The gospel of acquired taste


This is one of those mornings where I wake up with a burden in my spirit. As I pray, I retrieve what the Lord has deposited in my spirit. He says, ‘JUST OBEY’. I wonder if this is not something I already know and I probe further for the emphasis. My spirit begins to speak to my mind to understand what HE has said. 

Avoidable ‘prayers’

He says to me that there are many prayers that people pray that could have been avoided by obedience. Prayer in this context is ‘petition’, which is what many Christians have reduced this amazing concept of the Kingdom of God called prayer to. 

Petitioning God is a part of prayer but prayer is not just petition. The original idea behind prayer is communication with God. A place where we go to hear GOD’s Will and carry it out His Way. A place where we get a second chance to correct our wrong desires by aligning –  through grace – with the Will of the Master. If prayer was petitioning alone, then what did Adam pray for? 

Having said this, I rephrase, that many petitions people ask of God could have been avoided if they had just obeyed. Take Joshua 7, for example, the children of Israel petitioned God for deliverance from the men of Ai due to Achan’s disobedience. If only Achan had obeyed, God would have already given them victory. But victory was and IS hinged on the condition of total obedience. 

If your pathway in life is marked by total obedience to God, there are some prayers you will never find yourself praying. Obedience, in itself, is deliverance. 

– Maranatha

Our God is very simple. When Jesus got a chance to describe His heart, He said ‘I am meek and lowly in heart’ (Matthew 11:29). He could have said anything, that He was mighty and His heart was strong…anything! But at the heart of our Lord Jesus IS humility. This communicates the simplicity of the Gospel–to trust and obey God like Jesus who never did anything outside of God’s Will. We can either choose the simplicity of the Spirit or the complications of the flesh. 

It is true that mercy is the best thing since the law but we must realise that disobedience has terrible consequences. This is regardless of the fact that we sometimes don’t get to witness them or they don’t directly affect us. Sin is a rabbit hole with a downward spiral that only God can save you from. But before the thought of salvation or the need for mercy, there lies the original alternative: what if you had just obeyed from the start?

When you accepted Him, it was to say, ‘Everything You command, I will do’. But we lied. If you backtrack a bit, you’d realise that before those petitions we send to heaven – for deliverance, asking for settlement in one place or the other – there were and are closed tabs of disobedience. You would find that place where your actions insinuated that you were wiser than God. 

Here is an example:

So God tells you to do something but rather than ask Him HOW to do it, you assume and begin to walk in your wisdom. You take steps in your own way to accomplish what you heard God say to you. Now we know that when God speaks to us, we receive faith which should determine how our lives go. The absence of God’s speech or the completion of the details equals a lack of Faith. The truth remains that whatever is not done out of faith is sin (Romans 14:23) and cannot glorify GOD even though He gave the initial Word. Faith is WHAT God said + HOW God said it should be (done).

Yes, He is merciful and kind, and He restores and delivers, but can we JUST OBEY?

An acquired taste

Have you ever listened to a song and hated it but discovered that the more you heard it, the more you grew accustomed to it until one day, you burst into the tune right in the middle of washing the dishes? That is what it means to have an acquired taste: it happens through continuous exposure. 

When Romans 12:2 says we should not conform to this world, it is because exposure marks the possibility of occurrence. We are in the world and not of it, we are exposed to the world but we cannot allow it to influence us. Instead, it is best to be exposed to the Word (of God) so it transforms you. The influence of acquired tastes runs deeper than songs or a change in preference. It gets deeper into life itself.

For instance, a child is born, and – if left to society – there is a pathway already established for that child. He goes to school, from primary to tertiary–maybe even does his Masters. Then he gets a job and keeps climbing the corporate or civil ladder. He gets married and eventually retires with his wife and dies at a suitable age. Society is great for structure, but where is the space for GOD if we allow a society that did not create us to dictate to us?

An acquired taste assures us of conformity to such a society. It ensures we pick society over Deity in the matters of life.

– Maranatha

Many of our desires that inspire disobedience are acquired tastes directed at a kind of fulfilment devoid of an eternal value (James 1:14-15). We want good jobs, houses, cars, businesses etc. and all the things society says are the marks of success. While these things are not inherently bad as long as they do not take the place of GOD, the problem is that these desires start to form a huge part of our prayers and when GOD does not respond as we want Him to, we accuse Him of injustice. The real question is, did He set you on that path? Would it be justifiable or ‘justice’ for God to support what He did not ordain for you?

Our relationship with GOD is an extension of His Will and the execution of it. HE is most pleased when He is most glorified. What this acquired taste does is that it begins to deform our perspective until we begin to see God as a tool for the procurement of the things we want. This is not the God we serve and He would be wicked if He gave us our desires which are against His Will. When we achieve these desires through a method that is not God-approved, the cycle of avoidable prayers repeats itself.

Glass half-empty or half-full: neither works for the LORD

Now, you might be wondering: if this pattern we have always had and have been taught to adapt to isn’t the right way to go, what is? Well, this is the correct order of things: God has a Will – He communicates this Will to you, putting His desire in your heart – He gives you the facilities you need to execute His Will – The cycle repeats itself. 

God is not the tool, we are! Every material thing we could possibly garner or whatever we ask for must directly or indirectly contribute to the accomplishment of God’s Will. If this is not the case, we become like the rich fool who laid up treasures on earth that had no eternal value (Luke 12:13-21). 

When the psalmist says in Psalm 37:4 ‘Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart’, we often misinterpret this Scripture to mean that God will give us what we want. But let us break it down with a few premises so we reach a conclusion:

  • A man’s heart is either desperately wicked by nature (Jeremiah 17:9) or renewed by God through faith (Ezekiel 36:26).
  • A desperately wicked heart does not want the things of God while a heart turned to God is in sync with God’s Will.
  • Jesus says in John 15:7 that what we ask for will be done for us on the condition that what we ask for is in line with God’s Will.
  • In conclusion, when we delight in God, He aligns our desires with His so that what we want is exactly what He wants!

Another commonly misinterpreted Scripture about asking is Romans 8:28, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ For some reason, people ignore the part about PURPOSE and let it fly over their heads that, again, this communicates a compulsory alignment with God’s Will. When God says in Jeremiah 29:11, ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,’ surely you don’t believe that God’s expected end can be your desires? Of course not. We are only truly satisfied when God is satisfied. 

When the Bible tells us to ask, it is for many reasons including:

  1. Relationship – we ask not because we always expect a favourable answer but because there is an existing relationship and the bond is strengthened through dependency even if the request is not always met. 
  2. Conviction – when you ask and it is not given, it strengthens your conviction to keep asking especially when you know that what you ask for is right. Faith births persistence (Luke 18:1-8).
  3. Correction – in the event that we ask for the wrong things, it is by persistent asking that we realise our wrong desires and get a chance to correct them. If we don’t ask, we may never know. What is important is that we are not set in our ways when we come before God with our petitions (Psalm 139:23-24).

What is the best way to come before God then? With your hands empty. Your deliverance is in your obedience. If you come to me for water but your glass is half-full with Fanta, even if I have a full cup of water to give you, I will not be able to give you because your glass is already half-full. Whatever amount of water I pour into the glass, the Fanta only dilutes it and it won’t satisfy you as it would if you had come with an empty glass to collect fresh water. In the same way, when we come to God with our desires, we cannot fully receive all He has for us simply because there is no space. 

If only we learn to come empty to God, to be filled up by HIM rather than getting filled up by our desires and coming to Him for approval just so we can say ‘Oh, I prayed about it’, we would grasp the magnitude of perfection which God has detailed in His Will for us.

What a world of difference that would make!

Proposed will vs allowed will

Everything that happens is either God’s Will (proposed) or in the Will of God (allowed). Our free will is contained in the Will of God so that the consequences of our actions or inactions (resulting from the execution of our free will) are allowed by God simply because He allowed us free will. For example, when a parent sends their child to school they make peace with the fact that this child can join bad gang, make wrong decisions etc. This way, whatever that child does is only an extension of their will because they allowed it by giving that child freedom in the first place. 

What this looks like in reality is that wars are the in Will of God; genocides, pandemics, diseases and even our sinfulness are contained in the Will of God. What’s more, each one of these scenarios is covered and can be redeemed in His salvation plan called JESUS. This is because He, in His endless grace made provision for every consequence of the free will He gave us! What a good God! What love!

Nothing can happen if God does not allow it. So, every extension and consequence of your free will is covered by God’s Will and is in God’s Will. As a result of this, even your mistakes have the ability to lead you back into His Will. You couldn’t step out of God’s Will if you tried. Nobody has the ability to.

Don’t panic yet. Or ever. There is no need to.

This extension of God’s Will falls under what is called GOD’S ALLOWED WILL. On the other side of this allowance coin is GOD’S PROPOSED WILL. A good example can be found in Genesis 12: 

The Lord said to Abram:
Go from your land,
your relatives,
and your father’s house
to the land that I will show you.

Unlike God’s allowed Will, God’s proposed Will is God’s Will initiated by GOD HIMSELF. It is what God wants, not what He allows. It is what God has asked you to do because it is what is in His heart. Make no mistake, even God’s allowed Will brings Him glory because the end of everything is His glorification. Yes, even if our decisions do not lead us to Him, He will still be glorified—that is His Will.

However, we must come over to the side of His proposed Will. This is where the bliss of peace resides. Why must we only remember God when we need something or when the consequences of our bad decisions come knocking? Why live life always being dragged out of a ditch by His merciful hand?

God speaks loudly. The still small voice is only small because there is so much noise around you. The question is, where is your heart? If GOD is your option a to z, the desire is rarely present to go against Him because of reverence and trust. No matter the good intentions we might have, disobedience is still disobedience. Besides, we cannot be ‘gooder’ than GOD who is Goodness Himself.

It is alright that you have erred; will you come back? 1 Samuel 12:20 is for you. Many things I used to believe have been renewed by God’s Truth but I cannot stop growing in sanctification (Hebrews 10:14) and neither can you because there is so much more! Let Him refine you. Come back and start obeying—do EVERYTHING He has asked you to do. Leave no box unchecked; partial obedience is still disobedience. 

The conclusion of the matter

This is how it should be then. Consider yourself a mailbox. A mailbox does not generate letters by itself, nor does it position itself where it needs to be. It is the one that needs to send a letter that erects the mailbox. In the same way, God has positioned you where you are for a reason. You cannot generate anything and the receiver cannot receive anything except what the Sender has put in you. 

It might occur that a lack of maintenance of the mailbox, causing rust, can stain the letter and reduce the quality of the recipients’ package; but that can only happen when we receive from God and allow the lies of the enemy to pervert what we have received. There should be no acquired taste on your tongue, only the taste of heaven and a longing for His Kingdom. 

Will you lay down your desires and do what is on the Lord’s heart? Can you come empty? Will you let Him align your will with His by obeying Him? The LORD says, ‘Mind My business and I will mind your business better than you ever could because you are My business.’ Why would a child live with their parent(s) and insist on cooking their food when there is hot jollof rice and chicken in the pot and all they have to do is serve themselves as stipulated by the laws of the house? 

Indeed, it is stressful to disobey God. We were not made to live like that, not you, not me. JUST OBEY!

∞ END ∞

If you enjoyed reading this, please leave a comment below–it encourages me to keep writing. You can also support my writing ministry by giving a one-time or recurring donation. God bless you ✨

The gospel of acquired taste


  1. Faith Nwachukwu avatar
    Faith Nwachukwu

    pheww, this was such a long read yet impactful.
    I almost read some lines 3 to 4 times to make sure I understand the message comprehensively.
    Going through a phase in my life, the statement Avoidable prayers was just a reminder that my obedience however is thus for a greater good. I have in no time prevented myself from praying avoidable prayers in the future.

    God bless you Ogonna❤️

    1. Maranatha avatar


      In my defence, I apologized for the length beforehand 🥺
      Your obedience is ALWAYS for the greater good. Besides His Commands are not burdensome and His yoke is light. May we obey even more so we petition less. Love you and God bless you too ❤️

  2. Olatunde Obafemi avatar
    Olatunde Obafemi

    I love how this sincerely goes against the tides we have all learnt (or have been taught) to surf. Your article has definitely left a lot to think about and question, too. It is important to put GOD first by actually putting GOD first. So, thank you for the re-awakening and reminder. I pray GOD’s blessing of wisdom in you continues to blossom in the Name of JESUS. Please keep writing! Do you have a follow-up article on what to do when you don’t seem to get anything from GOD and you really have to do something about your life?

    1. Maranatha avatar

      Hello Olatunde,

      Thank you for this indepth comment, you’re wonderful. Putting God first truly means putting GOD first, literally and figuratively. Thank you for your prayers and I pray the same for you! I do not have a follow up article on this regarding that topic but now that you have mentioned it, I’ll go table it to Abba and maybe He will teach us new things. God bless you and keep you ✨

  3. Desire Obinna Collins avatar
    Desire Obinna Collins

    God bless you for this ❤️
    I needed to hear this again- Total Obedience.
    The bit about coming to God empty re-emphasized surrendering my Will to God’s proposed will.

    1. Maranatha avatar

      Hi Desire!

      I’m glad you got a necessary reminder. May we all come to the side of ABBA’s proposed Will and remain there. God bless and keep you ✨

  4. Toluwanimi avatar

    Wow! This was such a powerful read. Thank you for obeying God and sharing with us.
    I’ll definitely have to come back often to read this and remind myself of what truly matters- obedience.

    1. Maranatha avatar

      Hi Tee,

      Thank you for feasting! I bless God for obedience, both mine to write and yours to read. I pray you’re always reminded that obedience is not optional and that it is for your own good. Love you and God loves you more ❤️

  5. Ekenedilichukwu Uche-Ugeh avatar
    Ekenedilichukwu Uche-Ugeh

    This is so good. Good to see that the way I’ve been thinking about ambitions and striving towards what is usually considered normal and worth striving for is in fact God renewing my heart. I’m so Glad I opened this, you write so well Maranatha. Thank you for this. It’s given me reassurance and bolstered my faith to continue to press on for more of God, to empty myself more(not an easy feat). Thank you!Thank you!

    1. Maranatha avatar

      Hi Ekene, thank you for your response. I praise GOD for the reassurance HE has given to you and I pray HE continues to perfect HIS Will in and through you. Bless you! ✨

  6. […] I sat in church one day. As I looked at the mass of gathered heads, I thought about this question again, and more. Was everyone here given to GOD? Were there some people who thought they genuinely served HIM but were far from HIM? How was that even possible? What would it take for a person to be fully given to GOD and love like HIM? To completely follow GOD, with no preconceived notions but only filled up with GOD’s Proposed Will?  […]

    1. Dee avatar

      My goodness! What a read
      I recently just recovered access to my email so ofcourse I had to catch up on all the letters!
      Thank you Maranatha for this, so many things to reaccess about this journey with Christ, especially with obedience and aligned desires. May God continue to give us the strength to indeed work out our salvation

      1. Maranatha avatar

        Hi Dee,

        Aww, thank you. I pray you take strength in GOD (1 Samuel 30:6) and that you continue to go deeper in HIS Love and Will for you ❤️

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