And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” – Matthew 26:39
Many years ago, I was in the market to buy a new truck. Walking the dealership lot, looking at brand new Chevy trucks is an exciting feeling. Seeing a dark blue long bed truck, I knew I found the truck I wanted. It didn’t take long for the salesman to walk up and begin his pitch. Very soon in the conversation I asked what the price of the truck was. I knew what I could afford and I really wanted to hear that the truck was in my range. The salesman answered my question with, “make me an offer”. I kind of laughed, thinking, ok so now we play the game. I asked again about the price of the truck, since there was no sticker on the window. He responds again, with “make me an offer”. Now I was getting a bit frustrated. He knew exactly what the dealership wanted for the truck and what he could quote as the price. This went back and forth about four or five times, the salesman refusing to quote a price for the truck. I started to walk away, telling him to forget it. Now he was getting anxious. His commission was walking off the lot. Chasing after me, he said wait, let’s talk. I turned back and told him to give me the price of the truck. Again, his comment was asking me to make an offer. Really?!? He still wanted to play the game of make the prospective customer commit to a figure, so that he could be in control. Well, I didn’t get the truck and never returned to that dealership.
Can you imagine our salvation experience if it had been like that. We recognize our need for a savior, ask God to save us and He says, “make Me an offer”. Making our relationship with Him a negotiation. It sounds ridiculous, yet there are times that is exactly what we do. We can try to negotiate our walk with Him. “God, if you do this, then I will do that”. Does that sound familiar. Maybe it is not as overt as that, but it can still happen. We ask God for things in prayer and yet forget to thank Him for, if nothing else, our relationship. God pursues us, but not for a barter, He pursues us because He loves us. Not for what we can give Him, but for who we are, His child. God doesn’t barter with our time from His side either, although we may see it that way. God is not answering our prayers based on our work. He doesn’t say, “Kyle if you pray more, serve in the church more, tithe more, then I will answer your prayer. If you are a better Christian, I will fulfill your heart’s desire. God answers our prayers based on His will for our lives. If that is the basis for our answered prayers, shouldn’t that be our prayer? Not my will, but your will, Father.
Negotiation puts us on a level status with God Almighty. Bartering suggests that we have the same authority as God. I am sure we don’t see it that way in the midst of our prayers, but that is the truth of it. We can’t assume that God comes to us from a position of a salesman, trying to get us in His pitch. He is God, Almighty, Sovereign, and Loving. Think about that, if He is all of that, then we are above all…loved.