“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22 (ESV)
When we were children growing up, we knew we could go to our parents to ask for something that we needed or wanted. It didn’t require a lot of hesitation or deliberating, it’s just the way it was—when you need something, you ask mom or dad. That’s because we learned early on that they were our protectors and our providers--and we knew they wanted to meet our needs.
Yet, we often have difficulty going to God in the same way, even though He is our Heavenly Father. We hesitate to ask God for something because we think it would be rude, silly or even selfish, but He clearly instructs us to do just that in Matthew 7:7 (ESV): “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Sometimes we don’t know what great things God has in store for us, simply because we are too afraid to ask. Asking God to show up in our lives doesn’t show weakness or selfishness; it shows faith! Faith that He hears you and that He will answer you. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and ask!
Even when we finally get up the courage to ask God for something, we often worry if we’re asking for the “right” thing. I know in the past I have been guilty of saying, “If it’s possible…” when speaking to God. How silly is that? Of course, whatever I’m asking for is possible—I’m asking God! But I know what I (and probably a lot of other people) really wonder when I say that is whether or not it’s all right with God.
One of the biggest lessons He has taught me recently is that I don’t have to worry about that part. As you grow closer to God and seek Him more earnestly, He will begin to transform your heart and change your desires to match up with His. So that when you “Delight yourself in the Lord, … He will give you the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:4 (ESV), and your desires will be about what delights Him!
So, don’t waste time worrying about whether your requests are “right” or not. Ask boldly and have faith that God will transform your heart to match His!
One of my favorite Bible stories takes place in 2 Kings, Chapter 4. A young widow is distraught because her husband has recently died and left her with a huge debt, but she has no money to pay it. In fact, all she has left in her whole house is a small jar of olive oil. The prophet Elisha tells the widow to go collect jars from her neighbors, go home, shut the door and pour the oil into the jars. She followed his direction, collecting so many jars that once they were all filled and sold, she had enough to pay off all her debt, plus a surplus to live on. It’s a miracle!
But that’s not why I love this story. What I love is the confidence the widow had to collect many jars, not just a couple. She could’ve looked at her small jar at home and thought “I need only one or two.” But she had confidence in God, bringing many vessels for Him to fill—which He did, every last one!
When you approach God, do you have faith to bring more than one jar with you? Take the limits off God and let Him fill you to the brim and then some!
As God has been moving in big ways in my life recently, I make sure that I am sharing the news with others as often as possible. I love seeing the goosebumps pop up on people’s arms or the tears well up in their eyes when I tell them about how He has clearly guided me through transitions and new opportunities, leaving no detail untouched. But I’m not bragging on me, I’m bragging on Him!
The examples of my faith being answered are a clear demonstration of God’s love for both non-believers and believers that need a little “boost.” It can be easy to get caught up in the self-sufficient attitude of the world around us, but sharing stories of how your faith has led to miracles (both big and small) can show others just how real God really is! So, when God does great things in your life, don’t be shy… “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you” Luke 8:39a (ESV).
In the story of David and Goliath, David approaches the giant Philistine with what seems like supernatural courage. Not only does he meet him with no armor and only a sling and a few stones, but he also boldly proclaims “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head…” 1 Samuel 17:46a (ESV). I imagine the onlookers in the crowd shaking in their boots for him!
But David stood firm in his faith and God brought forth the victory, just as he declared. And the best part is, unlike the “superheroes” of today, David didn’t have a special power or weapon to give him strength. He didn’t need it. He had faith and a Lord that is always faithful.
When you feel God leading you to greater things in your life, don’t let worry or fear hold you back. You have the Creator of the world at your side—and that is all you really need!