By Effie Rolfe
Letting God Be. None of us can pretend to understand all of God’s decisions, or how He arrives at them. Why is His strength made perfect in weakness? Why does He allow suffering in the world? Why does God sometimes not answer my prayers, especially when I am praying for a loved one to live and not die? Why did He allow His only Son to be taunted and abused, and hanged until dead? This and the following is an excerpt from Pastor Calvin Robinson’s book entitled “Letting Go 101.” He also serves as Co-Leader of Celebrate Recovery at Bethel Church in Crown Point. Additionally, it is a response to my sister’s inquiry “Why does it seem like God doesn’t heal cancer as quickly as a headache: Is it a lack of faith?”
Calvin continued, “I am glad that I have not been called to give a full account of the Lord’s actions. I hope that my very brief and simple word of encouragement helps us to be ready to give an account of our own.” In 2 Samuel 12:19-20 “David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.”
Other than the specific circumstance surrounding God’s decision to take away David’s newborn son, it offers some foundational lessons to us as to the mature(ing) believer’s disposition in prayer, and how he responds when God declines His wholehearted requests. Concerning the disposition of prayer—David besought God and we are to seek God diligently in prayer, making our requests known in faith. But faith is not the only criteria for effective prayer. He “besought” God. Often when we pray we conceive God as being at our service. We think that our “asking” is in a sense “demanding.” We do not go there on purpose, but I think that through ecclesial conditioning we believe that God is somehow OBLIGATED to do whatever we say. This is such a misconception of who God is and how we ought to relate to Him. God is completely free to do whatever He desires to do. Now that may sound quite obvious, but I wonder do we really understand what that means. God is free to make us rich. He is free to make us poor. God is free to speak to our hearts. He is free to shut up heaven and not respond to us. And He is right in every instance. When one is completely free as God is, everything He does is right. To be free in the sense of God-freedom is to not be bound by rules or traditions or others expectations. To be free in God-freedom is to have no laws at all. He does what He wills.
It will be asked then, “How can we depend on God to follow through with His promises of salvation if He can do whatever He chooses to do?” That is a great question! I believe that the answer also to this can be found in God’s freedom. God, under absolutely no compulsion whatsoever made a decision to bring us into His family and to give us eternal life. His reason is His own and we must believe by faith that it’s because of His love for us. He did it willingly.
God knows exactly what we need. He also knows exactly how He intends to provide for us. Rest in knowing that when His answer is no, it only means that He has something better in mind! Something that eyes cannot see, ears cannot understand, and my little heart (imagination) cannot penetrate. God is a mystery. His goodness exceeds our highest desires. Far be it from us to think that our desires are better than His. God will give you the grace to accept His ‘No.’ And when I think about it, even His ‘no’ is grace as it was for the Apostle Paul. “My grace is sufficient….” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Now isn’t that interesting?
Are you ‘letting God be’…?
Effie Rolfe is an Author of “Supersize Your Thinking,” Media Personality and Motivational Speaker. You can contact her at effierolfe.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Listen to her show daily on urbanpraiseradio.org. (2015 Stellar Award Winner for Best Internet Radio Station banpraiseradio.org.)