Is there a limit to how much we can ask God for? If there is, I would like to see how high that mountain is.
There are a lot of people these days who complain about “Prosperity Gospel” (For those of you who don’t know, this is basically any preacher you see, and for some possibly the ONLY preacher’s you’ve seen, which promises money, wealth, and an easy life to whoever turns to God… often by giving them a lot of money…) and honestly I don’t blame people for complaining about it. No matter how you slice it, it is unbiblical, counter foundational, and is often used to manipulate people who are desperate into giving up what little they have.
I in no way support prosperity gospel, for what it stands for or says. I think anyone who reads the bible Old and New can pretty much atest that those who were closest to God also had the toughest lives.
That being said, I think maybe a few too many ‘react’ to the prosperity gospel instead of ‘act’ as they should.
By reacting I mean that they see a corrupt message which they don’t like and so they dispose of everything it holds, and anything that resembles it. This is dangerous… why? Because any good lie is based off of a truth!
Seriously. A complete lie is worthless, because who would believe it? But a manipulation of a truth, is still a lie, but still far easier to fall into.
And this is why it is dangerous to simply ‘react’ to lies. Because by throwing it all away and running away, you are disposing of the truth that is in there as well.
Now I feel it is important to say at this point that if you are struggling with temptation from the lie, then run. Run and get stronger. Pray for strength, pray for wisdom. Don’t just run from a battle in fear. You are stronger than that! You have God on your side now! Run from a battle to be able to conquer it another day!
So in what way are we throwing away too much with false teachings of Prosperity Gospel? Simply put, we see them praying for what they want and tie it to greed. We then feel as if we have no right to ask for God to provide, but instead for God to help us to endure, or give us strength to provide for ourselves.
THIS AS WELL IS COUNTER BIBLICAL!
Even in the story of the talents, (the story I hear brought up the most to support this ideal) the people involved did not get the talents themselves. The talents were provided FOR them. The question was what did we do with them?
And this brings me to why I think we react the way we do. I think we are misdiagnosing the Prosperity Gospel. I don’t think the problems raised with it are so much a problem of greed and capitalism… but I think they are a problem of control!
God WANTS us to ask stuff of Him. Yeesh, He gave His son to die for us specifically SO we could ask stuff of Him. The first sin was essentially deciding to rely on ourselves INSTEAD of asking stuff of Him. But you have to realize, by asking stuff of Him, HE knows what’s best for you, NOT you!
There have been a lot of things I have asked for for the past 5 years. An escape, an end, hope, freedom, money, relationships, power, reputation, ease…. If I view my prayer life based on getting what I want, I have been left unanswered more often than not. However, for everything that has been left unanswered, there has been more that has.
In the past 5 years, as depressing and overwhelming and tear filled as they have often been… when I ask for hope, God always does something amazing. When I bring forth the walls closing in around me, God always holds them back. No matter how destroyed I may feel, God always has me grow faster.
I do not always get what I ask for… but I always get what I need… It has been my goal to stop trying to control what path God sets me on, looking for the easy or safe route. But also not to be afraid to ask God to do the impossible.
I know what I can do in life, and it is not much…. but what God can do through me if He is unrestrained by my petty fears and desires? Now THAT is a marvel I WANT to see!