Luke 11:3 Give us each day our daily bread.
"Like a beggar blessed, I stumble in the Grace, reaching out my hand for what's always." - Margaret Becker, Clay & Water
A recent encounter with a beggar stayed in my mind all week. This time, I wasn't pondering poverty or provision (though Jesus spoke on these more than any other subject), but wondering about asking. I thought of how much I am blessed by God, the incredible access that I have to the amazing favor of God, but there is an ocean of need in my life that I don't bring to Him. My life is filled with details desperate for His Presence, yet my prayer stays silent to the Provider of All. Do I not see Him?
My perspective, resulting in either loud cries of praising or wailing, often changes with my circumstances (I praise Him in all things, but I desperately, constantly seek Him when life turns downward - oh, how much I have in common with the ancient Israelite!). Thanksgiving and petition. He is my breath and my heartbeat, how could I not be "desperate for You" in constant worship of Who He is? Not His blessings, Him.
The man asked me for money because I had cash in my hand from a returned purchase (cash is rare with me - I debit EVERYTHING). He watched and knew that I could provide exactly what he wanted. We KNOW that God can provide for us. I have heard a couple of atheists say, "If I prayed, I'd ask for this...hint, hint (could you pray for my desperate situation)" Yet, we ask not or ask amiss (James 4;3). Please indulge a few thoughts from Oswald Chambers:
1.Everyone who asks receives . . . —Luke 11:10
Ask if you have not received. There is nothing more difficult than asking. We will have yearnings and desires for certain things, and even suffer as a result of their going unfulfilled, but not until we are at the limit of desperation will we ask. It is the sense of not being spiritually real that causes us to ask. Have you ever asked out of the depths of your total insufficiency and poverty? "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God . . . " ( James 1:5 ), but be sure that you do lack wisdom before you ask. You cannot bring yourself to the point of spiritual reality anytime you choose. The best thing to do, once you realize you are not spiritually real, is to ask God for the Holy Spirit, basing your request on the promise of Jesus Christ (see Luke 11:13 ). The Holy Spirit is the one who makes everything that Jesus did for you real in your life.
"Everyone who asks receives . . . ." This does not mean that you will not get if you do not ask, but it means that until you come to the point of asking, you will not receive from God (see Matthew 5:45 ). To be able to receive means that you have to come into the relationship of a child of God, and then you comprehend and appreciate mentally, morally, and with spiritual understanding, that these things come from God.
"If any of you lacks wisdom . . . ." If you realize that you are lacking, it is because you have come in contact with spiritual reality— do not put the blinders of reason on again. The word ask actually means "beg." Some people are poor enough to be interested in their poverty, and some of us are poor enough spiritually to show our interest. Yet we will never receive if we ask with a certain result in mind, because we are asking out of our lust, not out of our poverty. A pauper does not ask out of any reason other than the completely hopeless and painful condition of his poverty. He is not ashamed to beg— blessed are the paupers in spirit (see Matthew 5:3 ). - My Utmost for His Highest
2. "Ask, and you will receive . . ." - John 16:24
When a person is born again from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve or nourish that life. Prayer is the way that the life of God in us is nourished. We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.
We complain before God, and sometimes we are apologetic or indifferent to Him, but we actually ask Him for very few things. Yet a child exhibits a magnificent boldness to ask! Our Lord said, ". . . unless you . . . become as little children . . ." ( Matthew 18:3 ). Ask and God will do. Give Jesus Christ the opportunity and the room to work. The problem is that no one will ever do this until he is at his wits’ end. When a person is at his wits’ end, it no longer seems to be a cowardly thing to pray; in fact, it is the only way he can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself. Be yourself before God and present Him with your problems— the very things that have brought you to your wits’ end. But as long as you think you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.
To say that "prayer changes things" is not as close to the truth as saying, "Prayer changes me and then I change things." God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. - My Utmost for His Highest
The beggar lied about who he was and his situation in life, all in desperation for a little momentary monetary ease. I was reminded that as God's child, I may try to hide (more by silence than false confession). Of course, I can never hide any part of me and the only one that I hurt is myself by not engaging in an intimate and vulnerable relationship with the true love of life. Eternal satisfaction only comes in living out of the anointing of His favor - not for who I am, but for Who He is and Who has chosen me. I know this, but yet I continue to hide my life away on a moment by moment basis. Why fear favor?
"When you do get through to abandonment to God, you will be the most surprised and delighted creature on earth; God has got you absolutely and has given you your life." - Oswald Chambers
Find me at the feet of Jesus - reaching for His scars that saved me. Find me as a servant, bowed to my King. Filled in His love, satisfied in His Grace, yet in desperate need of His Presence and Embrace. Perspective of passion - to live the life anointed by God - first for me and Him in our relationship, then for His love, glory and truth to flow through me to others - however small or grand, personal or fleeting - those encounters may be. Abide in Him.
Enjoy Him, Michelle