A young couple had been married for several years and they had reached a point that they were not satisfies in their marriage. Something was missing. They had children, owned their house, and drove fairly nice cars. Each had jobs that kept them busy and then they chased kids during the evening. They had very full lives but still there was something missing!! The wife began to pray about having a better husband. See, her husband said he was a Christian, but each Sunday he chose to stay home rather than go to church. He worked most Saturdays and so Sunday was the only day he could sleep in or do whatever “he wanted to do.” This attitude left his wife wanting more in the relationship. The husband would argue with her that he was working so much to provide for her needs as well as the kids needs. Those arguments still left her wanting more. He would just get angry and go out to the shop or work in the yard. He was a good dad, most of the time. He went to the kids events, when he could. He helped around the house, he thought. He was a good provider and that should be enough. The wife continued to pray for a better husband. One day she was talking with a man at her work. He was married and faithful to church. She started thinking that she wanted a husband like this man, which the more they talked she decided she wanted this man. What she didn’t realize was that he too was going through some struggles at home and he was looking for more. She began to believe that this was God’s will for them both to divorce their spouses and marry each other.
I could go on with this story. Many of you have heard it before or even could write a better version. I begin with this story today in order to address a question that I believe many Christians have answered incorrectly…Does God answer our prayers with sin? Your immediate response to this question should be a resounding “NO,” yet the scenario mentioned above is far too common in the church. Why do we even consider such a thing as God answering our prayers with an answer that leads us to sin? Here are a few suggestions as to why.
- People have the wrong idea of God. We understand that God is loving, merciful, and full of grace. We concentrate on those aspects of God. (I am very thankful for the grace and mercy He shows me daily.) We forget that God is equally as just, holy, and righteous. We also do not wrong to think about the wrath of God. We have put God in a box that mostly reflects what we would like in a god. We do not see God as who He really is.
- People are selfish. I know that this is an obvious statement. We allow our selfishness to control our thoughts and our actions. In our selfishness, we are also impatient when it comes to waiting on God to answer our prayers in His timing. When we pray for God to change someone or our circumstances, we must allow Him to do His work. Sometimes, God does things immediately while other times He works methodically which takes time.
- People have their own idea of how the prayer is to be answered. When we pray, do we want God’s solution or do we want God to bless our solution? I know that Psalmist says that “God will give us the desires of our hearts.” What people fail to realize is that there are conditions to that promise. “Delight yourself in the Lord,” “Commit your way to the Lord,” and “Trust in Him” are the three conditions to the promise. (Psalms 37:4-5) When we are willing to follow the conditions, He is willing to give us the desires of our heart. Not before.
The Bible says in James 1:13b “and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” God has never tempted anyone to sin. He would not answer a prayer with a sin. When someone tells you that God has told them to do something that is sin, don’t believe them. God will not and does not go against His Word at any time. It is important that as we walk on our journey with God that we consider that God is wanting our lives to give Him glory and show His character to others. We cannot do that if we give God credit for the sin in our lives.