Written by cycleguy on May 17th, 2012


Throughout my life, I have been taught and have also taught that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.   We look and envy others. Financially.  Marriage.  Property.  Image. (fill in the blank).

I have been working on a sermon series I will be preaching this summer on the life of David.  One of the striking things about David is the choice for him to become king.  That came as a result of the disobedience of Saul, which came as a result of the disobedience of the people of Israel.  God had been using Judges to rule His people, but during the time of Samuel they began to clamor for a king.  First, they weren’t thrilled with Samuel’s choice of predecessors- his sons.  I tend to think they weren’t too thrilled with it either.  Second, they wanted a king like all the other people/nations have.  In essence, they looked at the grass on the other side of the fence and liked what they saw.  It was the solution to their whole problem, or so they thought.  What they didn’t realize was that God was thoroughly displeased.   In fact, I Samuel 8:7 says, “The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.’ ” 

They were saying that God was not enough for them!!

What they did find out was that the grass was not greener on the other side.  Saul was a miserable and lousy king.   But they got what they asked for.  Psalm 106:15 says, “He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.”  (NKJV).   Getting what we want is not always the best.  We need to keep in mind that God wants our best.  He really does, and when something we have asked for doesn’t come our way, He has a reason for it.   Accepting it though is tough.  We still think we know best.   Using the above Scripture from Psalm 106 I think it is good to ask a question:  will getting what I ask for bring leanness or health to my soul?  Instead of pushing the envelope, maybe we need to pause and give it a rest.  I think this blog tackles that idea rather well.

What do you think?  Have you tried to force an issue with God and afterwards found out it was not the best idea?  What did you learn? Was the ever a time that you stopped pushing and paused, only to find it was the best thing you did?  


24 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jim F says:

    I have tried to force an issue with God and learned that I needed to just wait on Him to move. I learned that His ways are ALWAYS higher than my ways. I have also learned that when I stop pushing and wait on Him – things always seem to be much better.

  2. Daniel says:

    I try to live with patience and trust, but I fail at this often. In fact, I find that I seem to be getting worse
    with time instead of better. That frustrates me to no end.

  3. Craig says:

    Have you tried to force an issue with God and afterwards found out it was not the best idea?

    if I said no then my computer would be set on fire and I’d be struck by lightning.

    That mentality is what I’m working on weeding out right now. Act first and ask God to bless it second. I make my move 1) because it is comfortable 2) because it is logical to me — not out of obedience or faith — then ask God to bless my choice. I get to be in control and hope God blesses my choice.

    Doesn’t work like that at all.

    my grass is full of weeds.

    God’s grass is overgrown because it is the road less traveled.

    yet I’ve always gone to the weeds.

  4. I wonder about this when I pray, which is why I also try to pray for wisdom in the situation. Many times, the situation hasn’t been given to me – but the wisdom to understand why my way wasn’t right was what I received instead.

    • cycleguy says:

      It is a good practice to pray for wisdom along with asking Loren. Proverbs touts wisdom for a reason. 🙂 You are a wise man in doing so. Thanks for your thoughts.

  5. floyd says:

    I am the classic example of the Israelites… I can’t count the number of times in my life that I’ve jumped in with both feet, only asking for God’s blessings on what I wanted… not exactly asking for it “in My name.”

    Looking back over a life, it’s easier to realize most often the things we don’t get are the very things we get the most from. Sometimes less is abundantly more. I had a good dose of “leanness” … I’m looking for some peace and joy in Him.

    Great post Bill. I’m praying for your series this summer on David… my favorite character, other than the trinity, in the Bible.

    • cycleguy says:

      Can I chime in and join your club of being a jumper? I am so guilty of that. Thanks for your prayers Floyd. It will be a challenge since I have never really preached a character series before. Sifting through his life is interesting. Appreciate your thoughts.

  6. lindaM says:

    Hi Bill,
    there is a saying that I have heard ‘let go and let God’. I think that there is some truth to this saying.

    The song ‘All is Well With My Soul’ was written apparently by a man who had recently lost his family. He had to let them go to God. He had to release them into the care of God. In doing this, he found peace within his soul. All is well with my soul, he said.

    There are times when we may have let go of things or people and let come what may. Heaven or hell. Our determination is that we will serve the Lord.

    We see from other believers that when we push God for wealth it becomes error and harmful to us. We get the ‘prosperity doctrines’ abounding. We get false shepherds and false prophets propagating and flourishing.
    Our focus as believers then becomes finding the magic spell that will unlock God’s treasury and pour out more money and riches on us than we can handle. Money is where our trust then lies.

    Scripture says that if our trust is in anything other than Christ Jesus we are following an idol who cannot save us.

    • cycleguy says:

      “it is Well” was written by Horatio Spafford and it was during a time when he lost his family on a shipping accident. As he passed that place he wrote the lyrics. You are right: our trust is to only be in Christ. Thanks Linda.

  7. Jan says:

    This is still a work in progress for me….learning to just give God all the control over every situation, because He knows my story & the bigger picture, He knows what will grow me & make me stronger. I’ve been getting better at pausing & let Him guide me, because I realize how exhausting my pushing can be. Time to let God do what He does best, work for his glory in my life. Love this post!

    • cycleguy says:

      For me, Jan, it will always be a work in progress. It is exhausting to always be pushing. Glad the post ministered to you. Looking forward to seeing you and Michael.

  8. Jason says:

    Every single time I’ve tried to force something with God I ended up hurt, broken and with lasting scars.

    I don’t want to have that happen again.

  9. Larry Hughes says:

    The grass always seems greener over the fence when looking at it from your vantage point. Seems to be a mirage thing.

    Although impatient frequently I try not to force God on any thing. Even in my prayers, I attempt to ask God if it is His will for issues. Not you need to handle this or I need you to give me this or that issue for me.

  10. Ed says:

    There are many issues that I’ve tried to force with God. One in particular was a 40 year old case. And due to the place and position I found myself at, I found it wasn’t the best one. I still hold out a glimmer of a hope though.

  11. Doing this led me to moving my family to Louisville, KY and spending a year in seminary. I’m still paying for pushing it.

    • cycleguy says:

      Ouch! It was learning experience I am sure for all of you. Seems you have learned the lesson(s) you needed to learn. I’m sure you did learn some good things too.

  12. I think everyone has in some point of their life tried to strong arm God. One lesson you can point to throughout the bible is be careful what you ask for, you just may get it!

    When you place your trust in God, He guides you where He wants you to go. I don’t question that anymore.

    Thou will show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psa 16:11)

    Walk daily with God at your side!


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