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Dinner Party

Better Questions Get Kingdom Answers.

By Allison Bown

My heart is always full of questions. I am by nature an explorer, therefore, I am always wondering; always curious. But at times, I was mystified by a seeming lack of answers. Until I began to realize that God was giving me the answer, but He was often answering His questions, not mine. Why? Because…

…when I was asking questions of information, He was asking questions of exploration.

When I was asking, “How or when will this happen…?” He was asking me, “What encounter of Me do I have for you so you will be prepared when that occurs?”

I was asking questions to find situational resolution. He was asking questions that invited me to a greater experience of Him in the present because I would need that for my future. So many times, I thought God wasn’t answering…but He was. It’s just that He was answering a better question!

It is the kindness and goodness of God to answer His better Kingdom questions because those are the answers that will truly set us free.

God understands that most of us have had a lifetime of informational questions in our workplaces and schools—places where questions of comprehension, answered quickly are what’s valued most. So He provides opportunities for us to experience His more excellent ways.

I learned this years ago when I first came to work with Graham. I would ask him a question, but he would sometimes give me an answer that didn’t seem to fit. It took me a while to realize that he was answering the question I should have asked… not the one I had. It got me thinking.

Instead of a divine Q&A, Jesus is looking for people who love to walk and talk with Him, fascinated with His wisdom and His way of seeing and thinking. It’s evident throughout the gospels as the Lord traveled from town to town and all the roads in between. Jesus wasn’t just looking for servants to instruct, but friends that He could share His life with (John 15:15).

Instructors give information. Friends delight in conversation.

One of God’s current questions to me is, “What is the reward in Me that you have yet to encounter?” In my relationship and experience of God, what are the rich discoveries about who He is that will make everything else pale by comparison?

That’s a much better question than, “When and how will I see the fruits of this or that project?” Continuing to unwrap the answer to His question will leave me in a place to always receive His affirmation, acceptance and joy in our relationship, no matter what I’m seeing in my circumstances.

It took a bit to realize He was answering a better question, but I recognized this one sooner than I used to. I’m learning.

So if you’re not getting the answers you’re expecting from the Lord, find a nice quiet spot and spend some time in worship and rejoicing. Thank Him for His kindness and faithfulness.

Then ask Him, “Do You have a better question?”

Don’t give Him a deadline to answer. Enjoy the fellowship of being with Him. Express your confidence in His love and provision for you.

And when you see the better question, feel His joy. There’s no shame or blame in discovering His higher ways, because it’s being with you in the exploration that He adores most.

– Allison Bown

P.S. Allison expands more on the dynamics of rich conversations with God in her book, Joyful Intentionality in the chapter on “Miners and Treasure Hunters.” Check it out here!

P.P.S. If you’re wondering what better questions sound like, check out the “Life Questions” Mentoring Series on BTV and explore questions like: “How would the Holy Spirit turn this problem into a possibility?” and “When is what’s true not the Truth?”


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