... when we stop pursuing what we want and give ourselves over to him, there’s so much more joy, peace, rest and life at the other end.
Raise your hand if you’ve tried to make a bargain with God.
Yeah, me too.
Here’s the thing, though: God isn’t a God of bargains. I was reminded of that while watching the latest I Am Second film featuring Jonathan Evans.
Evans is a former NFL player who never made it big. He went from team to team, limping from injury to injury. In the midst of all that, he made a deal with God: If God allowed him to make it in football, then he would tell everyone he could about Jesus.
Long story short, God didn’t take the deal. Why? Because God wants us to want him for him, not for what he can give us.
God isn’t a vending machine. God isn’t a genie. God isn’t Oprah.
We need to want the giver of good gifts, not the gifts themselves.
And yet how often do we fall into the trap of mistaking what we want for what God wants? Friend, can I be honest with you? God wants way more for you than you want. You want what you think is good, but he wants what’s best.
While organizing my thoughts for this post, I opened up my daily devotional from Paul David Tripp. I was blown away by his words because they’re so applicable to this. Here’s what he says in “New Morning Mercies”:
“We are willing to settle for far too little. Our personal goals, wishes and dreams fall far short of God’s plans and purposes for us. God will settle for nothing less than each of us being completely conformed to the likeness of his Son.”
That’s exactly what Evans learned. When he stopped trying to bargain with God to get what he wanted and pursued God for God, then his life was transformed and he actually got the fulfillment he thought football could bring. And is it any surprise that in doing that, he actually got his dream of being in the NFL – this time as a chaplain.
Friend, let’s stop pursuing God for what He can give us. Let’s stop trying to make a bargain with him so we can get something that can never replace him. When we do that, when we stop pursuing what we want and give ourselves over to him, there’s so much more joy, peace, rest and life at the other end.
That’s the life I want, even if I don’t always act like it. And it’s the best life possible.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/rdonar
Originally published Wednesday, 19 October 2022.