God set things up exactly the way He wanted it. And here is HOW HE SET IT UP...
"The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth He has given to mankind." (Psalm 115:16)
This means two things:
First, it means that on the earth, mankind has great authority over what happens. This is true in both the secular arena but also in the spiritual arena. I'm actually quite certain that we have, on Earth, more spiritual authority than most believe. We are even given angels to help us. We need to use our authority on Earth.
But second, we do NOT have the same level of authority over what happens in Heaven.
Why am I saying this? Let me explain...
Not long ago, I was on a prayer "rampage."
I was going to leave nothing to chance in prayer to God. I had issues with people, places and things. I had issues with God's timing. I had issues with His promises. And I had issues that things were not working out the way I felt they should.
As I prayed, I continued for a very long time telling God (I called it "prayer") what I wanted Him to do, who I wanted Him to use on Earth, what I wanted Him to tell this person or that person, and on and on. Trust me, it was a very detailed set of "instructions" if you will!
In the night hours, in those moments between sleeping and being awake, God suddenly spoke to me:
"Stop directing traffic in Heaven!"
It was so sudden, so specific and so clear, that I didn't need to call a prophet or a pastor to understand the silliness I had been involved with. God, who knows the number of hairs on our head, knows exactly what we need and how to provide it.
Have you ever TOLD GOD you wanted a given person to go and share the Gospel with some of your unsaved friends or relatives? That's directing traffic. I could give so many other examples, but you get the point.
Jesus said to pray like this:
"Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest.'"
You don't need to tell God "who" to send and why THAT PERSON is the best person. God already knows who to send. Your job, OUR JOB, is to pray for the laborers. God will choose the right ones.
Over the years, I've learned more and more that God NEVER EVER has accomplished my prayers in the way I thought He should. Instead, He always does it HIS WAY, and it's always different than what I had "planned" for Him. The same is true for any prayer at any time.
This is why, even as intercessors, while we DO seek to have specific prayers answered (and this is perfectly fine), we must avoid what I would call "bossing God around" or "directing traffic in Heaven!"
God is NEVER GOING TO DO IT YOUR WAY. His ways are different.
This is why, amidst our strong and even specific intercessions, our primary prayers must be what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:9-13:
"This, then, is how you should pray:
'Our Father in Heaven,
hallowed be Your name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'"
It's perfectly fine to get specific with your prayers. Ask God whatever you want. Be as detailed as you like. Tell Him your heart's desire. But—when you're done, end with this: "YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE!"
God's going to do His will for you anyway. He simply asks for your AGREEMENT for His will to be done. That's just how He works!
So, take a lesson from me, or should I say, "Take a lesson from God." Stop directing traffic in Heaven. Ask what you will but end with, "YOUR WILL BE DONE!"
Why? Because HE told us to pray that way.
Are these words helping you? If so, would you consider partnering financially with this ministry so that millions more can receive them? Derene and I thank you in advance for your support. We TRULY appreciate it!
Blessings to you all!
Steve and Derene Shultz, Founders
Elijah List Ministries