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As a child, I wondered about the sovereignty of God. It was a simple question. If God knew what I wanted, why didn’t He just give it to me? Why did He have to wait for me to ask Him?
As I grew older and read more of the Bible, I encountered the story of the sick man to whom Jesus said, “Do you want to be made well?”
That’s odd,I thought. The man is sick Jesus; he obviously wants to be well. But studying that scripture made me realize something deeper in the story.
In answering Jesus’ obvious question, this man said, “I have no man to put me in the water…”
This guy is being weird now, I thought. Just say yes. I want to be well.
Do you see what I see here?
I believe God isn’t just about healing our sick bodies or giving us ‘things.' Those are small potatoes. What He wants to deal with is the state of our heart. Are we dependent on Him, or do we have all these other agendas or channels of provision and support? Our God does not exist to fulfill our every whim. As a matter of fact, if He gave us everything we ever wanted or thought we needed, we’d self-sabotage.
He treasures a relationship with us above everything else. He wants us to come to Him with our thoughts, questions, and feelings. He wants to show us our hearts and reveal to us where our allegiances lie so that He can refine us and make us more like Him. That isn’t going to happen if He simply gives us everything that pops into our minds.
That sick man had spent decades depending on people. He looked to others for help; he needed a middleman. Jesus came to show him that life Himself was on the scene and all he had to do was connect. I believe that encounter didn’t just leave that man with a healthy body but also a transformed soul.
So why should you pray even though God knows everything? Here are two simple reasons.
1. He wants to hear it from you. He wants to connect with your spirit, your soul, the deepest part of you that you might have hidden from Him in the past. He treasures you and knows that beyond what you’re asking for, what your soul really wants is Him.
You see God made us, each of us. He knows how we’re wired and he knows what we need. He recognizes our tendency to medicate sometimes because we run away from the truth. If He gave us everything we ever needed before we even asked He’d be feeding our fleshly desires and our spirits would go empty. He loves us too much to do that.
2. He wants you to listen to yourself. That man at the pool said the very thing that had been on his heart all those years of lying sick. He wanted help from others. Maybe he didn’t have the knowledge of whom God was, or maybe he hadn’t connected with Him as the Healer. But Jesus came on the scene, asked him a simple question and revealed the state of his heart. The same goes for us.
Have you ever thought through your prayers and realized that all you’ve been doing is asking God for stuff? Maybe it just dawned on you that you’ve haven’t taken the time to really thank Him for the things you already have. Or prayed for others. Or asked God to empower you to do His work. I believe that our prayers bring clarity. Saying the words give us insight into the state of our hearts. We can then make changes, ask for the grace to look beyond ourselves and seek God’s heart concerning every situation instead of simply rushing off and doing our own thing.
Yes, God is sovereign. And in His sovereignty, He has created a way to bring us closer to Him. The veil is torn, and His presence is accessible.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Every day is a time of need, so make His presence a constant refuge for you and your family.
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Remi Roy lives, writes and enjoys being in Dallas, Texas. Originally from Nigeria, she is passionate about her purpose which is following God every step of the way no matter the details. She is a contented wife, communications consultant and writing coach. She is the author of two books Ms. Unlikely and From the Sidelines and editor of Purpose Anthologies, a collection of personal life journeys. When she’s not working with clients, she spends time working on her next book and trying hard to be a morning person. You can find her at remiroyonline.com. Or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.