The Needs of the Kingdom Come First

Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
Isaiah 40:1-26
Matthew 23:29-39

Deuteronomy 3:23-26 Then I pleaded with YHWH at that time, saying: 24 ‘O Lord YHWH, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds? 25 I pray, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, those pleasant mountains, and Lebanon.’ But YHWH was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me. So YHWH said to me: ‘Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter.’

There have been few men as close to God as Moses, so it seems incongruous that God would not heed his heartfelt prayer. Why doesn’t God grant every prayer every time? Charles Capps says one thing, Marilyn Hickey says another, and Henry Wright says something else again.

“Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?” really is one of the most disturbing and puzzling questions a person can ask. Maybe He just doesn’t like the motives of the people at the whywontgodhealamputees website, refusing to jump through hoops at the demand of mortals who have already decided He doesn’t exist. However, that doesn’t work for the many thousands or millions of true believers who are maimed and ill and unhealed, people who don’t care about proving anything to God or anyone else. They just want to be healed. To be perfectly honest, I can’t claim to understand why God responds to some prayers and not others, but I’m sure there are at least as many reasons as there are people.

When I was in the Air Force, they used to tell me that I could pick any job or assignment I wanted (within reason), and they would try to give it to me with this one caveat: The needs of the Air Force come first. If I wanted to go to England and if having me in England fit with the Air Force’s mission, then there was a good chance that’s where I’d go. But if the AF needed me in Japan, then I was going to Japan.

I believe that God operates the same way. He leaves most of the details of our lives completely up to us, but routinely throws trials and tasks in our path because those things are important to Him. Maybe they will help us to become the people He needs us to be or maybe they will serve the overall mission of His Kingdom, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be pleasant or have any resemblance to what we want. I believe He answers the prayers of the righteous (not so much those of the unrighteous), but that He frequently answers us in ways that we don’t like. If we believe, we can cause a mountain to be moved into the sea, but only if such a move aligns with God’s plans and our lives are aligned with Yeshua.

Ultimately, I believe that it comes down to this. God is His own person and isn’t answerable to anyone, not to you or me or the Director of the National Security Agency. He is the absolute, end-of-the-line boss of everyone in every circumstance. Most importantly, He makes his own decisions for His own purposes, and there is no reason to assume that we are the center of His world or that our good is His primary purpose. He is concerned with our good, of course, and He wants us to be healthy and happy, but that doesn’t mean that what’s good for you and me is the only thing He wants or that it’s the most important thing in His world. His view is bigger than that.

God is to be the center of our universe, not the other way around.
God is to be the center of our universe, not the other way around.

 13 Who has directed the Spirit of YHWH,
Or as His counselor has taught Him?
14 With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him,
And taught Him in the path of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge,
And showed Him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,
And are counted as the small dust on the scales;
Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.
16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,
Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering.
17 All nations before Him are as nothing,
And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.

Isaiah 40:13-17

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