There are some things in life that we don’t even need to pray about. These are things in my life that do not require much thought:
- Singing in a choir. God did not give me the ability to sing, but I do have the ability to throw the rest of the choir off-key.
- Bungee jumping. There has never been a time I watched someone throw themselves off a cliff wearing a large rubber band around their ankles and thought, “Gee, I should try that sometime.”
- Dying my hair a strange color. My daughter-in-law got some pink hair for a concert she attended and she looked really fun, but I wasn’t tempted. In all honesty, my roots tell the truth about my age. But there has never been a time I considered changing my “locks” to purple, orange, green, or something like that. God made my hair brown, then gray. I’ll go back to “my roots” someday but, until then, brown is good.
- Purchasing a small sports car convertible. They look fun but getting out of one would be a challenge these days. And, I live in Texas. There are a LOT of big trucks in Texas. A sports car on the tollway in Dallas just doesn’t surround me with enough “metal” to make me feel safe.
- Getting a dog. I know, I know. If you are a dog person, you can’t imagine life without one. Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me that I don’t like dog kisses or dog greetings at the door. But then I wonder, “Why does someone like buying dog food, cleaning up dog hair, and, well, you know, and having to dry off a dog that needed to go out in the rain?” (I didn’t even mention the vet bills and other assorted pet costs.) My friend’s new puppy just took a bite out of her leather sofa. So. . .nope. I don’t want a dog, cat, gerbil, or even a goldfish.
Those are just a few of my nonnegotiables. What are yours?
What are God’s?
- God will not share his throne with any other god this world has come up with. There is only one God who created heaven and earth. God will not be tolerant of the other gods we choose to worship.
- Salvation is accomplished through faith in Jesus Christ. God made a way for everyone to get to heaven. He only made one way because only one way makes us ready and fit for heaven.
- God’s children are to “love one another.” We can talk about our faith, but others will know we are Christians by our love.
- God’s children are to forgive others like we want to be forgiven. Forgiveness is not an option; it is an expectation. When we choose to forgive, we choose to obey God.
- God does not want us to confuse, change, alter, or rewrite Scripture. Our Bibles are the preserved, inspired truth God has provided so that people can know him, know his Son, and know how to spend eternity in heaven. God’s word needs no editing because it is perfect truth.
What does God negotiate?
God told the prophet Isaiah, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lᴏʀᴅ: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). In the original language, God was saying, “Come right now and we will argue this out. You are sinful people, but if you come to me and believe me, I can clean you up!”
God has been negotiating with human beings since he walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden. He had told them what was true and they wanted to believe the serpent’s words instead. I imagine the fruit probably tasted pretty good at first but quickly turned bitter in their mouths. God has been negotiating with human weakness, arrogance, and ignorance since that time.
God will “reason” with us, but he won’t alter his truth for our sakes. God is love, and he will always want what is best for our lives.
God’s grace, his forgiveness, and his reward are negotiable. When we repent, God can restore, redeem, and remake our mistakes for his greater good. The negotiation begins with us choosing to humble ourselves, seek his face, and ask for his grace. He is a perfect Father who wants to bless his kids with so much more than they can comprehend.
Is prayer a negotiation with God?
I asked a question I’m not sure how to answer. I guess our prayers can be a negotiation with God, but mostly our prayers are about praise, adoration, and restoration. When we restore our relationship to God as our heavenly King, he can restore our lives now and eternally.
What do you need to argue or negotiate with God about? Is there something you think he got wrong, or something you just can’t understand? God invites you to come to him now so you can argue it out with him.
What do you need to make right with God so that you can dwell in his Presence and walk with his Holy Spirit?
Begin by acknowledging that he is God and there is no other god that you should obey, honor, be influenced by, or serve. When you reverently acknowledge God as your King, you “fear God” as the Bible teaches. Psalm 103:11–12 tells us, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”
That’s how completely God forgives. His grace truly is amazing!
Negotiate, argue, reason, and then adjust your life to his answers
We won’t change God when we “argue it out” with him. He will absolutely change us if we allow him to. God’s ways are high and holy, and he wants our ways to be like his. We are being perfected now, but we will be perfect in heaven.
That is an amazing thought! Maybe I will sing like an angel, jump off cliffs, and have a colorful head of hair that never looks messy after a long ride in my heavenly sports car convertible. I might even have seven dogs running around my mansion in heaven. I have no idea what my life will be like in heaven, but I do know that everything will be perfect. That’s another of God’s nonnegotiables.
Until then, let’s keep the prayers going, even the prayers that are our arguments with God. He is ready to answer, ready to help, and ready to forgive our repentance. The rewards for our faith are promised.
Spend some time now and do some of that negotiating with God. He is ready to “argue it out” and put you back on his path of perfecting. We still have a lot of growth ahead.