Did You Ask?

Did You Ask?  *2006 post...

Several years ago, Joyce Meyer ministry sent out a small banner with a scripture verse that read: ...You have not because you ask not... James 4:2

We had a prime example of that in our home just this afternoon.  We picked up my daughter's contact lenses and brought them home this afternoon.   When she saw them she said  "You didn't get solution."
 "I didn't know you needed any."
"Well they usually just give it to you when you pick up my contacts."

This is true.   George is always good about giving us free solution as they have tons of sample bottles from sales reps.  However, this particular day her dad went in to pick up the contacts and contacts is all he picked up.   George apparently wasn't the one to wait on him.  Some of the other assistants simply don't offer free solution to patients.

"I  haven't had any solution for over a month!" she said.

"I can't read minds dear," was the remark I made as she shut the door.

She didn't state her need prior to today, nor had she asked me to get contact solution. She didn't receive solution because she didn‘t ask.

We as Christians have a hard time receiving the blessings God wants to give us. We've been admonished to NOT ask to have our needs met, accused at times of having a 'shopping list' of needs. We've been led to believe that we're petty and grasping and that our personal needs are minor compared to the real problems in the world. We've been taught to steer away from mentioning financial needs.  Some spiritual leaders can even make it appear that praying for others whom we know is almost a thing of blasphemy.  In honesty, we can get to the point that we feel guilty for praying for anything except an end to world hunger and world wide peace!

It is true that we can become selfish and focus too much upon our own needs in prayer, often forgetting that we are to pray for our fellow man as well.  But 'we have not because we ask not'.
Just as I want my dear daughter to have what she needs (in this case, contact solution), God wants to meet our needs. He isn't going to provide what I need unless I ask Him, just as I didn't provide my daughter's need.

If I need guidance in a situation, I have to ask for it.  If I need money or material goods to meet a need, I have to ask for it.  If I need healing in my body or emotions, I have to ask for it. My God, who knows everything, who had a plan for my life before I was formed in the womb, who has dominion over all, who knows my thoughts and the innermost longings of my heart, will not provide for me until I ask. Why?

#1.  He waits for us to choose Him. From the beginning, God has allowed us freewill.  He gave us the freedom to live and die by our own choices.  He does not make it a habit to force His will upon us. Oh, He grieves over us and He does at times get angry with us and disciplines us; but it is His utmost desire that we choose to follow Him, for He knows that willing hearts are always the byproduct of true love. He is respectful of our person. He doesn't have to be! 

#2.  He wants us to recognize our need of Him.  I have a tendency to try to do things 'by myself'. I don't want help;  I don't want input;  I simply want to get the job done even when the task is out of my area of expertise.  When I am thoroughly frustrated, have run my head into the wall a few hundred times, thrown up my hands in anger, I will finally stop and ask for help.

When I ask for help, I've given up trying to do things my way.  I've surrendered self.  I've surrendered my pride, my ego and my 'control' and relinquished it to someone who has superior knowledge in that area, who can make my life easier. And that is what God wants from us: surrender. When we ask Him to help us we're surrendering to Him, allowing Him to use the power and wisdom He has to provide for us in our need.

#3.  He waits for us to open ourselves to Him.  Several months ago, our church went through a painful transition.  Members who had been with us from the very beginning began to leave our church.  These people were influential in our church's foundation months and led many of the major project areas.  They were well loved by the congregation and much appreciated.  When they left, we grieved for our loss.

As I ran errands one day, I spent a great deal of time in thought and prayer about those former members.  I wept openly at one point and asked God to help me understand why so many who were so loved had chosen to leave.  God, in His kindness and mercy, gave me a vision and an  understanding.  I saw two hands, closed as though they were clenching something very tightly.  I 'knew' immediately that I was holding too tightly to what our church had once been. Then I saw two open hands.  Again I knew that only when I was willing to let go of that past could I be open to receive what God wanted to give for the future. 

Later that week, I shared that vision and understanding and the resulting peace I'd felt with the pastor and our congregation .   Over the next months our congregation not only grew, but many manifestations of the Holy Spirit took place during our services.  Today, we all realize that our church could not have moved forward with the other members in place.  They had served the purpose God intended when they helped our church begin.  It was time for them to use their skills and services in a new field, while our own church continued to grow as God intended.  Had we held on to our hurt and grief we'd never have been open to the movement of God in our midst, because He will not fill that which is already filled.

What are you lacking in your life?  What need have you been waiting for God to meet?  Have you asked him for what you need?

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." II Chronicles 1:7 (NIV)

Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime; it is the LORD who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone.  Zecheriah 10:1 (NIV)

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.  Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!   Matthew 7:7-11(NIV)

What do you need?  Have you asked your Father?

1 comment:

beckyathome said...

So true! I always love reading your posts. Hopefully, I'm coming to a season of life where I'll have more time to read blogs again. Right now, we are super busy getting our new house ready, and moving things over there. Exciting times!

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