Theme: Ask And You Shall Receive – Any Preconditions?,
Jesus says “ask and you shall receive…” He was making a solemn promise on
behalf of Himself and the Father, a promise that they have always fulfilled
provided the person who is asking is willing to satisfy certain conditions.
are those requirements? We will focus on them later in this discussion. But why
does God encourage His beloved to make their requests known to Him? First He
knows that man is weak, that without Him he would be an easy meal for the
devil, John 15:5. So, right from the beginning God had provided support,
knowing that Adam needed a helper, a human source of strength although, in the
course of time, she also aided Adam’s fall, Gen. 3:1-19.
is to blame? God, who showed so much love and goodwill to Adam or the husband
and wife who allowed satan to trick them? The truth is that Adam did not even
ask for help. He never complained that He was lonely. Yet when he received help
he did not make proper use of it.
to our theme: Ask and you will receive. Since the days of Noah the population
of the world has been growing despite periodic disasters caused by famine or
pestilence. Could God satisfy the demands of believers then or now given the
billions of mouths, asking, prior to and in the wake of Covid-19?
answer of course is yes. God never makes promises He would not fulfill.
Whatever may be the size or nature of your needs, at individual, family,
organizational, national or even global level, He can satisfy them. He created,
owns and controls the entire universe and everything therein. He can, on account of His mercy and Grace,
make whatever is needed, anywhere, available to whomsoever He wishes. He has so
much in stock, Haggai 2:8, Ps. 50:9-12 that He can never run short because, for
Him, the creation process is endless. Consider for example what He gave to King
David. It was mouth-watering, I Chro. 29:2-4. And for King Solomon, his son,
what He gave him was the envy of his generation. And all that Solomon did was
to dare to offer God 1000 burnt offerings when most of his subjects gave, at
best, a handful. Delighted, it was God Himself who asked him what He wanted.
do all these resources come from? They are from heaven, and are inexhaustible, Rev.
21:9-21. When God was going to create Lucifer He used the best precious stones
and musical materials so he could appear and perform at the heavenly sanctuary in
glistering form, as he conducted the sanctuary choir, Ezk. 28:12-14. But he
overreached himself, due to ambition and pride, and was driven out of heaven,
the spiritual level God Himself is the repository of everything. He can do what
no man can do. If He so wishes He can make the poor rich and banish poverty
from their family forever, I Sam. 2:7-8. As for the barren He can bring dead
wombs back to life, age notwithstanding, Gen. 18:11-12, 2 Kings 4:12-17.
ours is a God of abundance. Whatever may be your area of need – physical,
materials, mental or spiritual – He has much more than you need or you could
ever ask for. And He can use whatever method of His choice to bring it to your
doorstep by a touch, Mk. 1:40-42, the spoken word, 2 Kings 5:9-14, the use of
an apron, Acts 19:11-12, or a meal, Matt. 15:32-38.
when Jesus says, ask and you will receive, He was following up on what the
Father had said through the mouth of Prophet Jeremiah, Jer. 33:3. There is no
doubt at all that if you ask you will receive, Luke 11:9-11.
there are conditions
1. You have to pray, which is what asking
actually means. It is true that sometimes even before you begin to pray at all
you receive, Isaiah 65:23-24. This is favour, reserved for the children of God
who obey and serve Him.
2. There are, however, circumstances, when
you have to sweat in the place of prayer, for a period of time and sometimes
for years. And it may appear that God is not going to grant your request, Ps. 13:1. For
barren women in biblical times, and in our time, the years of waiting can
result in anguish leading to loss of faith, until God comes to their rescue, I
the waiting period you must be persistent in asking in the knowledge that every
committed christian does have some Jobian experience which satan seeks to
exploit. But persistence pays, Lk. 18:1-8.
4. When Jesus says ask and you will receive
He never put a time-frame on when the answer would come. Rather He advises you
not to simply sit back, if you do not receive immediately, which is why he says
you must seek God’s face and knock on the door of mercy. He who
shows compassion to lepers will attend to your desperate need, Matt. 8:1-4.
5. But God is not bound to answer the prayer
of a sinner at all unless he repents, Ps. 7:11, Isaiah 59:1-2.
6. However He rewards the deep and abiding faith
of even non-christians by granting their request, Mk. 7:24-30.
7. Finally, to receive you must give to
others, when they ask for help, and, indeed, when they do not even seek your
help, Lk. 6:38. You should represent God in the lives of others even if they do
not share your faith. God can use you to bring them to His kingdom, those Jesus
refers to as the “other sheep I have that are not of this fold…” John 10:16.