Skip to main content

You good at asking?

Did you ever stop to consider why the God of the Universe, the one who made all things and knows all things, requires us to ask for whatever it is we need or want?  It seems contradictory to who he is, doesn't it?  To have to ask when he knows already seems kind of foolish on the surface, but if you stop to consider what "asking" entails, you may come to a revelation of the true purpose of asking.  You see, asking requires us to humble ourselves, not to mention allow for a clarification of our wants and needs.  Have you ever sought one thing, only to find when you received it the "thing" did not do for you whatever you hoped it would?  I have and it was then that I realized just how much I didn't really need what I asked for - it was just something to "fill space" in my life, but that "space" really should have been occupied by something else (or someone else).

This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’ (Jeremiah 33:2-3 MSG)

Asking is a process - not a one-time thing, but a developing process.  To truly understand what is behind our "asking", we have to understand the process:

- It entails us having either a want or a need.  The difference is that one of these is sort of like icing on a cake.  Cake alone is good, but put the icing on it and it is great.  A need is like the cake - it provides what will bring satisfaction.  The want is like the icing - it provides that little bit of "wow" into our lives which we long for in some way.  

- It involves knowing the difference between the two.  As long as we are confused as to the difference between a want and a need, we will constantly be asking for our wants rather than our needs.  A steady diet of icing will only put us on sugar-overload!  Although there may be a little "high" from having the want met (just like you get from a sugar high - that sudden burst of energy), it is short-lived and soon we are "let down" by it (as when your body adjusts to having expended that short-lived energy boost).  What we need is what will sustain us for the long-haul.

- It requires us to be humble enough to ask.  This is often the place of "rub" in our lives.  We will do almost anything in our own effort BEFORE we ask for help!  It isn't until we have failed to bring about what it is we need that we humble ourselves enough to ask.  What is up with that?  I think it is our humility God may be after in this "asking" thing - because he wants us to learn to rely upon another, not just ourselves.  Too many of us start out thinking we cannot be "dependent" upon anyone for our "success" in life.  In time, God will bring all of us to the same conclusion - life lived "independent" of his care and protection is just not life lived to its fullest!

- It begins with us putting into words whatever it is we have need of.  This is the second biggest "rub" in this process because we often have a hard time articulating what it is we need.  We just cannot find the words to express it - or we just plain don't know.  I think this is why Jesus tells his disciples that they can rely upon the Holy Spirit to give them utterances even they don't understand themselves.  Just because we don't know how to put into words what we have need of doesn't mean God doesn't need to hear from us - he provides the Holy Spirit to "utter those inner needs" directly into the ear of our heavenly Father.  

- It calls for us to be open to hearing.  Therein is the next "rub" in this process of asking - for it is much easier to speak about what we need and then so very hard to be quiet long enough to actually hear how it is God might plan for us to have that need met!  Part of asking is being quiet - putting the need out there and then resting in our position of humble waiting.  Waiting is not the strong-suit for many of us - me included.  So, this process of waiting and listening is difficult and requires sometimes more of us than the actual "asking" does in the first place!  Yet, it is the part of the process where we get clarity and begin to see God at work in our lives.  Apart from hearing, we have just "us" in the picture!  Hearing allows God to be "brought in"!  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,