Whether or not it is right depends on what the questioner means by the word “demand.” If the questioner means to boss God around without any regard for His will or His infinite greatness, then it is not right to demand God to do things for us. Ecclesiastes 5:2 says, “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.” Other verses that declare God’s greatness are Psalm 8:3-4, which state, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite.”  Isaiah 55:8-9 state, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” As we realize that God is infinitely greater than us, our attitude should be humble before Him instead of making stern demands. This type of attitude is rebuked in James 4:3, which says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

However, if the questioner meant by “demand” to confidently ask God for things that we know to be His will, then it is right to demand God to do things for us. The Lord Jesus said in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” The Greek word for “ask” in this verse is “aiteo,” which means to beg, call for, crave, desire, and require. Definitions of the word “demand” include to call for, ask for, request, press for, push for, require, and need. Therefore, there is overlap between the meanings of the Greek word for “ask” in John 15:7 and the word “demand.” In James 4:2 we read, “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” The Lord wants us to make requests to Him. However, in His infinite wisdom, He knows that our requests must be according to His will in order for us to be blessed. We read in 1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”

What matters is having a humble attitude, asking according to His will, and showing respect to our awesome God. Here is an example of an appropriate way to demand that God do something for us. We know from 1 Peter 1:16 that the Lord’s desire for us is to “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” We also know that God wants us to honor Him from 1 Timothy 1:17, which says, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Therefore, it is appropriate to confidently ask or demand that the Lord give us strength moment by moment to live holy lives and honor Him.  There are many other things in the Scriptures that we know to be the will of God. For example, we know that He wants us to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5), “give attendance to reading” (1 Timothy 4:13), and remember the Lord Jesus in His death for us (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). With all of our requests let us be humble, praise the One who is “far above all” (Ephesians 1:21), and pray with confidence according to His will.  (370.5)  (DJ)