“It’s Better to Beg for Forgiveness than to Ask for Permission”

Have you ever heard the expression “It’s Better to Beg for Forgiveness than to Ask for Permission”? This expression has been said and used by people time after time, even so to the point of becoming a mantra to live by for many. It is even often used to justify a situation where the individual took action before access.

To clarify, I’m not speaking about instances where we choose to do right rather than wait for someone else to tell us what to do. I am speaking about the decisions we make already knowing that  we shouldn’t have done it without permission, access or even guidance.

For example we like to beg for forgiveness when:

  • We get in trouble at work because we choose to arrive late to work, even though we woke up early enough to be early. We just wanted FIVE MORE MINUTES!
  • Or maybe we went out with our ex, when we shouldn’t have. I mean if nobody asks then none needs to know, RIGHT?
  • Or even when we hear God tell us to wait for the opportunity but we decided not to wait on him and we did it anyways… Now things go wrong and the opportunity doesn’t seem as cool anymore.

It may be EASIER to ask forgiveness, but it is not better.

I believe that this “way of life” has infiltrated our lives; from the smallest things in it, to the most spiritual and deep. We have opted to “beg for forgiveness” compromising our Christian standard of living with one that allows a certain amount freedom to do whatever we want. (Side Note: By the time you ask for forgiveness do you REALLY mean it?)  And while we do have access to do “WHATEVER” we want, it is not often beneficial.

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is beneficial.

1 Corinthians 10:23

Where in your life have you taken action before access? Have you compromised a certain area? Perhaps in your dependency in God, or even in your purity? We tend to go to others and even our own wisdom rather than going to God first. So what do you do now?

Here’s what you should do:

Go to God FIRST!

For many years I’ve been going to friends and people before God. I would open up my heart and share God’s promises with many others before presenting them to Him first. While He gave them to us,and He places them in our hearts, His greatest desire is for us to go back to him in prayer and say

God are you asking this of me?

Are you calling me to this? Or that?

You want me to do what?

God I want you to do lead in my ministry.

God, I want  to open up my own business.

Or even God I want to be __________. (Fill in the blank)

Whatever your petition, prayer or promise may be, it is always important to go to God FIRST. He will provide clarification and peace about the opportunity.

For a while I had been dying talk to a group of interns at my church. I use to intern in the same program so it is always easy to relate to them and share experiences that could help them in the future. I felt God had given me a word for them so I needed to reach out to the director for an opportunity. THEN all of a sudden the Holy Spirit speaks to me and says

Holy Spirit: “Let’s try something new? Why don’t you ask Jesus for the opportunity.”

Me:  WHAAAAAAAAT no. That will take so long.

But fine! I’ll be obedient. So I prayed.

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… and I get a notice on my email (Will Vargas you have been scheduled for intern devotionals on April). I was shooketh ( is that even a word? …anyways you get what I mean.) I was excited. My prayer had been heard and I was given the opportunity to talk.

So I decided to try it again…

This time I was sitting in the young adult service. And in it, a small section of the service was dedicated to Speed the Light. (If you don’t know what SPL is check this website out: https://youth.ag.org/participate/speed-the-light) So as the speakers talk about this seasons’ focus, raising the funds to buy a trekking vehicle for a missionary in India…

…. Wait a minute. They they just say India?


If you know about me, you know I’ve been to India and have a special place for this country in my heart. So immediately I began to type a text to the college coordinator.

Dear Coordinator. I would love to speak about my experiences in India. I especially worked in the northern cities where this missionary currently serves in and could help…

(Holy Spirit interrupts)

Holy Spirit: Will, remember what we spoke about. Come to Me first! Said the Lord.

Me: Rolls Eyes. FINE!

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… and the College Coordinator sends me a text:

“Hey do you have any cool stories about India?”

Yo, I was shocked! Capital S, Shocked! I could not believe that yet another prayer was answered. Scripture tells us in Mark 11:24  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” I doubt no more. The Holy Spirit wants to create in us a dependency in God.

BTW, this was my face when I found out.

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Come to the Father in prayer. He literally wants to have a relationship where there is open communication. You can’t assume that because God knows EVERYTHING, that you don’t have to go to Him for ANYTHING. It’s never about the need, it’s always about the relationship. He intentionally gives us the opportunity to talk back to Him because he wants to hear our voice. He is such a great listener and is always available to us. He is waiting for you to speak to him.

Secondly, Be Still! Like for real STILL!

Waiting on God can be fun. It is almost reassuring. If He opens the door then you welcome the opportunity. If it never opens, then you let it go. Knowing that whatever God has for you, is what He wants for you. Simple!

Action Plan

Write down your prayers, petitions and promises on a piece of paper. Then hide it in your room and during your secret prayer times, pull it out. Go to Him first, and let him decide when those things will happen in your life. Then just sit and wait. Waiting on God can be fun and reassuring all at the same time. In time, your answers will come. When they do, go back to your room and pray in secret. Thank Him for answering them and express your gratitude.

Remember. Go to Him first, Pray, Be Still!

Always willing,

Will Vargas

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