“Asking And Receiving”

Posted: September 13, 2017 in Christian Life, Money, Prayer

With her it’s always gimme, gimme, gimme more. And as for him, all he’s concerned about is fame, fortune, power, and pleasure. When one millionaire was asked how much it would take to satisfy him, he responded by saying, “A little more.”

Money. It’s not the root of all evil. Rather it’s “the love of money that is a root of all kinds of evil, from which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” In the same context the Apostle Paul said, “…godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire [resolve] to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition…But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:6-12).

Asking. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the Jews to “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Why then does this seem to work for some and not for others? James, the Lord’s half-brother wrote this to some Jewish Christians who were acting in a carnal manner, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3). What an indictment on these carnal Christians.  Yes, Christians still have their old sin nature, and can act carnally (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 5:1-13; Romans 7:14-25; 1 John 1:8).

Death. If these carnal Christians failed to confess their sins to God first and then to others whom they had offended, they were in danger of dying prematurely (James 1:15; 5:16, 19, 20; See 1 John 1:9; 5:16). We have “potential years” and “actual years.”  If you’re saved, are you acting carnally like an unsaved person and thinking that God doesn’t care what you do (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 11:30; See Psalm 10:11)? God will chasten and scourge His children who act defiantly toward Him and the rules He has laid down for us to follow (Hebrews 12:5-11; John 13:34, 35; 1 John 3:16, 17).

Thanks. When it comes to our prayer life, all some folks do is ask God for favors. When He grants them their requests, many Christians forget to express their gratitude to Him. When was the last time you thanked Him for the things He did for you or for the things He didn’t give to you that weren’t good for you? Christians are supposed to give thanks in all situations (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things (Ephesians 5:20), and for all kinds of men who help conform us into the image of God (1 Timothy 2:1).

Types. While there are eight ways for Christians to communicate with God, three of them concern our requests to God: supplication – crying out to God for help and leaving it up to Him as to how He will answer our request (Ephesians 6:18), intercession – making a request to God for or against someone (1 Timothy 2:1; Romans 11:2), or asking in Jesus’ name – a specific request that insures our receiving exactly that for which we ask (John 14:13, 14). This last form involves the believer’s abiding (feeling at ease) in Christ and His abiding (feeling at ease) with the believer (John 15:7). This won’t happen if a believer has unconfessed sins in his/her life or isn’t filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) or walking by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25).

Name It And Claim It. Many false teachers are giving people the idea that they can demand things from God. At the heart of the Word of Faith movement is the belief in the ‘force of faith.’ It is believed words can be used to manipulate the faith-force, and thus actually create what they believe Scripture promises (health and wealth). Laws supposedly governing the faith-force are said to operate independently of God’s sovereign will and that God Himself is subject to these laws. This is nothing short of idolatry, turning our faith—and by extension ourselves—into god.” (1)

Questions. What kind of communications do you have with God? Are your requests greedy ones (James 4:1-3)? How often do you worship God (John 4:24), praise Him (Hebrews 13:15, 16), and give thanks (Ephesians 5:20) to Him? Have all your known sins been confessed to Him (1 John 1:9; Proverbs 28:13; See James 5:16)? Have you made foolish vows that you haven’t kept (James 5:15)?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

(1) Carnal Christians. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/1natjm07.htm

(James 4:7-10 also was written to Christians, not to unsaved people. It is NOT  “the most comprehensive invitation to salvation in the epistles” as John MacArthur says in The Gospel According to Jesus, p. 218 or in his study Bible.  James uses the term “brethren” 15 times in his letter.  There is one condition for salvation: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, and you will be saved” – Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) See also “Clear Gospel” below. (3)

(2) Word Of Faith. https://www.gotquestions.org/Word-Faith.html

(3) Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

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