Have you ever asked God for something and not got it?
What did you tell yourself?
Was it, “Must not be God’s will“? Or “Maybe, it just wasn’t His timing“?
While those answers may be true, too often that becomes our “go to” position, when in fact the truth often lays elsewhere. When you know the truth, it WILL SET YOU FREE.
Just to clear the air, John tells us in 1 John 5:14-15 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
So it makes sense that we ask within His will. And what is His will? Every promise He has ever made in Scripture. Some of the promises, have premises (conditions), but if you can find it in His Word, it’s in His will.
Now James does tell us that our prayers sometimes go unanswered because we ask to consume or squander it upon our lusts. But what about all those times when it was a desperate call for help, perhaps to pay the mortgage, find a job, etc., which we could all safely assume would be in God’s will. What then?
What I’m about to tell you, could change every thing for you…
Have you ever read this passage in John 16:23-24?
“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
When Jesus said, “And in that day, you will ask Me nothing”, what day was He referring to? Jesus had just told His disciples in verse 16, “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again, a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”
Some contend that when Jesus said “a little while, and you will see Me…” He was referring to the space of time between when He would leave the planet physically and when He would return. But let’s use a little sanctified common sense here…
It’s been 2000 years so far… Does that seem like just a little while to you? I know a day is as a thousand years to the Lord, but He was answering the questions of some of his disciples who didn’t understand what He meant that for “a little while” they would not see Him, but then “in a little while” they would.
Obviously when He said, “a little while, and you will not see Me”, that was fairly imminent as He knew He would soon be crucified and buried, and they would not see Him. But then He says “and AGAIN a little while, and you will see Me.”
Jesus compared the temporary separation to the anguish of a woman giving birth, who after the delivery of the baby, would forget her anguish and rejoice.
The “day” Jesus was referring to was post resurrection, three days later. Can you imagine the anguish of seeing Him crucified and then, the unspeakable joy of seeing Him a few days later, resurrected and fully alive? That’s what He was talking about.
Now follow this carefully…
Do you know how in the Greek, there are three common words translated as “love” (eros, phileo and agape)? They have different meanings (erotic love, brotherly love and unconditional love) but they are all translated with one word, “love”.
Well, it turns out the same is true about other words, and that’s where there’s a real eye opener. When Jesus says, “And in that day you will ask me nothing”, the word “ask” in the Greek is different from the word “ask” in the rest of the passage.
The first word “ask” is “erotao” in Greek and means to “ask, beseech, intreat or beg”. When He continues the thought He says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive that your joy may be full.”
For the rest of the passage the Greek word translated as “ask” is “aiteo” which means to “ask, desire, require, call for, or put a demand on“. It’s the idea of asking with EXPECTATION. Paraphrasing in modern vernacular, here is what Jesus was communicating…
“In just a few days, when My work on the cross is complete, everything changes for you. You won’t need to beg or intreat Me for anything. No more feeling like you’re a poor man asking for a loan at the bank. What I’m telling you, you can take to the bank alright, but it’s a cashier’s check with My name on the account. You can fill it out anyway you please and My Father who owns the bank, will give you whatever you put on it. No questions asked because I have pre-authorized the check.
Until now, you didn’t have My name to back up your requests, so you never put a demand on my infinite supply. You were more like a beggar asking for a loan than a person with a cashier’s check in hand. From now on, ask for what you need in the same way you would ask a bank teller to cash a certified check from Me. That’s not arrogant or demanding. It’s a simple transaction based on an approved and authorized signature. So be confident when you approach the Father, knowing that your request has already been pre-approved, so that your joy may be full.”
In John 14:12-14, Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
The word “ask” is “aiteo” again. It’s the ask that you do when you know whatever you ask for has already been agreed to. I believe the reason we often don’t experience that result is because we are approaching God as if Jesus never paid the price for us. We are still petitioning Him like the poor man asking for a meager loan.
Think of it another way if this helps. Two men go separately to a restaurant. When the first man arrives, his order has already been called in and paid for. He pulls up to the drive through window and asks for his order, confident that they will give him whatever he ordered.
The second man turns up at the restaurant. His food order was not pre-authorized. He has no means to pay for food, but he’s hungry, so he humbly beseeches and entreats the owner for the favor of some food, not at all confident that the owner will oblige him.
They both asked, but the way they asked was quite different. One with complete faith that the meal which was paid for, would be given to him upon request, and the other with a faint and perhaps desperate hope that maybe this time he might get something he needs. He asks even though he doubts his request will be granted.
Isn’t that how you feel sometimes?
Answers to your prayers don’t need to be a “hit and miss” kind of experience. You can ask anything according to His will and it will be granted. Not maybe. Not sometimes. All the time!
When James said, “You do not have because you do not ask. (aiteo)” (James 4:2) he wasn’t saying that you never bothered to mention it to God. He was saying that you did not ask with the EXPECTATION of receiving. You were asking like a beggar, and that’s not faith, and whatever is not faith, misses the mark.
In my next blog post, I will share with you the second half of the equation, without which, although your request will be granted, you will never experience the result.
By the way, this blog post was largely taken from part of Chapter 23 in Book One of God’s Best Kept Secrets. To see what’s all included in this book series, and to save 40% on your order, go CHECK IT OUT HERE NOW. When you go there, you’ll see that you can still join the Jesus School of Business for just $1 more and have access to thousands of dollars of Biblically based sales, business and entrepreneurial training.
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