future holds.
So, now that you know Suzie and her folks, you can imagine their shock when Suzie came to them in tears one evening right before dinner. With a quivering chin she wandered into the kitchen where they were chatting. She tugged on her Mom’s shirt and pleaded, “Mommy, will you please give me food for dinner tonight?” She then turned to her Dad. “Daddy, will you tuck me in tonight, please?” And then she turned and left the room, shaking her head and saying, “I know they can do that stuff but I don’t know if they will…”
Suzie’s family is a figment of my imagination. But how Suzie treated her Mom and Dad? That I see over and over again. I am guilty. And I know many others who are, too. It’s how we often treat our Heavenly Father.
We don’t take God at His Word.
We don’t trust Him to keep His promises.
We don’t believe that He is a good Dad, able to care for us beyond what we can see.
And, where Suzie’s parents are imperfect, our Heavenly Dad is completely perfect and completely good.
Those unbeliefs leak out in our prayers.
We pray things like, “God, will you please supply our needs?”
“God will you please be with my friend?”
“God, will you please be with me as I travel today?”
“God, life is hard. Will you please give me the strength I need today?”
Why are we asking God to do the things He has already promised to do?
Can you imagine how insulted you would be as a parent if your child did that to you?
“Mom, will you please feed me and take care of me today?”
“Dad, will you please watch over me and protect me as best you can?”
The Bible is FULL of promises from God.
Not happy thoughts.
“I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b)
“My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“He that began a good work in you will complete it.” (Philippians 1:6)
“No one can pluck you out of My hand.” (John 10:28)
“In this world, you will have trouble. But be courageous, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
“I will keep in perfect peace the person who fixes their mind on me.” (Isaiah 26:3)
And so many more!
God always, always keeps His promises!
Yes, some of them are conditional, meaning you do your part and then He will do His.
“Seek first MY agenda and I will take care of the rest.” (Matthew 5:33, Kathy-phrased)
“Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time.” (I Peter 5:6, AMP)
“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.”!” (Luke 6:38, AMP)
But they are all PROMISES of a good, good God.
So don’t insult Him by asking Him to do what He has already promised to do!
Instead, stand on the promise even as you bring Him the need.
What does that look like? Something like this:
“God, will you please supply our needs?” becomes “God, thank You that You have promised to supply our needs! You know that we are currently in need of ___; I thank You in advance for how You will supply and look forward to seeing what You are going to do.”
“God, will you please be with my friend?” becomes “Thank You, God, that You are with ___ because she is Your kid, too. Will You please make her aware of Your presence today?”
“God, will You please be with me as I travel today?” becomes “God, thank You that You go with me in my car this day. Thank You that You go before me and that Your angels surround me. Help me to drive in a way that honors You.”
Do you feel the difference?
Instead of Suzie begging Mom for dinner or Dad to tuck her in, she comes into the kitchen with confidence, walking in the knowledge that she is loved. And it blesses her Mom’s heart when she says, “Mommy, thank you that you make dinner every night! I am so glad you love me and take care of me. Can we please have lasagna sometime this week? I love your lasagna!” And then she turns to her Dad and says, “Daddy, thank you for tucking me in every night and for protecting us! I am so glad you are here!”
Remember – those things that Suzie sees are just the tip of the ice burg. She has no idea just how much she is loved. She doesn’t know that her Mom and Dad feel like their hearts are walking around outside their bodies when they look at her. She has no idea of the good things they have prepared for her in the future. She is simply confident that she is richly loved – and therefore, will be richly cared for in every way. Even when they say “no”.
You have no idea just how much you are loved by God. You cannot fully comprehend His heart for you. But He proved it by sending His one and only Son to take your place on the cross so that you can run to Him with both praises and requests. Don’t mock His love by forgetting His promises or doubting His character. Instead, stand on the promises. Walk in the confidence that you are fully, completely and ridiculously loved by God, simply because you are His kid.
All of this is summed up by Paul writing to the church at Philippi:
“Don’t dishonor God by worrying about one single thing. He’s got this! And He loves you. Sure, go ahead and tell God what you need – He loves to hear from His kids and He is for you in every way. But when you tell Him what you need, make sure you start by thanking Him for all He has already done and for all He has promised to do. Reminding yourself of His character that way and getting your burdens off your chest – that allows Him to fill you with His supernatural peace that goes way beyond your circumstances. You can’t control that stuff anyway – so dumping it all on Him and remembering to be thankful at the same time – that is a great way to guard your mind and your emotions from stress. Concentrate on how good He is and the good stuff He has done.” (Philippians 4:4-8, put in my words).
May we walk today in confidence, standing on all the promises of our good, good Father.