Eliminating Unrealistic Expectations




Eliminating Unrealistic Expectations
with Dr. R.C. Sproul

Sometimes we all feel as if our prayers lack the power to penetrate our ceilings. It seems as though our petitions fall on deaf ears and God remains unmoved or unconcerned about our passionate pleading. Why do these feelings haunt us?

There are several reasons why we are sometimes frustrated in prayer. One is that our expectations are unrealistic. This, perhaps more than any other factor, leads to a frustration in prayer. We make the common mistake of taking statements of Jesus in isolation from other biblical aspects of teaching in prayer, and we blow these few statements out of proportion.

We hear Jesus say that if two Christians agree on anything and ask, it shall be given to them. Jesus made that statement to men who had been deeply trained in the art of prayer, men who already knew the qualifications of this generalization. Yet in a simplistic way we interpret the statement absolutely. We assume the promise covers every conceivable petition without reservation or qualification. Think of it. Would it be difficult to find two Christians who would agree that to end all wars and human conflict would be a good idea? Obviously not. Yet if two Christians agreed to pray for the cessation of war and conflict, would God grant their petition? Not unless He planned to revise the New Testament and its teaching about the future of human conflict.

Prayer is not magic. God is not a celestial bellhop at our beck and call to satisfy our every whim. In some cases, our prayers must involve the travail of the soul and agony of heart, such as Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane. Sometimes young Christians have been bitterly disappointed in "unanswered" prayers, not because God failed to keep His promises, but because well-meaning Christians made promises "for" God that God never authorized.

Coram Deo: Living in the Presence of God

Do you have unrealistic expectations that account for seemingly unanswered prayers? Are you treating God like a celestial bellhop?

Psalm 102:17-18: "He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer. This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord."

Psalm 141:2: "Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."

The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries and Dr. R.C. Sproul is to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness. For more information, please visit www.ligonier.org or call them at 800-435-4343.© R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved.





Are You Obeying God's Warnings?
with Bayless Conley

The third thing you should check in your life, if indeed you are in the pits, is to make sure you have obeyed God's warnings.

God does warn us, but we must listen to those warnings. As Job 33:14-18 says,

For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. In order to turn man from his deed, and conceal pride from man, He keeps back his soul from the Pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.

God always tries to warn us to keep us out of the pits and to keep our lives from danger. And He speaks in many different ways. Sometimes, as we read here, God will speak to us even through a dream.

As I look at my own life, I can see that I have fallen into pits at various times because I did not listen to God's warnings. There have been times I have been too busy to perceive the fact that God was talking to me. It wasn't that God wasn't warning me. He was. I just had a bunch of other things going on in my life and was not taking time to listen to Him.

He is always faithful to warn us. It's just that we are not always faithful to listen. So if you find yourself in a pit today because you did not heed God's warning, just say, "God, I'm sorry." Repent. God will forgive you. And you will be in the position to receive His deliverance.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God






THOUGHT FOR TODAY -- When we react, we look to point fingers and assign blame (to others or ourselves) for the existence of the situation. We work to compensate or prevent bad things from happening.

When we proact, we accept the situation as fact and start looking for solutions or alternatives. We work to make good things happen.

2 comments:

Andrea said...

Blessings and prayers,
andrea

KrippledWarrior said...

Thank you Charlotte,
I'm a big RC SPROUL fan.
And a Charlotte fan as well.
Kurt

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