Friday, May 17, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention: "Do You Battle with 'Answer Envy'?" 


My mom gets emails from "Proverbs 31 Ministries" and this morning, she forwarded me one entitled "Answer Envy".  Although you're welcome to read all of it here, I did want to share this excerpt from it:

Over the years I've discovered the cure for answer envy isn't always easy. Rather than stay stuck in disappointment, I must play an active role in my healing.

What I need is a shift in perspective. When I call out to God with my questions as encouraged in Jeremiah 33:3, I must trust He will keep His word. He will tell me "great and unsearchable things" that I do not know. Sometimes those things He provides are the answers to my request. However, do you know what those great and unsearchable things more often are? They are the reasons He seems not to be answering my original request!

While God is generous to answer my requests, I also need to ask myself some questions. Questions like, "What is my Creator trying to teach me that I might never learn if He were to suddenly pluck me out of this situation?" Or, "What character qualities is He trying to grow in me? Patience, trust, compassion, contentment?"

Not available in quick microwave form, the cure for answer envy has to be cultivated moment by moment.

We must believe that God will answer. He will clearly say "yes," "no," or "not right now." He is able, ready and willing to answer our prayers—here is the catch—as He sees fit and to grow us to be more like His Son in the process.

Sometimes we'll have a long stay in God's waiting room. Having been there myself, I now know this to be true: I must not merely seek the answer to my prayer. Instead, I must seek a deeper relationship with the answer Giver.

When the 10th Commandment tells us "Thou shalt not covet" (Exodus 20:17), it's basically telling us "Do not envy". Why? Because envy is rottenness to the bones (Proverbs 14:30); envy is associated with a debased mind (Romans 1:28-32); envy hinders us from walking properly (Romans 13:13); envy is a sign of carnality (I Corinthians 3:2-4); envy prevents us from inheriting the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21); envy provokes people (Galatians 5:26) and *envy has no love in it* (I Corinthians 13:4), which means it has no God in it (I John 4:8&16). As a matter of fact, one of the main reasons why Lucifer was kicked out of heaven and made a transition into becoming Satan was because of (whew!) ENVY (Ezekiel 28).

I like how the author of this piece, Ms. Ehman, said in the final paragraph that sometimes it's a long stay in God's "waiting room". Yet remember what happens to us during the waiting process:

Our strength is renewed. (Psalm 27:14)

We will inherit the earth. (Psalm 37:9&34)

We shall mount up with wings like eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

As I told my mom in response to the email, "I am so glad to be in a place of knowing that I could have been married many times over by now...and miserable. It's nice to see unions that U *know* are of God and be like 'That's awesome!' rather than 'Why me?'" It can be that way because I know that someone one else's blessings have absolutely nothing to do with my own journey and process (Psalm 33:15). It's not about being loved by God any less (Acts 10:24). It's about seeing evidence of the fact that the Most High, Possessor of heaven, earth and all that I desire, is on the throne, he answers prayers, he sees our individual needs/wants and purposes (and not necessarily in that order) and that at his appointed time (HIS. APPOINTED.TIME.), in "due season" (Galatians 6:7-9), all of his children reap (so sow, wisely and abundantly-2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

So yeah...don't let envy *slay you* (Job 5:2).

When some is of God, cheer everyone else's progress on all the while remembering...

"All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."---Romans 8:22-28(Message



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