“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”“
2 Corinthians 12:8-9
God wants you to plead with Him for the desires of your heart, but you are also to respect His response and boundaries as well. That means when He says no, He exercising His free will to do as He pleases, and that is ok. He has desires and needs that He can choose to follow and does not like being cornered or manipulated to do what you wish He would. Does He value your petition? Yes. He asks us to continually pray, but does not desire to be controlled by your wants and needs.
What does that look like in the real world? Well, how do you feel when someone asks you to perform a favor for them, then doesn’t really give you the freedom to choose whether you do it? Does it feel frustrating? The person has “volun-told” you what to do and they somehow feel entitled. You no longer have a choice. We can do that with God as well. We remove His own free will (in our mind) and throw a fit if we don’t get our way! It is childish and removes the mutual personal value from our conversation.
I love how the Boundaries book describes it-
“God is free from us. When he does something for us, he does it out of choice. He is not ‘under compulsion’ or guilt or manipulation. He does things, like dying for us, because he wants to. We can rest in his pure love; he has no hidden resentment in what he does. His freedom allows him to love.” (p.263-264)
1.) Describe “free will” in your own terms. Do you relate to God as if He has free will? How do you treat Him when you pray?
2.) Do you feel you also have free will, when you consider the way God views you? Or do you tend to feel manipulated or controlled by God? How does that affect your relationship with Him?
3.) We have learned this entire session that Boundaries equal love. Without boundaries, we lose our healthy interactions with others. Are there any lies you still believe about boundaries that you need to address? Use your journal to jot down your thoughts.