Have you ever treated God like some kind of Father Christmas figure?

Dear Friends,

As a child, I loved the run up to Christmas. When we were young, my sister and I would always write a letter to Father Christmas to tell him know what we would like for Christmas. My list usually consisted of a Sindy doll, some notebooks, some reading books (mostly Enid Blyton ones), and chocolates. I would also end with ... and anything else you (Father Christmas) might like to give me. (Just in case I had forgotten something.) I didn't want to miss out on anything that he might like to give me! It was always exciting to go down the stairs on Christmas morning to our living room and see the room transformed with presents near the tree.

Remembering childhood Christmases has made me wonder if there are times when I begin to think of God as I do about Father Christmas. I wonder if there have been times, even without realising it, when you too have muddled up the two in your thinking?

Father Christmas is usually only thought about at Christmas time. He is pretty much ignored the rest of the year.  As children, we only thought about him when it came to telling him what we wanted for Christmas from him. Our communication with him was all about what he would give us. Giving him a list of our wants, even if we did try to make it a very polite letter with a please and thank you.

Do you only think about God at set times throughout the year - Christmas, Easter, weddings, the occasional Sunday etc?  Do you only pray when you want something from him?  Do your prayers consist of a shopping type list of things you would like him to do for you?  Or is he an important part of your everyday life. Someone who you share your hopes and dreams, your fears and your worries, your joys and your sorrows with. Do you seek his wisdom and guidance and help as well as presenting your requests before him? 

"Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God." Philippians 4:6 (AMP)

Is your relationship with God a two-way thing, in which you give yourself to him and choose to live for him rather than for your own selfish desires?

When children write to Father Christmas they write with the expectation that he will bring them what they have asked for.  For many it doesn't enter their heads that he might not give them just what they've asked for.

Have you gone to God with the attitude that God should give you everything you've asked for, just as a spoilt child might do?

Yes, God loves to give us good gifts, but he doesn't always give us what we ask for. He knows what is best and right for us. He knows when to give a gift and when to withhold it. Sometimes his reply is a "no" because he knows what we're asking for is not for our good. Sometimes it's a "no" because we ask from wrong motives. 

"Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure." James 4:2b-3 (AMP) 

Sometimes his reply is a "not yet" because he knows the timing is not right and he wants us to learn while we wait.  And sometimes he gives us something different to what we have asked for.

When we ask something from God which is in line with his will, we can be confident that he will answer our prayers.

"This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us." 1 John 5:14 (AMP)

I'm glad he doesn't answer all my prayers with a "yes". He knows me better than I know myself and he knows just what I need better than I do.  I can trust him in this. I can have confidence in his answers.  

We can have confidence to enter in to his presence and bring our needs before him because Jesus has opened the way for us to be in God's presence. 

"Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]." Hebrews 4:16 (AMP)

To Think About:
Do you have a constant relationship with God or do you only think about him when you want something from him?

How can your communication with God become more of a two-way conversation and less about talking at him with a list of requests?

If you have the confidence that your prayer is in line with God's will then can I encourage you to keep praying and not give up.



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