Sunday, April 19, 2015

Will God Give Me My Dream Car?

By Allen White

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:3

Imagine going to a car show. Your eyes fall on a new car model that you’ve never seen. Your heart races. Your palms begin to sweat. It’s the car of your dreams.

The lines are clean. The interior has a ridiculous number of cup holders. The engine is powerful, yet efficient. The price is a little out of your range, but you’ve got to have this car.

As you leave the car show, you begin to see your dream car everywhere. Why have you never noticed it before? Everywhere you drive. Everywhere you park. There it is. The car seems to be beaconing to you.

You sit down to figure out your finances. It doesn’t seem that you could afford the payment even if you leased the car. You think about selling your house. You think about downsizing to one car – one dream car. Then, you imagine your kids in the dream car – what a nightmare.

You pray and ask God to provide a raise at work, help you win the lottery, or find a long lost uncle you never knew you had. But, nothing happens. You continue to cruise the town in your 12-year-old car and try to avoid looking at your dream car when it passes by.

One day you pick up the newspaper. Your dream car is on the front page. You think “Is God just trying to torture me?” The headline reads “New Car Model Recalled for Catastrophic Defect: Many Deaths from Poor Design.” You breathe a sigh of relief. Thank God that you didn’t get that death trap. Did God answer your prayer?

One test of unanswered prayer is to check our motives. That’s not to say that every unanswered prayer comes from wrong motives. When my son continued to get sicker in the hospital even though we prayed fervently, we weren’t praying with wrong motives. But, some prayers fit exactly what this verse is talking about.

If God knew that answering our prayer would be harmful to us, why would He say “Yes”? Just like our children asking for too many sweets, God knows what’s good for us and what will make us sick.

Now, sometimes we’re not sure why God hasn’t answered our prayer. If our motives seem okay, then why haven’t we heard an answer? Remember that God answers in one of three ways: Yes, No and Wait.

What answer are you waiting for? Why are you asking? Sometimes your motives can block an answer to prayer.

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