Today's Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“…Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.”
Numbers 27: 4
King James Version
“Ask and You’ll Receive”
“We must therefore not be hesitant and lacking in faith. We must persist in our prayers, and our persistence will quite certainly win us, as God has told us, everything we ask for. No doubt about this at all!”
Is there something in my life that I long for but I haven’t asked God to supply this need?
“God insists that we ask, not because He needs to know our situation, but because we need the spiritual discipline of asking.”
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; (she) who seeks finds; and to (the one) who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Several weeks ago, my husband went to our favorite little fudge shop here in town. When he came home, he had purchased fudge for himself but none for me. When he walked in the house munching on a piece of this delicious candy, he saw my obvious disappointment after I asked, “Did you bring me some?”
“No,” he immediately answered. “You said you were on a diet and weren’t going to eat any sweets at all. I’m sorry! You should have asked.”
How many times have you been denied something because you didn’t ask for it? It happens all the time to us in life.
I’ll never forget sitting in a meeting many years ago when a certain job position that was vacant was being discussed. It was a job no one wanted. All of a sudden a thought came to my mind, “Why not ask if I could have the job!” At that time I was an administrative assistant – a position looked down upon by other department heads. So, I asked. And because nobody else wanted the job, I was given the work – and asking for and taking that job not only changed my career path but it changed my life.
Webster’s dictionary defines the word “ask”- “to make a request.” But interestingly, there is also a notation that in archaic language, the word “ask” means, “to publish.” If we look at the Hebrew meaning of “publish” at the time of Moses, this word means “to preach, to cry out, to pronounce, to make famous and renowned.” This is what five women did when they made a bold decision to, “ask.”
Let’s take a look at the five daughters of Zelophehad. First, they came forward with boldness to Moses, Eleazar, the Princes as well as all the congregation. They did this at a time when women weren’t even counted among the number of Israelites. Their request was presented to honor the name of their father and they “boldly” asked to be treated with fairness. After hearing their request, Moses went to God, who proclaimed, “These girls are right.” Our God of justice instructed Moses to deal with “fairness and rightness” with these girls.
But here’s the key – and it is lesson number 5 – the greatest lesson you and I can and should learn from these daughters of Zelophehad. We, most likely, would never have heard about these girls had they not asked. Asking was the key that opened the door!
Several months ago, I read a quote by Evangelist Billy Graham. “Heaven is full of answers to prayers for which no one ever bothered to ask.” I must admit, I didn’t understand this statement at first. If God knows everything, then He certainly knows what I want and need. So why should I have to ask Him? Couldn’t He just give me what I want? These are the thoughts that went through my mind. So I decided to go to the words of Jesus in the New Testament, where over 30 times Jesus instructs us to, “ASK.” And I want to share this specific passage with you, words spoken by Jesus: “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16: 24, K.J.V.). In the Amplified Bible this is how the text reads; “Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name…: but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.”
This is what asking is all about – for when we ask Heaven for the desires of our hearts – God promises and guarantees that we will receive ALL that makes us completely full of His joy. What a wonderful promise this is.
One of my favorite texts in Scripture, one that has given me great strength in perplexing times in my own life, is found in Hebrews 4: 16. “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace, the (throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners) that we may receive mercy (for our failures) and find grace to help in good time for every need (appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it)” (Amplified Bible).
Our final lesson this week, “Come and boldly ask and receive the help you need so your joy will be complete.”
“The soul may ask God for anything, and never fail. You may ask God for His presence, or for wisdom, and receive each at His hands.”
“I asked for Peace—
My sins arose,
And bound me close,
I could not find release.
I asked for Truth –
My doubts came in,
And with their din
They wearied all my youth.
I asked for Love –
My lovers failed,
And griefs assailed
Around, beneath, above.
I asked for Thee –
And Thou didst come
To take me home
Within Thy heart to be.”
D. M. Dolben
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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