Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Extra (08/29/13)
TITLE: Asking for More
By Edmond Ng
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- The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1 NIV)
That's what I always tell myself, even when in desperate need with mouths to feed. I have through the many ups and downs in my career life learned what it is to be content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, living in plenty or in want (Philippians 4:12). Through the years, God has been good and faithful to me and my household, and I simply cannot ask for more. Yes, many a time I have hoped to have something extra to share with my loved ones and not leave them wanting. Without a choice, however, there would always be days, months, and sometimes years, we have to tighten our belts and live humbly.
The Bible tells us that God will meet all our needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). He is able to bless us abundantly in all things at all times, that having all our needs met, we will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8). Nevertheless, God’s word also exhorts us to consider it all joy when we face various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces perseverance that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4).
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
As Christians, are we allowed to ask God for more than what we are receiving now? When is asking for something extra acceptable and when is it not?
If we are walking in obedience to all that God has commanded us and honoring Him with whatever He has blessed us with, we can rest assured He is more than willing to prosper us (Deuteronomy 5:33; Proverbs 3:9-10, 11:24-25). This is the confidence we have in approaching God, that if our hearts do not condemn us and we are asking according to His will, He hears us and will give us anything we ask (1 John 3:21-22, 5:14-15). For the LORD is our shepherd, we will not lack anything (Psalm 23:1). Ask and we will receive, seek and we will find, knock and the door will be opened to us (Matthew 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-10). If we believe we have receive whatever we ask for in prayer, it will be ours (Mark 11:24).
Are we lacking anything? Ask and we will receive, that our joy may be complete (John 16:24). Are we seeking to make ends meet in keeping our loved ones and ourselves alive? If we are, we need not worry, for the door will soon be opened to us if we pray believing we have received.
Asking for more when we are lacking is perfectly sensible and fine. However, if we have more than enough and desire extra to feed our own pleasures, we will not receive what we ask for because we ask with wrong motives (James 4:3). If our motive is right and according to the will of God, whether we are rich or poor, God will give us more than sufficient to meet our needs. If our motive is wrong, even what we possess now may be taken away (Matthew 25:29; Mark 4:25; Luke 19:26). Learn to ask for more only when we are lacking or in need to help the deprived.
Dear Lord, thank You for giving us all that we have. Help us Lord when we are lacking to know how to live humbly and be content, and when we have plenty to give generously to meet the needs of the needy. Open the door we seek to open Lord that we may receive Your bountiful blessings that complete our joy. Grant us the extra we need Lord to fulfill Your will, and guide our hearts to know what condemns us in seeking our own pleasures. You O Lord are our shepherd, we lack nothing. In You Lord we are assured of the plans You have for us, to prosper us and to give us a hope and a future.
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