Saturday, January 16, 2016

Asking

Recently, the Lord has been showing me a lot about asking for things in prayer. Just after I started to pray about something, I also began listening to a series of talks from Francis Chan on the book of James. We got to chapter 4, and verses 2-3 jumped out at me:

"You desire but do not have, 
so you kill. 
You covet but you cannot get what you want, 
so you quarrel and fight. 
You do not have because you do not ask God. 
When you ask, you do not receive, 
because you ask with wrong motives, 
that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

I am guilty of often quoting the last part of verse 2, "You do not have because you do not ask God" while forgetting about what comes right after it in verse 3. When I started to pray about this "thing," that is what was on my mind. "I do not have because I do not ask God." And then once I started to ask God, He told me, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives." Francis Chan talked about how God is our ultimate fulfillment, but in our prayers we so often just ask Him for things that we think will fulfill us, instead of turning to Him. And God smacked me upside the head (metaphorically) and said, "That is what you're doing."

Oops.

So I said, "Okay God, got it. Wrong motives. Won't pray about that anymore. I'm just going to keep seeking You and desiring You." Which, don't get me wrong, is a good prayer. But apparently I still didn't have the whole point, so God had to bring it up again.

On Thursday, we had our first meeting back with our teacher discipleship groups after school. My group is memorizing Scripture together, and the verses we decided to memorize these next two weeks are from Matthew 7:7-8:

“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; 
the one who seeks finds; 
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."

There we go with that asking thing again. I honestly didn't think much of it that day because I already knew the verse pretty well, and we needed to go catch the bus, and I had a million other things on my mind about school. 

But today, when I pulled the verse out to study, I thought again how strange it was that this theme of "asking" kept coming up. So I asked the Lord if there was more He was trying to tell me. And of course, there is always a little more. 

"I told you, you do not receive because you ask with the wrong motives. I didn't tell you not to ask. All over the Bible I tell you to ask. So ask me. Ask me for what you desire, and ask me to give you the right motives behind that desire."

That's more or less what I felt God telling me. So I searched for the word "ask" in the Bible, and found countless verses/passages in both the Old and New Testaments where God tells His people to ask. And when we ask with the right motives? 

"...you will receive..." (Matthew 21:22) "...it will be yours." (Mark 11:24) "...I will do it." (John 14:14) "...It will be done for you." (John 15:7) 

God is so good.
Alexa
al02846@georgiasouthern.edu

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