I’ve met a few young people (mostly men) who have said: “I believe in Jesus, go to church, I’ve done x-y-z, and still I haven’t heard God’s voice or felt the Spirit or seen the gifts/power that comes with it.” And the question is often, “so what’s God’s problem?” Sometimes the implication is, “why should I believe God is even real if God won’t do this for me?” Other times it’s, “why should I seek Him or fast or pray or sacrifice, if God is going to be silent like this?” Now it doesn’t take much to figure out what’s wrong with these statements… Part of the problem is pride; part of the problem is a sense of entitlement. They feel special, and feel like God owes them at least this. They don’t think of themselves as sinners in the presence of a Holy God. They don’t see anything wrong with the way they treat God, or use Him, or try to use Him to serve their real wants (which are their functional gods). Although Jesus taught that those who ask receive, and those who seek will find, they don’t really do either instead they wait and pout. Now are you still with me? Can you understand what’s wrong with the attitude of these people with this position? Can you see how their sense of entitlement and overly developed sense of worth is blocking them from really knowing God? Well…here’s the thing, I think this is you…and I think this is me.
The reason you don’t pray more is because it’s frustrating to pray and (truly truly) believe… believe that God can do all you ask and more…and believe that God WANTS to give you all good things… then wait and (sometimes) not receive them. It puts you and God in a bad position. It’s like asking a friend to pick you up at the airport, and they just never respond, leave you hanging, putting your friendship in an awkward position. We don’t pray because we’re afraid of putting our faith in an awkward position.
Because if we really were to get into it with God, really get at the root of how our relationship is – then we might have to face up to some things we’re doing wrong. It’s much more comfortable putting up a false front, pretending everything is okay while the Holy Spirit weeps over our hardness of heart.
God wants you to know you are a sinner. And yes, you are worse than you think. But God loves you more than you can imagine, and as soon as you drop the BS and seek forgiveness, the Father runs to clothe you and restore you to fellowship with Him. On the one hand God wants to give you everything. On the other hand, He doesn’t want to nurture a sense of entitlement or spoil you or turn you into an ass. This is a tricky road because the minute we get blessing we turn around and start to think we deserved it. <– this explains most of what God is doing in your life…and why “blessing” is tricky – and why even the rough spots in life are really about blessing.