Have you ever asked for something and then felt almost guilty when you received it? That happened to me today. Let me explain…
I understand that God is not a slot machine. “Prayers In” does not equal “Stuff Out”. I totally get that. But in 1John 5:14, the bible says “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
I am horrible with money. There, I said it. I am bringing my sin into the light. Not only am I just horrible with money, I’m at times selfish, foolish, impulsive, greedy….GROSS with money. I have been praying for God to change my heart about finances. I don’t want to be a slave to money or to anything of this world. Let me tell you- Jesus does not disappoint. He is slowly, ever so slowly, shaping my heart to become more like Christ. In the past, I always tried to fix things on my own. But my one word this year is surrender and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve surrendered this to God and what a liberating feeling that is!
Last Friday when I received my daily devotional from Proverbs31 Ministries, I felt as if it was directed right at me. At the bottom of the email was a link to Dave Ramsey’s website. This was not the first time I had heard of him, but it was the first time I paid attention. Basically, he’s a financial expert and a Christian. The more I read, the more I wanted to buy his book Total Money Makeover. As I started to look at prices I felt a little tug from God. Why was I going to spend $20 (that I didn’t have) to learn how to get out of debt? It was crazy! I had already done something that stupid a couple of months ago. When I was trying to fix everything myself, I was convinced that I had to buy the most recent Quicken software, thinking it would spontaneously solve all of our problems. I rationalized, I talked my husband into it, nothing was going to stop me from getting this. I even went to 3 or 4 stores in one night looking for it! Yes, I wasted $50 for a program I used half a dozen times. DUH. So I was determined that this time would be different. I prayed. I prayed to God that if it was His will for me to have the book please provide it for me. I had no idea how He would do this, but Jesus said "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26).
Today, God answered my prayer. A dear friend of mine knew that I was praying for this book. She prayed about it and couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. She felt God calling her to not just pray about it, but to be that answer to prayer. I cried when she called me at work to tell me she had just purchased the book for me. A little while later as I was thinking about it, I started to feel guilty. Why should God provide me with a gift like this when all I’ve done is screw up over and over again? I don’t deserve this. But He is kind and merciful and loving and He has already forgiven me for my sins. All this over a book…But it just reminded me of how overwhelming His love truly is for us. Jesus died for all of our sins.
I want to be a good steward of all that God has entrusted to me. That’s why I want this book. So thank you to my friend who was obedient to God. And thank you to God for answering my prayer. All the glory goes to HIM!!
John 3:16 (New International Version)
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.