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Wednesday, July 18, 2018 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Balancing Petitions

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Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God
(Philippians 4:6).

Consider your needs. Consider your wants. Examine and weigh what is needed, against what is desired. With what is true contentment found? How much is enough? What motivates us to make a request of God? To answer these questions we best not leave it entirely up to ourselves or we will most certainly convince ourselves that our motives are noble and pure. And to look for the answers through the eyes of others may leave us in want, if they are like we are and give much advise with regard primarily to how it affects them or their interests. And though that may not even be the case, there is no question that the only one who sees us without bias and predisposition is God Himself. So as we consider our needs and wants and determine to come before God to make petition, we would be wise to first ask God to cut through our selfish motivations and teach us to truly ask according to His will.
"According to His will." Now that's a phrase that often carries a great deal of good intention, but all too often caries little effort. We ask, petition and pray and say, "Thy will be done," yet when it gets right down to it, little effort is expended in truly determining what is what and where to go. Sure, we want to know His way and follow it. But His question to us might be, "How badly do you desire to really know my will?" Do we desire His will and His way badly enough to fast and pray for one day? Or how about doing so until we receive and answer? Do we shun our desires seeking clarity of mind and heart so as not to be led astray by our personal passions? Are we willing to religiously come before God in prayer, and search the scriptures daily and diligently to see what God would say?
Acts 17:11 tells us about a people who wanted to know the truth. And because of their diligent search for the truth, their way was made clear to them. Of them the writer of Acts explains, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." They would not settle for a truth that could not be substantiated by the witness of God's Word, and they would not settle for a truth that would fit their own preconceived notions of what the Word of God stated.
In identifying our needs and desires and taking them before God, we might do well to remember something, that though our faith be strong and our motives pure, God is still the one who has to OK the requests we make. He sees the big picture--we do not. And though something we ask may be in the purest motivation, we must remember that it is something that fits into God's plan not just for our lives personally, but also every life around us. Name it and claim it thinking does not make God do anything. And faith that can move mountains will not move God to act outside of His will. It is not by faith that God moves, but it is by our faith that we see Him move, and by the same faith that our prayers mature and soon line up with His will. Through all we are instructed to let our requests be made known unto God, and to pray believing--but lest we see God as a magical wish granter let's keep in mind that our requests are just that--and God weighs them all in balance with His good and perfect will.

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