“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
I spoke once, but I have no answer—
twice, but I will say no more.”
Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:
“Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
“Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Job 40:4-8
Those who remember the 1992 presidential election in the US will remember candidate Ross Perot. He was famous for introducing his policy proposals with the phrase, “Here’s the deal.” It seems “the deal” may be a common refrain in the US presidential community. President Trump authored the bestseller, “The Art of the Deal,” long before running for president.
Many of us strike deals in our lives. We may have a deal with our employers. Technically, you may be supposed to be at your desk from 8:00 to 5:00, but the boss cut you a deal that you can leave early on Friday as long as you get all your work done. We may have a deal with our spouses. I’ll get up early on Sunday and get the kids ready if you take them to the park in the afternoon so I can take a nap. We have deals with friends, roommates, teachers, just about everyone.
Many of us make deals with God. I’ll pray and give and read my Bible but you have to keep my baby well. I’ll stop drinking and using but you have to save my marriage. Turning to God is a good thing when we are in need and obedience to what we know are his commands is also a worthy endeavor.
The problem, of course, is when we attempt to connect those two. Bartering with God as to what He must do in exchange for our obedience reveals a major misunderstanding of our relationship with God. God owns our obedience. He doesn’t have to cut a deal with us to purchase it. Any time we withhold obedience because we are disappointed with what God allows into our lives, we are stealing what God deserves by right.
There is no deal we can offer God. But, mercifully we don’t have to. The Lord loves us and doesn’t need to be persuaded to help us. When we face challenges or experience needs, let’s approach God as His children requesting His help. Let’s never try to buy His help with something He already owns.