Is there any limit to what God can and will do for His people? Is there anything that He will not give His people if they ask for it?
No. There is no limit to the love and generosity of the Lord. God gives good gifts to His people and God will give His people everything they need and most of the things they want on just one condition. And it is not a difficult thing that we need to do to receive whatever our desires are from God.
All the power that the Lord can bring to bear is available to His people when they do just one thing. And yet many put limitations on God thinking He cannot do what they need. So what is the one thing that is required to receive the free gift from God?
Ask in Faith
Yes, ask in faith. Ask the Lord for what you need and what you want and if it is in His will believe and know that you will receive it. Faith, as I have said many times, is the key to unlocking all of the good things from God. Without faith we cannot please God.
Look at the words of James in James 1:4-7.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
7 For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.
These words accurately depict what John was writing about in the section of scripture we are looking at today. Wisdom is a gift from God and it is the will of God to give His people wisdom…if they ask for it.
And the key to receiving the wisdom of God is to “…ask in faith, with no doubting…” Faith is required if you are to receive this gift of God. You must believe that He will give it and know that it will come in due course.
When we are faithful and steadfast in our belief, then we are in a place where the Lord can and will work for us and in us. And as James says above, an unstable or double-minded man (hypocrite) will not receive anything from the Lord.
So if we are to receive the gifts of God the first thing we must do is believe that the Lord will provide.
In the Name of Jesus
The second thing we must know and believe is that when we ask for anything, we ask “in the name of Jesus.” Jesus said in verses 13-14,
13 Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son;
14 if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.
Twice He repeats Himself saying if we, “…ASK IN MY NAME, I WILL DO IT.” We can ask the Lord for anything, but if we don’t ask in HIS name then we are merely having a conversation. When we ask in HIS NAME we are invoking the power of the name of Jesus Christ over the matter, and there is no greater power in heaven or earth than the power of His name.
Look at the healings that were done by the apostles and disciples in Acts. All of these were done, “…in the name of Jesus Christ.” They did wondrous miracles, even raising the dead. Do you think they could have done this if they came in their own name? Would it have been possible if they invoked some other name?
No, for the only name that can be called upon to do such wondrous works is the name of Jesus Christ. And He says as much in this scripture to as we see in verse 12.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.”
It is belief in Jesus and invoking His name that allows these miracles to occur. That is why when we pray we should ALWAYS close our prayer saying, “…in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” By so doing we are invoking the power of His name to receive the things we ask of Him.
God Gives Good Gifts
When we pray and ask the Lord for anything, will He give us bad things? Do you think that when evil befalls you that it is by the hand of God? Do you ever wonder when you pray and do NOT receive what you ask for that God does not hear your prayers?
Well if you happen to think that way you are mistaken.
First you must understand that God is good and all He EVER gives His people are good gifts. In James 1:16-17 we see this issue put to bed.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
God only gives good gifts to His people. He is incapable of giving you evil or bad things. And when you think you have received evil by the hand of God, you are deceived. Consider also the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:7-10 where he said,
7 “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8 For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
9 Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
First you have to ask for what you want or need. But if you happen to receive a “stone” when you asked for “bread,” or a “serpent” when you asked for a “fish,” then know and believe that these things did NOT come from God.
God will only give you good gifts. And there is a promise in this verse in Matthew that backs up the promise in the scripture in John. When you ask you WILL receive. That is a promise. And Jesus strengthened that promise even more in John saying, “Whatever you ask in my name, I WILL DO IT.”
But what about the times we ask for things and do not receive them? Well James covered that too saying in James 4:2-3,
You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
When we don’t receive what we ask for we need to question our own motivations. Is what we are asking for really what we need? Are we asking for something for our own good pleasure, or as James puts it, “…to spend it on your passions?”
The person who asks for a million dollars is not asking for a gift from God, because money is of this world not of God. He does not care about money. And if we don’t receive something that we think might be according to the will of God, say a healing for instance, then we must understand that there is a purpose for that weakness being left. It may be for our strengthening, it may be so we can understand another person who has the same issue at a later time and we can help them. It may be for the Lord’s purpose that the problem is left in us. Paul discovered this when he besought the Lord three times to have an issue resolved and was told 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
7 And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.
8 Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me;
9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Paul was told that the Grace of God was sufficient and it was to keep him from the weakness of pride in the abundance of his revelations that he was being harassed.
So as you can see, all good gifts come from God, even when it may not appear that way. Had Paul received what he asked for he may have fallen to pride and walked away from the straight and narrow path. As has been said many times, “God works in mysterious ways,” but His ways are always for our good.
So we must always remember that God gives good gifts always to His people. The end of the matter is that if we want to receive the good gifts of God we need to do three things:
- ASK for what we want
- Ask in the NAME of JESUS
- Have FAITH that it will be done
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Ivan Prole)
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