“Truly I tell you that if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and has no doubt in his heart but believes that it will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” — Mark 11:23-24
My daughter, just like any four-year-old, has a knack for asking for the craziest questions. A week back we were walking down the kitchenware aisle when she spotted a pizza cutter. Because we had bought her a Play-Doh set that made pizzas, Alexa suddenly wanted the real thing. Of course considering how dangerously sharp cutters could be and how I didn’t want my daughter’s fingers cut up like Play-Doh, I had to brush the request aside.
So many times, we find ourselves in the same situation with God. We ask Him for certain things but then He doesn’t answer them. We then start thinking that God isn’t keeping His side of the bargain by being unmindful of our desires.
One thing that we must understand about God is that His desire is always for our own good and welfare. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God’s plan is to “prosper us and not to harm us” and to “give us a hope and a future.”
Sadly sometimes in our limited understanding we might ask for things that aren’t necessarily for our own good.
As a result, God may sometimes decline or delay the granting of our request. He’s not failing on His side of the bargain, but fulfilling His promise to keep us safe and make things work together for our own good.
When God gives us the promise in Mark 11:23-24, there is one premise that governs it: purpose. You can ask for God to uproot a mountain but what do you gain from that? You can ask God for anything and everything, but for what purpose?
And when it comes to purpose, no purpose trumps God’s purpose. It’s His will be done on earth as it is in heaven, not ours. That’s actually a good thing if you truly come to think about it. God, in His infinite wisdom and love, would only desire for things that would do us good and not harm. His intention is to be glorified in all things and for us to benefit in the process. Our desires don’t always see that far. We don’t think as big as God does or as long term as He does.
Is God truly mindful of your every desire? Yes, and for sure He hears those pleas. But it doesn’t mean He’ll pop out of a magic lamp and move heaven and earth to give you a Jacuzzi filled with soda just because you want it. He has His own ways, and they are higher and better than ours will ever be.