by Pastor Tim Burt
When I grew up as a boy, I thought my parents were poor because there were ten children in our family. With the exception of birthdays and Christmas, I seldom asked mom or dad for anything because I didn’t want to be a burden. My sister closest in age to me felt just like I did. Neither of us wanted to inconvenience our parents. And so we seldom asked our parents for anything. And you know what we got? Except for Christmas or birthdays, not much! We were a little jealous of our next youngest brother. He asked for everything and we saw that dad gave our asking brother much of what he asked for.
I look back at my brother now and realize, he was the smart one. He asked—not because he was more selfish but because he had a better sense of faith in my parents to supply his needs.
Many people have a sense of guilt toward asking God to help supply their needs. They question whether God wants to help them. They question whether He cares. They have no faith in the depth of His love for every detail of their life. They wonder again and again if they should even bother asking!
Many Christians grew up in denominational churches where they were never taught the Bible. They were just taught religious opinions not rooted in truth of scripture. I know that I was taught that God was too busy with billions of people, to care about my needs. I was taught that to ask God for things was selfish and covetous. Years later as a Bible-reading Christian, I discovered the truth. When you have needs and you don’t know where to get help, to NOT seek God for His supernatural help is wrong! James 4:2-3 NIV says, “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. YOU DO NOT HAVE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT ASK GOD. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
There is a difference between needs and lusts and it takes time and discernment to learn which is which. But God will teach you and help you to become discerning. God has given us His Holy Spirit for that very purpose—so that we could learn to discern God’s will and truth from the flesh and the false. The truth is revealed in Philippians 4:6 NIV says, “Do not be anxious about anything, BUT IN EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. “
Your perspective of what God is willing to help you with might be way too shallow! Many can’t imagine God caring about the detailed needs of their life—but He does! We just read it! “But in everything ask…” God cares about souls being saved and about people being helped in this defiled world. He cares about each and every one of us—especially His children! He is a perfect Father and is personal! And so He teaches us to ask—in faith! Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) reveals, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
I have asked the Lord for so many things over the years. I have done so because when I ask in faith, it is pleasing and honoring to the Lord. He wants us dependent upon Him for everything. Think of all the crazy things kids ask for. As a parent are you offended? Are you offended when they ask for a cookie 30 minutes before dinner? Of course not! Why? Because you know that they will learn and become more discerning in time. It’s simply a part of growing up and maturing. We do the same thing spiritually. God is not offended when we ask. He’s honored! And He’ll teach you how to ask according to His word. But He says, in the meantime, “Do not be anxious about anything, BUT IN EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Psalm 84:11 tells us “For the LORD God is our light and protector; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
When you ask and you don’t see things happen right away, please keep this in mind. It isn’t because HE is not working on it. Much of what He brings us in life comes through people. God does not usurp people’s will. He has to lead them in their heart to reach out just like He tries to encourage you to do so toward others. Hopefully they will respond. If they don’t, He looks for someone else. Yes He could do a miracle and sometimes does! But He primarily chooses to bring His blessings to us through people. Remember also that He wants to teach you to be a giver as well as a receiver. Actually it all starts with finding ways to give to others. Luke 6:38 says, If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.”
Do you have a need? Ask in faith believing. Let the Lord teach you. Be patient and be confident that no good thing will He withhold from you. Say it and believe it! And if you can find something to give or sow into another’s life. Plant that seed!
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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