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Needs and Wants

May 4th, 2016

“My God shall supply all your need according to His riches.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV.

What God withholds, you are best without.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “needs and wants.”

We all have needs and wants. Our difficulty is distinguishing between those; our insistence on satisfying both makes those feel ambiguously similar. God has promised to supply your needs. “And My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus . . Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Philippians 4:19/Hebrews 4:16 NKJV. Sometimes, your wants incorrectly masquerade as needs. But God never promised to provide all you want; wants are forever changing, and many times could be unwise for you. With your wants, you must trust God to know and choose what is best for you.

I have heard it said, “It never hurts to ask.” With God, there is no constraint about your asking. In the context of persistence in prayer, Jesus encouraged, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10 NIV. Read Luke 11:5-13 NLT. “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” James 4:2 NIV. How sad it would be if your needs were not met merely because you didn’t bother to ask God.

Beyond the fact that God relates His generosity to your request, asking is a healthy expression of humility as well as an honest confession of reliance upon God rather than yourself. But be advised; God’s promises are not blank checks you can fill in and cash whenever you want. The Bible is clear about times when God does not respond to your requests as you wish. In fact, James also addressed times when you ask but God does not provide, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:2-3 NIV. What God withholds, you are best without.

God is both loving and wise, a Father who delights to meet your needs, and more. But He is not a doting Father who gives you what you want rather than what is best for you. Having God’s attention is not complicated. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15 NIV. God’s liberality is forever aligned with His will. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7 NKJV. Soak your heart and spirit in the Word of God.

In addition to being persuaded of the will of God, Jesus said, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22 NIV. Believe that what God wills to do, He will do. “If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.” 1 John 3:21-22 NIV. Your needs are provided by the One described as, “. . Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to trust your wants to His love and place your needs in His hands.

Christian Communications 2016

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EDL Phil 4.19 

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Prayer’s Conditions

July 31st, 2015

“If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14 NIV.

Prayer is a holy discourse, not a monologue.

My thoughts and comments today are about “prayer’s conditions.”

All of us possess a capacity to complicate simple things – things like love, joy, contentment, marriage, loyalty, family, worship, integrity, and such like. Prayer is one of those simple things – nothing more complex than honest, heartfelt communication between yourself and God. Prayer is a sacred privilege but often the last thing we choose to do. Anyone can pray, young and old, saints and sinners alike. Prayer is first communion then communication – sacred communion of your heart with God’s heart, then prayer affords honest communication of your love, thankfulness, and finally your needs. Start with the first, not the last.

Prayer is not without Biblical conditions. There are reasonable factors to answered prayer. “Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:22. Inadequate marriage and family relationships diminish prayer, “. . so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Read 1 Peter 3:1-8 NIV. An angry and doubting spirit impacts prayer, “Men (should) pray everywhere, without wrath and doubting.” 1 Timothy 2:8. Ungodly behavior interferes with prayer, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to the prayer (of the righteous), but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12 NIV.

Prayer’s conditions are not whimsical; they are clear and fair. John shared the first and most obvious condition. ”If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us . . [and] we know that we have what we asked of Him.” Read 1 John 5:14-15 NIV. God will always answer in concert with His Word and will.

The eternal will of God is faithfully revealed in His Word. Be a student of God’s Word; be a servant to His will. And the Holy Spirit will prompt your heart, spirit, and understanding with the personal application of truth for your immediate circumstance. Prayer is a holy discourse, not a monologue. As you are devoted to the study of God’s Word and diligent in prayer, it is as important that you attentively listen for God in your heart as it is that God actively listens to you.

Prayer is an impassioned invitation for God’s involvement – His grace, peace, presence, provision, favor, wisdom, and direction in your everyday life. That is much more than mere information of your needs and wants, of which He is already aware. Read Matthew 6:8 NLT. When you don’t get the desired response, you might assume God has not heard you, though He has. God would not ignore you, but maybe He is waiting for you to trust His will and way, and pray accordingly. If God seems silent, don’t lose heart. The problem is never that He hasn’t heard your prayers. Pray a prayer God will answer.

Today, in prayer for you, “that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.“ Colossians 4:12 NIV.

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