All Ya Gotta Do Is Ask
"Imagine if God told you to ask for anything from Him. What immediately comes to mind? What would you be most likely to request?"~From the Gospel Project Volume 4
Now quickly answer that question...what was the very first thing that popped into your mind? No, not what you think or even know the right answer is. The first thought. We did this exercise in Sunday School and went around the room as quickly as we could. I stumbled. I wanted to answer WISDOM-WISDOM-WISDOM with a fist pumping in the air cheerleader kinda chant (at least I imagine that's how they do it). Several answered money-meaning financial security, health & health for their family to name just a few. I, by no means, have it all figured out; but can say that more often than not I've prayed for wisdom because I haven't known what or how to pray in a situation. Especially when it comes to my children.
What parent is keeping any good thing from their children?
Why is it that when we ask God for wisdom we don't always expect that He will give it to us? Think of the parent/child relationship. What parent doesn't want to give to their children, even when they don't ask? What parent is keeping any good thing from their children? I'd venture to say that there are no parents who would want to withhold anything good from their children. So, why is it when we talk about our Perfect Father that we think other-wise? ;) I didn't intend for that to be funny, but I have to admit I chuckle as I write this. It's laughable though, right? That we don't take God at His word?
It's as if we go around thinking, I got this. I'm good. We'd rather try to figure things out on our own. Because God, well, He just might not want to give me any wisdom today. I don't deserve it. I haven't been good enough. We've got to be disciplined enough to ask and then to wait. To trust. To abide. We allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that the easier path is to handle it all on our own.
Here's a couple quotes from the Voices of Church History Section in the Gospel Project study:
"We are accustomed to admit freely that God is more powerful than we are, but not that He is wiser than we are. To be sure, we may say that He is; but when it comes to a showdown, we do not want to act on what we say." -Martin Luther (1483-1546).
Hmmm. Ouch. Read that one again and think on it. Yep, me too. Lord, forgive us for thinking so highly of ourselves.
"O then do not leave, but be continually waiting at wisdom's gate, and you shall find all her ways to be ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace; then, you shall find that it is worth waiting on the Lord Jesus; and when you have got his Spirit within you, all the power of men or devils cannot make you forsake the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ." - George Whitefield (1714-1770).
We must recognize we are absolutely nothing without Jesus.
Now enter the transition from Sunday School into Worship.....Discipline is the subject of the day. We were reminded that discipline requires Divine Intervention. We have to be, we must be, it's imperative that we: recognize we are absolutely nothing without Jesus. We can not and must not do this alone. In fact, it's impossible. It's a massive waste of time to try.
I took notes from the previously mentioned sermon where an illustration was used asking us to use each finger on one hand to remind of each of the points. This was my takeaway.....
Know - we must know the Word. Know His promises. Know Him.
Pray - we must pray constantly. How do you get to know someone without ever talking to them? Impossible.
Serve - put it all into practice. Start doing what you know.
Worship - spending time with adoring. Again, how do you grow in a relationship without time together?
Seek - start it all over again. Pursue Him. Learn more. Be a constant student. Open to new things He wants to show you, teach you.
Also in my sermon notes I not only doodled the hand with each point on a it's respective finger, but I wrote the word investment. Think about that word. What does it mean? In my own words it means to put something in expecting something back. Those points made using each finger on our hands requires an investment on our part. Of time. Of choice. Daily. Hourly. By the minute. So I ask you, what are you investing in today? Who are you investing in today? What kind of return do you expect to get on that investment?
"why is it that we think that God is so tightfisted with His grace?"
I was listening to Chris Fabry Live on Moody radio the other day and got in on the middle of a conversation about hesed. It's a word in the Bible used to describe God's lovingkindness, compassion, mercy etc. The few minutes I was listening a couple things struck me & have been on my mind...Michael Card said, "why is it that we think that God is so tightfisted with His grace?" He went on to describe his simple meaning of hesed being: "someone whom I have a right to expect nothing from, gives me everything." He used the prodigal son to explain. This guy not only got a second chance, but he got 70 X 7 more chances. It's not something we deserve. And it's not earned. It's freely given.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Mathew 7:7
" 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 the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13
"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5
many more verses here
He IS a Good Good Father. All you gotta do, is ask, my friend.