Ask and You Shall Receive
by: Joan Meyler
Did you play the game “Mother, May I” when you were a child? In this game you asked permission to move toward a goal. Sometimes the permission was granted; at others it was not. Eventually the goal was achieved. This simple children’s game laid the foundation of our asking and built faith in our believing that we will receive that we which we asked for.
Matthew 7:7, Luke 11: 9, James 1:5 and many other scriptures tell us to ask and we shall receive, thus reinforcing God’s willingness to answer our questions and supply our needs. Sometimes in our asking we ask amiss, not understanding what we are asking for or not recognizing when we have received the answers we seek. Take for example the prayer of Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10). There has been many books written about this simple prayer and many of us have prayed this prayer. But what are we asking for? What do we know about Jabez that we should want to emulate him?
The Bible tells us a little about Jabez:
- born in a situation of desperation and dysfunction
- developed a relationship with God
- defied what society expected of him
Jabez was a wealthy man when he asked God to expand his territory. Surely he did not need more money, land, etc. Just what territory was he talking about? When I think of “territory” I think of a physical location with some sort of border. Yet this was not what I think Jabez was asking God for. I believe God has a plan for our lives and uses our experiences to guide us and grow our faith and trust. It must have been the same with Jabez; who the Bible tells us was a righteous man.
It is my belief that Jabez was asking God to enlarge his capacity to receive wisdom, revelation and direction from the Holy Spirit as well as how to use this outpouring in ministry to God’s people. He wanted God’s promises to be fulfilled and he wanted to be a part more of that than he had been.
As I think about this revelation, I ask myself “What the ministry am I doing that I want expanded? And for what purpose, my ego or God’s work?
What about you? God has a distinct purpose for you. Do you want God’s plan for your life? Why not pray that God will bless you indeed as you walk into the fulfillment of that purpose through ministering to His people!