The Lord asks the blind man what he wants, it was obvious, but he wanted the man to exercise faith by asking. He tells the king to ask him for something, anything, and the king says “No, I don’t want to presume.” Then the Lord gets angry and says, “If I tell you to ask, it isn’t presumption if you do, it’s presumption if you don’t“. He says, “Don’t let your heart condemn you and question if you are saved or not, agree with me that I know more than you do, and I love you, because, if you wallow in self condemnation, you will have no confidence AND YOU WON’T ASK and if you don’t ask, YOU WON’T RECEIVE.
The Lord loves to raise passion and desire in our hearts so that when we receive from Him we are filled with gratitude and worship, and we will know that He cares and is intimately involved in our lives.
I had a “little” example of this the other day. (I don’t believe there are any truly little things, after all he counts the hair still left on my head.) I was riding my bicycle in the snow at 15 degrees and my ears were cold. I developed a desire for a hat with flaps, then I had a picture in my mind of one with red plaid, sort of a rugged woodsman’s hat. I went to Menards and was looking through their hats. No hats with flaps in sight. I was about to leave when I spied a bit of red flannel plaid deep under the pile and dug through. There was one and only one hat in the entire place which fit the description of what I was looking for; and, as further proof of God’s care, it fit my head! I have always had trouble finding one that fit, big head, even with lots to pick from. That’s how God works, I know that it is him, but a skeptical onlooker will ascribe it to coincidence because of their intense fear that God might actually be there and might actually care.
I already have so much from him that I can be infinitely grateful no matter what I want or what I do or don’t receive; still he seems to like to have me ask and receive for my needs. Sometimes he just wants me to desire, to pray , to work towards something and then he leads in another direction. David wanted to build the temple but God said NO! but your son will. Yet David was able to gather the material. One man developed a desire to go the India and create a Jesus movie made by India people for Indian people. He got to India and found that a perfect movie had already just been made. He was puzzled , but God showed him that his real role was in organizing the distribution of the movie. Yet the desire was needed for God to guide him to the real need.
God loves me to have passion, over the top passion, to hate evil, hunger for righteousness, long for people to be saved and to grow, love his people, love him with ALL my heart mind and strength, do everything with all my might,then ASK HIM for things in regards to these, especially MORE OF HIMSELF. I think I fear that, if I long for something and don’t get it right away, I will be miserable and angry at God. So I must start with being OK with what is , and OK with God’s timetable but full of passion nonetheless. I need to learn that strong even painful burdens for others and for God’s kingdom to grow, such painful passion is actually bliss!
I once taught a Sunday school class and would split the whiteboard into PRAISES AND REQUESTS. People had lots of vague requests for health and things, none for more character and none for opportunities to witness to others, none for grace to overcome personal sin. Do I ask and receive not because I ask for the wrong things and for the wrong goals?
Lord help me ask for more of his character, for specific tools to carry out your work, for specific blessing on those around me especially on my enemies?