I am quite certain that the primary cause of discouragement in my life is wanting God to act on my behalf, NOW. I want the answer now. I want the inspiration now, and also the solution and the relationship and the help I have been seeking; now please if You don’t mind! I remember times, like an entire Thanksgiving/Christmas season, when writing God Is Just Love became impossible. Oh, the frustration, the discouragement, the feeling of abandonment. Today I have not been able to resolve a technology issue. I can’t just let it go; I keep returning to it for another frustrating effort of my own. I must solve this problem now. Now! Please! If You don’t mind!
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, February 7th:
“[Spiritual] lust means—I must have it at once. Spiritual lust makes me demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Who gives the answer. And today—the immediate present—is the third day, and He has not done it; therefore I imagine I am justified in being dejected and in blaming God. The meaning of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer.”
And yet, having gotten closer to God today in prayer, I pick up my devotional book and there, lo and behold, is the answer. The purpose of prayer is not getting the answer. The purpose of prayer is being close to God. Yet so many testimonies to the power of prayer focus on getting the answer I want.