Monday, October 26, 2009

Words of Encouragement

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." - Matthew 21:21-22

Are you ready for the asking? I have heard many people quote this scripture, however I'm sorry to say that they have been incorrect in their understanding. I have heard people asking for "things" and have belief that simply because they asked for it, they will receive it regardless of their stand with God.

The danger of taking a piece of scripture and not placing it back into the "whole of the Bible" is misunderstanding or misapplying the truth within. The first part of this scripture talks about the one who is praying.

Jesus says "If you have faith". This is more than just saying I know God can give me what I want, but it also speaks to you and I being willing to have faith in the entire truth of God's word. In other words, when I go to prayer and ask God for something I need to be in the place where my faith is trusting in God's word to be true for my entire life.

Also we have to be careful in believing this scripture is saying that we can ask for "anything, even if it is contrary to God's will". For example, I've had individuals tell me they were praying for a better job but they weren't grateful for the current one they had. You could tell because they weren't going to work, making up excuses not to go, taking things from their job, etc. Or I've heard people talk about asking for more money but they were faithful in their giving or a good steward with what God had allowed them to have.

If we are asking for something through prayer and we want it to be answered we have to make sure we are lining up with the requirements of scripture. It may not say it all in this scripture but we must remember scripture does not contradict itself. So while this scripture to some may seem to be saying I can have whatever I want, we have to read other scripture regarding prayer and we will learn it is not saying so. Scripture tells us that we have to pray in the will of God so with that understanding, when I stand to ask for something, I must first understand what the will of God is so that I can be praying in the right way.

And if I am in a right standing with God, then I come ready for the asking. I come ready as Jesus asked, "if I have faith". When we come ready for the asking we can have the boldness to ask God to move in our lives. Those mountains that stand against us and others, can be moved.

Do we really understand the power we have through our relationship with Christ? When you and I come ready for the asking, Christ has already provided for us the power, the authority and the provisions so that those things we ask for are granted to us. They are granted because they are first and foremost inline with God's will.

I pray for us today to prepare our hearts, minds and spirits to line up with what God's will is so that we can ask in faith and not doubting, knowing God will grant the petition of our hearts.