In this sermon, our founding pastor, W. Graham Smith, talks about how you cannot bargain with God. He provides several examples and stories to illustrate his point.  Here are some excerpts:

“…Often, we can grasp some rich gem of spiritual truth by taking one passage of Scripture and placing it alongside another, and then comparing or contrasting the two. This we shall attempt this morning as we contrast Genesis 28:20,21 with Daniel 3:17,18. Let us from this contrast learn three simple but helpful truths…”

1.  You can’t dictate terms to God.

…God demands all or nothing. You can’t bargain with Him, and you can’t dictate terms to Him. And after all, our ultimate security rests in the assurance that He does all things well!…”

2.  God always has the right to say “No.”

“…He reserves that right just because He is God. He is the only One Who knows everything and is therefore in the position always to do what is best for His creatures. Sometimes we think we know what all the answers should be, but what a sorry mess we would make of life if God did not sometimes step in and overrule and say “No” to some of our cherished plans and purposes! I sometimes shudder to think what would have happened to me had God answered all my prayers in the way I desired!…”

3.  You must never fail in your discipleship.

“…It is only as we surrender fully to the will of God as it is revealed to us in His Word by the Holy Spirit that we can ever hope to know the “victory that overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4). It is only as we “trust and obey” that we become possessed of “the peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7)…”


Don’t Bargain with God. Graham has a lot more to say about this topic. If you would like to learn more, please download and read the attached transcript of the sermon, as the above excerpts do not even scratch the surface. If you would like to do a word search on the transcript, download the file, and then open the file with your web browser after downloading and use your browser’s find feature.

August 9, 1992

Genesis 28:20, 21 and Daniel 3:17,18

Rev. W. Graham Smith

Download Transcript (PDF)