God is Not a Genie in a Bottle
Only There to Grant Me My Wishes
by Joanne Troppello
I was watching a video last night on Andy Stanley’s YouTube Channel. He was giving a sermon on prayer and explaining the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) in detail as an example for us to pray that way.
“Prayer is not about moving God but being moved by Him.” – Andy Stanley
That statement truly resonated with me. You can see God as a genie in a bottle granting your wishes. However, that’s not who He is and that won’t work. You should see God as your Almighty Father. You should want to communicate with God in prayer, regardless of if He never answered another one of your prayers.
That’s where I’ve been at lately. I’ve been trying to grow my relationship with the Lord and focus on praising and worshipping Him—not looking at Him like that genie who is granting my wishes.
Sacrificing Your Will to the Lord’s Will
In the video I watched last night, Andy Stanley continued to explain that as a Christian who is interested in growing in the Lord, you should come to God first in praise and worship—not asking, and asking, and asking.
God wants to provide for all your needs according to His riches in glory (Phil. 4:19). However, there is a huge difference between a need and a want. You need to understand that truth when coming to the Lord in prayer. That’s something I have been working on in my own spiritual life—truly understanding that spending time with God in prayer, praise, and Bible reading is the reward.
The same way you love spending time with loved ones, you should start to perceive that you can receive that same peace and encouragement from spending time with the Lord.
Andy Stanley further mentioned that praising God first can help you to sacrifice your will to God’s will in your life. He used the example of Jesus praying to God in the Garden of Gethsemane when He asked if this truly was God’s will for His life to give up His life for the world.
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, [a]if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour [b]is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” (Matthew 26:36-46, NKJV)
Jesus willingly accepted God’s will for His life. I know I have failed in this area many times in my life. Thankfully, God’s grace is new every morning.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23, NKJV)
God’s grace, peace, and strength are what get me through each day, especially in this crazy, surreal world that we live in. I want to be able to continue to seek God’s will each day for my life. I know I will fail, but God’s grace is new every morning. He is faithful.
I know God is not a genie in a bottle, only there to grant me my wishes. Do you know that as well?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.