Freedom From Demanding My Own Way With God

Years ago at a wedding, a phrase from the love verses stood out as the pastor read them. 

Love does not insist on its own way. (1 Corinthians 13:5 TLB)

That day I saw how many of the troubles in our marriage were because I was doing what that passage of Scripture said not to do.

Then some years later after becoming less demanding and controlling in our marriage, an author pointed out I still had a serious problem with demanding my own way.

 In the commentary in the Everyday with Jesus Bible I read these words:  “This sin is probably buried more deeply in our hearts than any other…The sin I refer to is demandingness.”

 The author, Selwyn Hughes, went on to define the sin: “Demandingness is insisting that our interests be served irrespective of others.”

 When I read this, I saw it was the same issue I’d been battling in my marriage, but I realized it was operating full force in my relationship with God. The reason I was upset so often in my spiritual life was that I often demanded things of God, and He refused to meet my demands.

When I prayed, deep down I was saying to God, “If You love me, do this for me.” And when He didn’t, I withdrew my love from Him for a time by backing away, neglecting my prayer life, becoming enmeshed in worldly pursuits.  

Mr. Hughes went on to say: “Nothing convinces us more that God must answer our prayers in the way we think he should than when we are experiencing continued heartache. And the line between legitimate desiring and illegitimate demanding is a thin one which is easily crossed.”

Ever since I read those convicting words, I’ve been on the path of being set free from demanding my own way with God. Yet I can still get caught in it so easily, especially when my demands seems to line up with God’s will, like when I slip into demanding He intervene in unsaved relatives’ lives. How easy it is to be trapped into demanding when those loved ones’ actions are hurting me.  

 As I’m letting go of having a demanding spirit toward God, I’m learning to have a different attitude in prayer. The new theme of my prayers is:

This is my desire, Lord….However, whatever You think is best is what I really want.  

The way Jesus said it is:

“My Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from me—yet it must not be what I want but what you want.” Matthew 26:39 (J. B. Phillips Translation)

 I pray for grace to continue to let go of demanding my own way. It is a key to a more intimate and fulfilling relationship with the Lord.

How about you? Do you find yourself going to God with prayer demands rather than prayer requests? Do you back off from God when your demands aren’t met? Are you willing to add these words to your prayers, “Not my will, but Yours be done” and mean them? Peace will come when you do.

About elainecreasman

I am a freelance writer and inspirational speaker. Since 1986 I have led the Suncoast Christian Writers Group.
This entry was posted in Spiritual Growth and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Freedom From Demanding My Own Way With God

  1. metamorpheus says:

    You are so right. Yieldedness to the Father is where spiritual maturity begins.

    It is only after we yield our perspectives and agendas to Him that the Spirit of God begins to grow our Authority as His children. Only after we have emptied ourselves of our own agenda can we truly represent His, and He truly fills us with the Authority and empowerment needed for His purpose.

  2. Poppy Smith says:

    Good job, Elaine. I’m working on a book about marriage and your topic applies to husbands/wives also. Both can demand their way–and both end up frustrated and hurting their spouse. It all boils down to a surrendered heart that lives the Spirit-filled, not a self-filled, life.

  3. Christine says:

    This has been a great encouragement to me today. I have had many triggers, over the past three weeks, causing doubt of deleting all the work I had on the fiction novel. Although I do not regret it, the pain is still there at times. However, it was God’s will and I had to fight my will and still do in reference to it. I demanded, at the time, that I should be able to keep it. But obedience is better.

    God Bless

  4. I go to God in thankfulness everyday from the beginning to the end. With asking? When I ask it is more akin to turning something over to Him that never really belonged to me in the first place. I pray for healing for others but mostly it is about being thankful everyday. Great post ;D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s