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So, we go into the cosmic restaurant of the universe, help ourselves to a table, sit down, pick up a menu and read. After a minute we snap our fingers and God walks over, an apron around his waist and a pad and pencil in his hands. “What can I get you?” he asks. And we proceed to name off the things that we want. God writes them down, then asks, “Will that be all?” “For now,” we reply, “but I reserve the right to come back whenever I want and order up whatever I want then, and I know that you’ll ALWAYS honor my All You Can Eat For Free coupon – for life – right, God?”

Then we sit there, nibbling on the appetizer, checking our watch, tapping our toe, and looking around impatiently, wondering why it’s taking God so long to show up with what we ordered, along with some good treats and samples from the kitchen that we haven’t even thought of yet, just because – well, because he’s God, and he can, right?

Or this: We walk around telling people about the cosmic restaurant, where we got wonderful service, only our advertisement has a unique addition that would never have been apparent to anyone else sitting there: ME. “Well, I went into the restaurant, and because I’m somebody so important, and I dress the part – because I have lots of degrees behind my name that I have worked hard to earn, and because I’m so pretty because I’ve spent so long in front of the mirror, and because I’m so important to God’s work in the cosmos, and because I went in there confidently and told him (in perfect Elizabethan English) exactly what I want and wouldn’t take no for an answer - that because of all of these reasons, God gave me what I wanted … and he can do the same for you, too, and I’ll tell you all about it – just drop your money in the plate in front of you or call 1-800-WIN-PRAY with your credit card handy.

Vending machines don’t work this well. Put in your money, press the button, and whatever you want pops out … right? And when what we ordered doesn’t come out, we beat on the machine and yell, and when that doesn’t work, we try to get our money back, and when the machine then fails to give us our money back, we get really angry and start to cuss and … Isn’t this just the way we treat God when he doesn’t “answer” our prayers? BUT GOD IS NOT A VENDING MACHINE! 

Whoever told you that all you had to do was to pray and ask God and have faith that he would answer by giving us whatever we asked for lied to you! No, He (NOW I will capitalize, because NOW I’m talking about the REAL God – the One True God) tells us in His Word that if we ask ACCORDING TO HIS WILL that He will hear us and give us what we prayed for … because what we prayed for was exactly what He was wanting to give us all along. He wanted us to get to the place where we would know Him well enough to know what He wants to give us to make us better-suited to do His will here on earth and to where we would love Him strongly enough to want that, more than anything else, and THAT’S what we pray for. 

So, if you find yourself mad at God, don’t blame Him. You’re mad at a false god that you created for yourself – who was supposed to be here to be your wish-granting genie in a bottle. Be mad at THAT “god” … for that god is just an extension of YOU. Get to know the REAL God and find that He wants to bless you abundantly above all that you could even imagine to think or ask, then pray for THAT. You’ll be glad you did.

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