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“Moving” God

“Thus they did all that the king commanded, and after that God was moved by prayer for the land.” – 2 Samuel 21:14b

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8

While reading the passage in 2 Samuel this morning, I could not help but pause in awe of God. I was simply amazed at the fact that I could “move” God. This is just one of several places in Scripture where you can find God being influenced. Have you ever been moved by something? Maybe it was a sunset, the birth of your child, a wedding or funeral, movie, or someone’s generosity to you. As humans, we are easily moved, influenced, swayed, etc. But how could that be with God?!

God is all-knowing (omniscient), meaning He knows every decision I am going to make and every decision He is going to make. When He created me, He knew exactly what I would do, so how could there be any influencing in our relationship? What is the point of prayer? These are questions that often run through my head. However, I must lean not on my own understanding, as Proverbs 3:5 advises. The truth is that I am a created being with only the amount of knowledge and understanding given to me by my Creator. Fortunately, that knowledge and understanding is far lower than His. Sure, I can move God by my prayers, but from the beginning God knew that I would pray that prayer and how it would influence Him. So does this mean that my prayer is useless? Of course not! It simply means that God knew that He would use my prayer to influence Himself in order to accomplish His will. Chew on that one for awhile.

I don’t get it. Truly and sincerely. I often tell that to God. I don’t get prayer. I cannot comprehend salvation. I don’t understand hell. In fact, I’m not even sure if I agree with it, but I believe in it. Someday, when my work here is done, I hope I get to heaven and find out that I had some misconceptions about hell. However, Scripture gives me no reason to believe that, and I will accomplish more for the Kingdom if I go by what God’s Word tells me. But until I do find all the answers to these questions in heaven, I must realize that literally God’s thoughts and my thoughts are nothing alike. His ways and my ways are worlds apart.

So for now, I rest peacefully knowing that I can move God. Even if I don’t know how, my prayers are important. Some men and women spend their entire lives trying to please their fathers. They go to schools they don’t want to go to. They marry people they do not love. They have careers that make them miserable. They do this all in a vain effort to please their earthly father who has ungodly expectations for them. I feel for them, because they are missing out on the joy, peace, and purpose that comes from pleasing their Heavenly Father.

As you pray today, remember that you literally have the power to move God. You can influence Him. You can help bring about His will through your prayers. Please your Father today by praying with purpose, passion, and priority. God wants to be moved, but we have to pray. If we don’t pray, it’s like getting up when it’s still dark, going out to the beach alone in the crisp coolness of the morning air and waiting for the sunrise. Except, the sunrise never comes. All the elements are prepared, but that touching moment never arrives. God has all the elements ready. He wants to bring people into His Kingdom. He wants people to know Him. But from the beginning, He chose to use us. Therefore, we must pray. When we pray, we bring that sunrise, and the Son rises. And at that moment, God is moved.

Commanded and Called,

Matt Atwell


About the RBC Blog

Each week, one of the members of the RBC staff write a short blog about their area of ministry or a devotional about one of their favorite passages of Scripture. Check in with us each week to see what our church leaders have to say about their walks with the Lord! New posts appear every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. PST. 

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