Have you ever wondered why you didn’t “receive” what you had been praying and believing for?
I’m sure there are a few possible reasons, but the one I see most often and have personally experienced, is my lack of understanding of the promise and the corresponding action that was lacking on my part.
As you may recall, the first reason so many prayers don’t SEEM to get answered is because we don’t understand the Greek word translated as “ask”. But the second part of the equation is our misunderstanding of the word translated as “receive”.
Seems to be that the two most important words in this passage are “ask” and “receive”, so it behooves us to understand what Jesus was really saying.
We think that “receive” is passive, sort of like “receiving” something in the mail. And sometimes it is. There are two different words translated “receive” in the New Testament. One of them (“dechomai”) is more along the lines of “accept”.
You see that Greek word used in Luke 8:13 “But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, RECEIVE the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.”
Notice that the folks in this parable who only “accepted” the Word, fell away when it was tested.
Now, compare the idea of merely “accepting” the Word to the other Greek word used in John 16 (“lambano”), which means to “catch“, “procure for one’s self” or “take in order to carry away“.
Much different, isn’t it!
Think of it like in a football game… When the ball is thrown, the RECEIVER goes to great lengths to “catch” the ball, not just stand by passively to “accept” the pass.
We need to become “All Star Receivers” of the promises of God!
When God gives us a promise in His Word, which He has done, we often wait for God to drop the tangible result it in our lap, but as you know, God feeds the birds (Matthew 6:26) but He doesn’t throw the food in their nest.
His promise to the birds to feed them is unalterable, but the birds have enough “bird sense” to then go out and apprehend the promise.
Likewise, it is still incumbent upon us to take hold of His promise and take corresponding action. Back in 1985, when I asked God for provision to catch up on interest payments on a line of credit at the bank, He granted that request, but I still had no money.
I drove to the bank anyway with maybe $20 in my wallet when the payment due was $1,500, and planned to open my wallet in front of the bank manager and pay him. I thought maybe God would multiply my cash, but I guess that would be counterfeit.
Instead, on my way to the bank, I ran into a friend who had been praying for hours that morning, and said the Lord told him to give me $2,000. He had no idea of my financial straits or that I was on the way to the bank willing to make a fool of myself if necessary.
Talk about timing!!!
I took hold of God’s promise and acted as though it were true. I “procured” His promise for myself in order to “carry it away” to meet my need.
Are you waiting for God to drop the provision in your lap, or are you ready to “take hold” of His promise and act as though you have actually received it and go out expecting to procure it as certainly as the birds of the air find their food.
Didn’t Jesus say in Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive (“lambano”) them, and you will have them.” The Young’s literal translation records the last part of that verse this way, “believe that ye receive, and it shall be to you.”
You “receive” the promise in prayer, take hold of (procure) it in your heart (expecting to carry it away), and then act with expectation to see the desired result. That’s faith, and without action, your faith is powerless (dead) (James 2:26).
I’ve got a lot more to say on the matter, but this blog is getting long…
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