Laying hold of God’s willingness

By Dave Henning / December 19, 2023

“Prayer is not the overcoming of God’s reluctance but laying hold of God’s willingness.”- Martin Luther

“[God] has a purpose in His processes.  Our story, our desperate needs, are never all about us.  God answers our prayers when He’ll get the most glory and can reach the most significant number of people with our story.”- Susie Larson

“When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD.”- Proverbs 19:3 (ESV)

Susie Larson concludes Chapter 3 of Closer Than Your Next Breath as she cites the gospel account of The Faith of the Canaanite Woman (Matthew 15:21-28).  Certainly, as the NLT Study Bible commentary states, on the surface Jesus’ words to the Canaanite woman seem harsh and unsympathetic.  However, the commentary notes, the woman recognized Jesus’ words as a wide-open door to God’s throne.

Because the term Jesus used for dog referred to a household pet.  Rather than the negative connotation of scavenger.  Above all, the NLT Study Bible observes, we can learn from the woman’s “singular purpose and optimistic resilience.”  That Jesus truly desires to meet our needs.  That when we pray, we talk to a friend.

In conclusion, Susie counsels, times exist when we find ourselves waiting for God’s goodness to manifest itself in a specific area of our lives.  Yet, at such times we need to fight the temptation to seek out our own solutions.  To preempt our own outcomes.  While our strivings possibly help us in the short term, they always prove disappointing — even disastrous – in the end.

Most significantly, Susie underscores, that’s precisely what Satan wants from us.  Because when all the hardships we’ve faced remain at the forefront of our thoughts, we instinctively brace for impact.

Thus, Susie explains:

“Every one of our not-yet seasons reveals our buried beliefs about God and ourselves.  And our opinions about both often change with the season.  God knows what’s in us, but He wants us to know what’s in us so we’ll learn to trust Him.”

Today’s question: What helps you in laying hold of God’s willingness?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Enough grace to sustain us”

About the author

Dave Henning

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