Ever happened to you before? Sure it has. How many of you have mouthed,
‘God please give me a million dollars.’
Then stood around to wait for it to drop from the sky?
There’s really no point, is there? We ‘know’ it’s not going to happen.
But you know, this thought came to me and it bothered me. If we asked but didn’t believe, why did we ask in the first place? Are we testing God? Are we telling Him,
‘Hey, you know what? I don’t think You really are that good or that powerful, so here’s something to prove that You are not.’
Well, beloved, if your request was just to test God because you doubt Him, His power and His goodness, then the simple answer is, no, you will very likely not get what you want, because,
“You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah.” Deuteronomy 6:16
Or in short, you shall not raise your voice at the Lord your God at the first sign of trouble when He has been good to you all this while. You will not issue Him with a challenge just because You want to show Him up. You will not be like Israel, who even though our Father had led them out of Egypt laden with gold and silver, still claimed that they would be better off in Egypt the moment they got thirsty in the desert.
To these people, scripture is clear.
“…you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives….” James 4:3 [AMPC]
Or perhaps “… Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.” James 4:3 [AMPC]
In this case, you too will not receive, because,
“You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.” 1 Peter 1:17 [MSG]
But if your doubt is because you feel unworthy; if your doubt is because you feel like He’s got too many things to do to pay attention to you; if your doubt is because you think that good things never have and never will happen to you, then I have news for you, beloved, because your doubt will not affect our Father’s willingness to give.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
You see, Jesus never attaches any other conditions to receiving, other than asking. Ask and you will receive. Not ‘you might’, not ‘I’ll consider it’, not ‘maybe you’ll get it if I am in a good mood’, not even ‘you’ll get it if you have been good’; it’s just ask, and you ‘WILL’ receive.
“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:8
You see beloved,
“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” John 3:16 [AMPC]
He so greatly loved and dearly prized you that He sent Jesus to die for your sins,
“… so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” John 3:16 [AMPC]
Now, here’s a question for you. Would you send your son, your only son, the son whom you love, to die for you? Forget ‘for others’, just for you. Would you do it?
You know what, forget dying. Suppose you stole and got found out. Would you let your son take the fall for you? So imagine how much our Father loves you.
And that is why Jesus says,
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11
But you know what? It’s not just an everlasting life that Jesus came to bring, but an abundant life, a life overflowing with goodness. And we know this because He Himself said,
“…I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10
And this is not some whim. This is not some last minute decision. This was planned for and provisioned for a long time ago, as is said in Jeremiah,
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” Jeremiah 29:11 [AMPC]
So do you think our Father will be so calculative as to not give you what is good just because you had a little bit of doubt?
You know, if you asked and believed God for something audacious, you wouldn’t be the first one either, because long long ago, there was a man named Jabez. You can read a little more about him in the message Jesus Unlocks the Secret to Prayer.
Now Jabez was not shy when it came to asking because this was what he asked for.
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!”…” 1 Chronicles 4:10
If we translated that into modern terms it would read, ‘Oh that You would bless me indeed and give me a raise, give me a bigger home, increase the number of cars that I have, let me buy over my neighbors’ plot, give my business worldwide market share, let my website rank 1st in all Google searches and increase my readership…’ right? And the fact is, we do ask God for them. But do we really think that they will happen?
What if we were in church and we heard our neighbor pray like that? Will we scoff? Will we snigger? Will we extend a comforting arm across his shoulder and say ‘God doesn’t work that way’? But what happened to Jabez when he asked?
“…So God granted him what he requested.” 1 Chronicles 4:10
No fussing or mucking about. Prayer answered in the very same verse.
But that said, don’t expect millions of dollars to fall from the sky just because you asked for it. Nor expect that Ferrari to be parked in your drive the moment you get up from your knees. For just like the master in the parable of the talents gave as his employees were able to handle, so too does our Father bless as we are able to manage, for there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
But when all is said and done, remember this beloved; if there is a request in your heart, if there is something that you truly desire, if that is something that is good, something that will not hurt another, something that is neither covetous nor immoral; remember that Jesus Himself has said,
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24
For “…whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
So be bold, ask and believe and you will see why you can go on and ask, for you will surely receive.