35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” 38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” 39 “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
Sometimes we really don’t know what we are asking. James and John really didn’t understand what was going on so when they had a bright idea they just came out with it. They didn’t think it through. One of those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” concepts. They wanted something so they asked their friend to help them which is a great idea.
We too have “good ideas” that we bring to God and ask Him to implement. Sometimes they are ideas to look after ourselves in some way, other times they are ideas that could have impacts on others we just haven’t imagined. God is wise and He does think through where actions may lead. Sometimes our good ideas need refining.
We need to talk things through with God rather than just ask “please do this”. It takes more time but it builds our relationship with the Lord and grows wisdom in us as we adjust our requests to bring them into line with what we hear from Him. We should bring our “good ideas” to God as our friend (and so much more) but have a discussion with Him rather than jumping right in with the unrefined idea. Let God lead you to an even better idea.
Lord thank You that You are more wise than we are, that You see where some of our “great ideas” could take us. Help us to learn how to talk things through with You, help us to engage with You to refine and improve our ideas. Help us to give appropriate time to thinking through the ideas we get and discussing them with You. Thank You that You want us to do great things and You want to help us to do such things well. Help us to let You help.
Written by Therese Manning