How much leeway does God have?

Don - September 4, 2004

We all agree that God is bound by eternal laws. We all agree that blessing are predicated based on obedience to laws.

That being said, then when I obey a law I get the blessing, when I break a law or commandment I either get a “punishment” or the promised blessing withheld. Does that mean then I get what I deserve? I earned it? (this obviously doesn’t refer to the atonement which I didn’t / don’t earn and I didn’t / don’t derserve)

If I do get what I earned or deserved and it is bound to the law I kept then first: “Why do I pray for blessings?” and second: “Can God change, modify, increase or decrease the blessing associated with keeping that law?”

My thought on the first question is: shouldn’t I be praying to keep the commandments, to have the knowledge and strength to do so. If I pray for the blessing am I putting the cart before the horse? Or is it I don’t know what commandment to keep to bring the blessing sought after so I pray for the blessing instead? Really shouldn’t I be asking to know what I should do to bring about the blessing instead of just asking for the blessing?

The second question is even more interesting. Can God bless me more / less for keeping a commandment than someone else who keeps that same commandment? Does God have to be “fair”? Or does God have some leeway in how much or how little to bless us? Is there a range from say 1 -10 depending on exactness, attitude, circumstances, previous performance or other criteria?

Blessings have always perplexed me. I can’t tie specific action with specific results, they aren’t always logical. They can be immediate, or deferred which contributes to my difficulty. For me I just try and keep the commandments having faith that I’ll get the blessings I need (and God knows what I need obviously better than I do).

1 Comment »

  1. I wish I knew. My husband and I have been wondering the same thing for eight months. He’s had back problems for that long. He’s prayed and knows that the Lord wants him to be healed, but it hasn’t happened yet. But we keep at it.
    Sister T | Email | Homepage | 09.04.04 – 10:46 pm | #

    I think you’re probably onto something — that we ought to be praying more for strength to keep the commandments rather than simply praying for the blessings to magically come to us. But it probably doesn’t hurt to do a little of both. As the Bible Dictionary says on prayer, “Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.”

    When I read your post, I first thought of the part that comes just before that: prayer brings the Father’s will and the child’s will into correspondence, not by changing God’s will but securing blessings God is already willing to grant that are conditional upon our asking.

    I guess we don’t know most of the answers to your questions, but knowing this much helps a little!
    Amy | Email | Homepage | 09.06.04 – 10:57 am | #

    Whenever I get tired of praying over and over for the same thing (and working to achieve what I’m asking for, of course) I try to remember the parable of the unrighteous judge. It teaches us that God wants us to weary Him with our prayers.
    Bret | Email | Homepage | 09.06.04 – 10:12 pm | #

    I gotta say that I believe we recieved the recent miracle in our lives because we (and our relatives, friends, associates, strangers, etc) prayed and prayed contineously. I’m sure it wearied the Lord hearing the same prayer over and over again. But, I’m sure it had to do with our humbleness to ask him and ask our friends and family to pray for us. Just the asking shows humbleness…even to our loved ones that we would appreciate their faith along with ours.
    Plus…I also must add that we have now just replaced thankfulness with the asking. We asked so much that He deserves to hear the gratefulness more than the asking!!
    Angela | Email | Homepage | 09.08.04 – 11:49 pm | #

    I agree with Amy’s statement of how we should be praying for the strength to overcome our trials, and that we should be putting forth the our efforts to be capable of reciving his blessings.

    I believe for the 2nd part though, god does/can adjust to each individual. If I have a problem with the word of wisdom, then I would be tried acordingly, but if for someone who is strong in the word of wisdom, they probably won’t be tested in that area. I will be tried in those things He knows me for, and also knows I can over come. I take comfort in the knowlege that my Father above is watching so diligently, my actions. That he sees what, and how, I overcome the trials in my life. And I continue to pray for his strength to touch my heart and comfort me through my own hard times.
    Bryce | Email | Homepage | 09.13.04 – 3:20 pm | #

    Comment by Comment Restore — November 28, 2005 @ 12:38 am

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