God Is Greater Than Google!
Posted by October 15, 2013on
A recent Bible study experience reminded me of where we need to go first for help and guidance.
Prayer is a private relationship between us and God; so for the most part, we keep the content of our prayers private within that realm. However, recently I had an answer to a prayer that taught me an important lesson that I would like to share. Sometimes we only focus on dramatic answers to prayer, but we should remember that small answers are no less miraculous!
For a couple days prior to my experience, I had been interested in studying a specific topic in Scripture. I knew the general topic was in the Bible, but just did not know exactly where to find it. I tried going to the areas of the Bible that I thought would be good starting points; but though this led me to some excellent Bible studies, it did not help me locate my original topic.
I then thought to myself, “Google has answers. I’ll just search my general topic and I am sure to come up with the scriptures I am looking for.” I soon found out that Google is not as knowledgeable as I expected it to be and that my topic, however simple it seemed, was a bit more complicated than I thought.
Go to God!
After two mornings of searching for my topic with no avail, I finally decided to do what I should have done in the first place—ask God to guide my Bible study to help me find what I had been searching for. Granted, we should always ask God to guide our study of the Bible, but I didn’t think to be so specific in what I was asking God. I should have remembered Philippians 4:6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
After asking God for help in my Bible study, I sat down at the table and began to open my Bible. Before I started reading, I wondered what I would find and if God would answer my prayer. I opened the Bible to the book of James, and there was my topic staring me right in the face! Of course, the only thing I could do was shake my head and immediately thank God for hearing my prayer and responding to my request.
(Please note that my main subject in this blog post is prayer, and I’m not advocating randomly opening the Bible as a good method for studying God’s Word or looking for answers. On this occasion God was merciful and allowed me to quickly find what I was looking for, but I know God also provides many other tools for finding things in the Bible that are more helpful than Google. See the articles “How to Study the Bible” and “Bible Study Tools” for some ideas.)
Through this humbling experience I relearned a few very valuable lessons:
First, always go to God (Luke 11:9)! There are countless places in Scripture that tell us to do this, but sometimes we just get lazy and skip this step.
Second, we need to pray to God daily. If we are close to God, we are more likely to receive and perceive God’s guidance and direction. No, I didn’t hear a voice from heaven saying, “David, goest to page 1904, and thou shalt find what thou seeketh.” That’s not how it works. God answers us by guiding our paths, sparking a thought, allowing us to see the bigger picture, and in many other ways that we usually don’t even realize.
We should always remember 1 John 5:14-15: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
Third, I remembered that God doesn’t answer just “big” prayers, like healing the sick or watching over us as we travel to His Feast of Tabernacles, etc. God is willing to hear all of our concerns (John 14:13-14).
No matter how large or how small the request may be, God will always hear the prayers of those who have faith in Him and believe He will answer. We are told to cast “all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). We can take all of our cares to God. If our requests are according to His will and are within the structure of His laws, He will listen and respond.
To learn more about prayer, read the article “How to Pray.”
David Hicks is a graphic designer and a member of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, in the Knoxville, Tennessee, congregation.