Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines…
– Song of Solomon 2:15
Another reason we often do not get our heart’s desire – regardless of our fervent prayers or sacrificial service – is because of our motive for seeking such things. In James 4:3, God says, “You ask and do not receive because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” That tells us God does not honour prayers asked amiss or those that are meant to satisfy selfish whims. And though we may present our requests to Him as if we are striving for the benefit of others, we should also reckon with the fact that He is all-knowing and sees into the inner recesses of our hearts.
One of the most liberating scriptures I came across in the few years I have been studying the Bible is 1 Samuel 16:7b. It says, “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” That means humans consider the action, the appearance, the outlook, the tangible, and the ‘what’; but God only examines the motive and the whys.
Some of us pray to God to bless us so that we can spite or “show” someone who has offended us or denied us in the past. God does not answer that kind of prayer. Whatever He blesses you with, He wants it used for your benefit and the benefit of those around you, not to oppress them.
So if you want a speedy answer to your prayers or a quick reward for your service, check your motive to ascertain WHY you desire that thing. If your motive is genuine enough, God will be more than willing to grant it to you. But, if your intention is not pure, then the answer may yet be long in coming.
You really need to settle this issue of motive first before making your plea, because God cannot be deceived; He is fully aware of those things you are not saying with your mouth. Our innermost thoughts are always laid bare before Him. I once read a book in which the author claims an angel told him that they hear our thoughts louder in heaven than what we say with our mouths. Now can you beat that?
You will succeed in Jesus Name!