I’ll let you in on a little secret.
I do solemnly swear that the evidence I give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Sound familiar? That’s a sworn testimony.
This is my testimony t o you – to impart the invaluable tricks of the trade in reasoning with God. A testimony, by definition, is a true record of someone who has witnessed (seen, heard, experienced) something. I hereby testify that the steps outlined here are tried and proven! Read on and you’ll be equipped with 4 tactics to negotiate and win any case set before you.
Newsflash! God wants to bless us!
When we approach God, much like when a child draws near to his father, not only does God want to spend time with us – He cares about our needs too. If we present a request or desire, He is ever willing to meet those needs if they are for our benefit. To prove this, here are some verses showing evidence of His desire to give us good things!
“Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
“Thus says the LORD,
The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons;
And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.”
Don’t be fooled, God is not a power hungry dictator looking down from fluffy white clouds observing us mere mortals. Who knows, He might just be standing next to you, waiting for a challenge. He is quite the conversationalist and He loves a good contesting. Every day is an invitation to you & I to put on the mind of Christ and reason with Him. He wants to train us to reflect, to think through and uncover Him through His Word. The best teachers facilitate their students’ learning rather than spoon-feeding them information. As we dig deeper, it will lead to our own personal discovery of Him and ourselves.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
That’s exactly what prayer is – it’s asking God to come in and dine with us, to get personally involved in our lives. He will not move until we ask. This understanding is the first step in negotiating with God. Let’s look at the four tactics to winning the contest.
Negotiation tactic #1. Negotiate with God concerning His promises
Get acquainted with the Word! Once we uncover the endless promises He bestows on you & I, we can claim it! God is bound by his Word and He can’t go against His character. Picture this: God’s promises are like a blank cheque we can cash out anytime. Doesn’t this make you want to delve deeper into His depths & see what treasures He has laid for you?
“For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”
“Now, O LORD God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said.”
2 Samuel 7:25
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
Negotiation tactic #2. Negotiate with God concerning His reputation
This could be the only instance you can use God’s name against Himself.
In a time of dire need, Elijah once quoted the generations before him to remind God that His reputation and image was on the line. (Notice the capitalisation of “LORD” in the passage below, indicating the name of the one true Jehovah God.)
“And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
1 Kings 18:36-37
I’m pretty sure Elijah learnt this trick from Abraham because in the Old Testament you often see Abraham negotiating with God (for further reading, see Abraham’s intervention for Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:16-33). He almost always challenges God by reminding Him of His reputation, to consider His name. In a similar way, Moses pleaded with God not to destroy the Israelites in the wilderness for His name’s sake (see Exodus 32:11-14).
Negotiation tactic #3. Negotiate with God concerning His attributes
If it seems like God has not answered your prayer yet, return to Him and say, “God, that’s not like You!”
Lay all the cards on the table and talk it out. God’s not a dictator who uses manipulation; He’ll never force Himself on you. God wants permission to give His opinion. Even His “no” is given out of love for us. God is a gentleman and we are given free will to choose how we respond.
“Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?””
Negotiation tactic #4. Negotiate with God concerning His record
God finishes what He starts. If your memory sometimes fails you, keep a journal! Jot down the answered prayers and promises God has given to you. Mark the date, claim it and remind Him that since He’s done it before, He will do it again. He is no respecter of persons – if He did it for people like David, Abraham and Jacob, He can do it for me!
“Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.”
“And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, LORD, are among these people; that You, LORD, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night.”
Today is a call to prayer, an invitation to sit down and talk with the God who cares about you.
Those promises you’ve held on to, hold on a little while longer and ask if God will not honour His Word, uphold His reputation, be true to His unchanging attributes and continue His unbroken track record.
“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.”