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

Your full attention, please

My mother frequently uses the term "Listen to me!" as a way of getting my attention so that I actually stop, pay close attention, and hear out whatever her idea or issue is at the moment. It isn't always at the most convenient moment, nor is it always easy for her to get out whatever it is she wants to share. Yet, it is important enough for her to ask to for me to hear it, so I respond with, "I'm listening, mom", and she begins.  It isn't said in anger or in a moment of disappointment. Rather, these words are usually spoken in a "sing-song" manner, but with very specific intent - they are intended to get me to REALLY listen to what she was saying. Why? Because she knows she has something to say even if it is getting harder for her to say it! She has walked through much already, learned many lessons, and has the advantage of experience on her side, but the disadvantage of advancing age makes it harder and harder for her to actually form those t…

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…