Early one Saturday morning before having his breakfast, little Bobby snuck in the kitchen grabbed three chocolate chip cookies and ate them in his bed leaving chocolate stains and crumbs all over his sheets.
Later that day, he taunted his little sister and shoved her, making her cry.
A little later on, he grabbed an egg from the refrigerator and threw it at the neighbor’s window.
When his parents found out all these things he had done, they were so disappointed in Bobby. Unapologetic, Bobby rolled his eyes and sneered not feeling any remorse or guilt for what he had done.
Later that evening, Bobby, his little sister and parents went to the store to pick up dinner. Not having yet dealt with Bobby, his parents allowed him to tag along.
Bobby sees a toy race car that he really wants.
“Mom!” Bobby screams.
“I want this! I REALLY want this! Please, please, please!!”
Bobby’s Mother glanced at Bobby knowing that she wasn't buying him anything because of his recent behavior.
“Please Mom! Pleeeeeaaase!”
Bobby got louder and louder and began to make a scene. Bobby’s Dad grabbed him and started walking him toward the exit. Bobby was consistent in asking for the toy car until they walked out of the store. He pouted all the way home because he didn't get what he wanted.
This is exactly what we do to God. ALL the time.
We, a lot of times, are oblivious to our sin, not realizing that God wants to deal with the sin in our hearts before he grants us our desires. Yet we beg and plead, fuss and complain because we are not getting the things we want, not even realizing that there is a bigger issue at hand. Our hearts.
Can you imagine God shaking His head at us as we beg for what we want when He can clearly see what’s truly in our hearts? Can you imagine how much more God wants to clean our hearts than merely giving us with the things we are begging for?
We forget that just like Bobby’s parents, God sees our hearts. He knows our motive. Not only does He hear us when we ask Him, but He knows WHY we are asking Him. And just like a loving parent, He knows that correcting and shaping our character is much more important than giving us everything we want.
God is not in the business of making sure we have pleasurable lives, He is in the business of our hearts. He is in the business of shaping and molding our hearts to be a reflection of His. He is in the business of breaking us until we realize our dire need for Him. And because He loves us, He works endlessly on transforming our desires into His desires for us.
This past month, God showed this to me clearly. And once I realized that I was acting just like Bobby, begging and pleading with God for my selfish desires without acknowledging the sin in my heart, I felt so convicted. I realized what I was doing was wrong, and I began to notice that God wanted so much more for me than what I was asking Him for.
This realization pierced my heart so much that I actually prayed and asked God not to grant me my desires until my heart is clean and clear of any mess that will get in the way of the joy I will have when He lovingly grants me what He has in store for me.
Now that is definitely a risky and scary prayer to pray, but I want God to know how serious I am. I no longer want to walk in oblivion to my sinful actions. I no longer want to hurt people in the process. My heart is a construction zone and only God alone can help me clean it up.
So when the time comes and God begins to pour out blessings on me, I want my heart to be free and clear, open and ready to receive all that He has in store for me. Until then, “clean up on aisle 9!”
"Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me -- now let me rejoice. Don't keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me." - Psalm 51:7-10 (NLT)
"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires." - Psalm 37:4 (NLT)
"I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!" - Malachi 3:10 (NLT)