Psalm 115:1-3, “1 Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth. 2 Why should the Gentiles say, “So where is their God?” 3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases”
Living for God does not always make things smooth. You are not always going to be on top of the mountain. And if you find yourself in the valley, praying will not necessarily mean God will take you out of the valley. This is not an indication of His lack of care or teaching you a lesson. This and all things ought to be about God making much of Himself in the life of believers wherever they may find themselves.
One common error I constantly see with our walk is trying to make a deal with God. “I do this so that you can do that for me”. And many of teachings are based on how to get stuff by working something right (mostly faith). If you are not getting it, it is because you are not working it right. I ask myself many times, “why do we try so hard to work for the things the Lord already paid for on the cross?” We ran back to the summary of the law (love God, love people) and present it to the Lord by saying something like this, “I have done this and that, hopefully you are pleased, now I am a candidate for blessing, bless me”. “Love God, love people is what the gospel produces not what it commands. It’s not addition to the gospel”, Voddie Baucham. It is not the means by which God responds to prayers.
All the good we do, is done by the power of His grace; and all the good we have, is the gift of His mere mercy, and He must have all the praise because He authored and completed it. You cannot live the gospel and gain merits for blessings and you cannot live without it and make it. It is not a formula for provisions. You and I do not pray to get God closer to our will, we pray to get closer to His will. The harbor does not move closer to the boat, it is the boat that moves closer to the harbor.
In the former psalm, the past wonders which God had wrought were recounted to His honor. In this Psalm, the psalmist is entreating the Lord to glorify Himself again, he says, vs. “1 Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth”. The heathen presuming upon the absence of material blessings at a given time led them to ask, “Where is now their God?” It grieved the heart of the godly that God was not honored the way He should, and they beseeched the Lord at least to vindicate His own name. David in Psalm 23:4, talks of the Lord leading him in His path of righteousness for His name sake. Joshua also used the like argument when he said, “…Then what will You do for Your great name?”, Joshua 7:9. So was Moses when God was ready to wipe out the Israelites for the complaining and murmuring, Moses said, Exodus 32:12, “Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people”
These men had one thing in common, “the glory of God”. And the desire of their heart was not to make a deal with God and gain something from Him but God to make much of Himself through their lives even if it meant blessing them or not. Their drive to serve and glorify God was based on “HE IS WORTHY”. That is why they came, that is why they were concerned for His name. They were concerned for His honor and that is why they prayed for victories in their own lives that the heathens’ mouths would be silenced.
About a year ago after long time of praying and waiting, our later diagnosis showed that for my wife and I to have children naturally was not possible. Through the means of medicine and the aid of insurance we started a process. The IVF done pointed to good promises, at one point we were declared pregnant only for it to be terminated after a short time taking us back to ground zero. Recently as we were checking with our insurance as to what to do next, our fears were confirmed when we were told we had maxed our coverage for pregnancy, therefore we are on our own. The first thing that ran through my mind, “but Lord we have been praying, waiting, trusting. What will those who see us pray think when they see or think our prayers are not answered”. I was concerned for what our prayers should do rather than be concerned with God’s great name for His glory. It also sounded like I was trying to make a deal with God. I should seek God for who HE is, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory” because vs. 3, “…our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases”, for His own glory. We are in the valley, however our drive is, “just because of who You are will we praise You”. We pray because He is worthy of it. We seek for this miracle that He may glorify Himself through it. If He does not bless us, He will still gain glory in our valley.
In such manner, let us pray when no other plea is available because of our sense of sin; for the Lord is always jealous of His Honor, and will work for His name’s sake and no other motive will move Him. Blessings, Ev