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Monday, August 29, 2011

God Will Give You Every Good Thing!

Matthew 7:7-11 (ESV)
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 
9 Or which one 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! 

Jesus does not give us a blank check so that He will do everything we ask of Him. That would be harmful to us. We most assuredly have asked for things against His will. Receiving those things would violate the goodness of God. Giving us those things while knowing they would harm us is paramount to a doctor writing a prescription for a narcotic because the addicted patient asks for it. That doctor would not be accepted as good. Neither will God be considered good if He gives us what we ask for apart from His will.

1 John 5:14-15 (ESV)
14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

So, we ask according to His will. This means we must seek His will. It is so  easy to miss it. Our own desires get in the way. Our own reasoning as to what is needed gets in the way. Seeking is the process of finding something. God's will is not hidden from us. It is just that we have covered it with our own desires. Therefore, we seek until we get beyond our own will.

Seeking God's will should involve God's word but it cannot simply be God's word. Our own hearts can bend the Scriptures to say what we please. We will find ourselves manipulating verses to do whatever we like. We may even fool ourselves into believing these verses represent the true will of God.

Our concern, then, is in our own hearts in discovering His will. The question must be whether it is completely His or we are reserving a portion of it to do what we would like. The question is whether or not the Spirit is filling us. God always seeks to fill us with the Holy Spirit, however we must allow Him to do so.

This is where prayer and confession enter. Our hearts cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit if they are already filled with something else. We confess, not to tell God about our sins but to agree with God that our sins are evil so that righteousness will be restored. Thus, the obstacles of our fillings are removed. God would never have given a command to be filled if He wasn't willing to fill us. The filling of the Spirit and knowing the will of God are tied together.

Ephesians 5:17-18 (ESV)
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Sometimes we feel as if we have been closed out from God's will. We must knock on the door that is closed so that we may gain entrance to His will. The lack of faith causes us to be closed out. There are times when we have asked for something and sought it but do not receive it because we lack faith. It is here that we must knock.  The one who asks without faith will not receive anything from the Lord.

James 1:6-8 (ESV)
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one 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 he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Now, this becomes a real problem for us. Many think we can simply generate our own faith so that we will believe and receive. This is not the case. We do not have faith simply because we choose to believe. That would make faith more powerful than God. It would require God to muster up His own faith in order to create the world. It would make Him subservient to faith.

No, faith is a gift from God which He seeks to give us. We knock on that door to receive it. We gain entrance to God and it is ours. Even our faith for salvation is a gift from Him.  We did not work up our own faith to obtain salvation. Why should we think that God will stop giving us faith after salvation? We should expect that He will continue to do so but we must also remember that we had to receive that faith for salvation and we must also receive the faith for anything else that we are to believe.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Thus, we ask, seek and knock. We receive, find and it is opened to us. No good thing is outside of God's will to give us. Of course,we can live like paupers even though we are children of the King but this is not the will of God.

God will not hold back any good thing from us. Believe it!

1 comment:

Anthony Chia said...

It may NOT be simply because we choose to believe, that we have faith, but we do need to choose to believe. Elsewhere I have expounded on this issue of whether or not faith is a gift; perhaps, we should remember that even for a gift, we still need to choose to want it or receive it. In the broadest sense, of course, everything comes from God, in the sense that everything can be traced back to God, logically, for God was the One who created all things. How far do you stretch culpability? The world and Satan were created by God, so did God create evil and is responsible for all that is evil? We are NOT going to go into those, here, except, to say that God did and have and can make available many things and resources, still Man has to choose in order to avail himself of those things and resources. It is perhaps NOT as appropriate to say, “if we have faith just simply because we choose to believe” is amounting to saying, that would make faith more powerful than God or that God is subservient to faith, than to say, faith is available (made available, by God) if one chooses to believe; although as I have said, elsewhere, I have more strongly argued that NOT ALL faith should be regarded like a gift. The way I see it, the more excellent way to connect “the gift of God” in Eph 2:8-9, is to say that the gift there was more particularly referring to salvation (Salvation is a gift), NOT so much that faith is a gift.

There is a strong reason for NOT particularly interpreting normal faith, including salvation faith is a gift (There is however, a category of faith which is termed as supernatural faith, and that is a gift, as in 1 Cor 12); it is to avoid people’s pushing all responsibility and blame back to God for their plight, whether or NOT it pertains to their NOT entering into salvation (God’s fault, HE did NOT give me sufficient salvation faith!) or NOT doing a thing or anything (Don’t blame me, God is supposed to have given me the faith, but obviously He did NOT, that is why I did NOT “feel” like doing the thing or anything – like they say, “I am to just bask in grace” Grace to such individuals, again from their interpretation of Eph 2:8-9, is a gift, and which they obviously claimed they received it all the time, loud and clear, and so they are enjoying it fully, just basking in grace. Actually, grace is understood as a gift from God, with or without Eph 2:8-9. One of the key points to learn of Eph 2:8-9 is that the particular emphasis of the verses’ using “the gift of God”, was to highlight that, salvation is NOT merited for; in other words, nothing you and I done could have made us deserving of it (therefore, no boasting possible).

Since God is the Creator, and everything is created by Him and for Him, then God cannot be subservient to faith. Just because we can choose to apply heat to ice, and the latter will turn to liquid, water, does NOT imply that heat is greater than God, for ice, heat and water are all part of God’s creation, even as faith is also within Creation. How heat affects ice, with the result of the latter turning into liquid is part of how God wanted H2O to behave; likewise, how faith is to bring about a change; that too, is part of how God wants us to function. Faith is NOT just a belief; it is choosing to believe a RIGHT belief (right in the will of God) with enough conviction.

We have to choose to believe; God, as a matter of norm, do NOT choose for us, for if it were NOT the case, we should all be blaming God. Even if you are still inclined to regard faith as a gift, generally, you have still to choose to receive it, each time faith is called for. Whether we stretch out our hand to receive or we knock at the door, or we click a button on the computer screen, it is all a choice to believe. Today, choose life. Today, choose to believe. Today, choose to receive all the good things God has intended for you. Anthony Chia, high.expressions