Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Business of Asking - (Alfred Turley)

I actually posted this a year ago on my own Facebook page.  It reminded me so much of the message we heard this weekend at Rock Bridge on prayer, I thought it was a great refresher for me, and surprisingly right in line with what Matt said!  Keep on ASKING and let's see what God does!
Most people who know me can attest that I am pretty passionate about prayer. I do it a lot, and I’ve always said it’s because I’ve been fearful in the past, and that drives me desperately to God, and (surprise!) He faithfully comes through time after time. So I do it more because it’s a habit, and He in fact ROCKS and loves me, and ANSWERS. 
But prayer can feel intimidating and like busywork and so many people just wonder why in the world do we have to pray? I mean, God, WHY? 
Recently I was reading in the Psalms and had just started into Psalm 2, when God laughs over the rebellion of the nations and over those who think they can push Him aside. He then announces His own Son will be King (whom we know is revealed to be Jesus) and declares in vs 7-8: 
I will declare the Lord’s decree: He said to Me, “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father. 8 Ask of Me, and I will make the nations Your inheritance and the ends of the earth Your possession.
Here is what struck me: God tells His own son…. ASK. Hmmm…. He doesn’t just decree in this passage that He will make the nations His inheritance, He says ASK. And over and over throughout the Bible we see that God always first raises up those who will ASK, and then He acts. 
Why does God work in this way? 
Well here are a few things that today I have been reflecting one, but these are in no way an exhaustive list. 
God wants us to want it. God wired us to live with passion, with full hearts and with joy and energy. He wants us to work to align our desires with His. This is a process that comes about through getting to know Him and worshipping Him and seeing how amazing He is. But once we know Him, we begin to want the things He wants, and that’s when He loves to answer our prayers, because He wants the same things! 
God wants to “do life with us.” God wants us to live in the awareness of His reality and presence all the time. He enjoys the fellowship and the relationship and wants us to enjoy Him as well. Prayer is a terrific way (again, continually asking and conversation) to stay aware of God and filled with the Holy Spirit. In John 15 Jesus says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” This is a stark reminder that apart from Him and a connection to Him, we can do nothing of spiritual value. PERIOD. 
God loves to surprise and delight His children. (Put another way, blow our minds!) I love 1 Corinthians 2:9 "But as it is written: What eye did not see and ear did not hear, and what never entered the human mind— God prepared this for those who love Him.” God loves us dramatically! His love for His children is radical and beyond understanding! He wants us to ask, to seek and knock, and then dramatically come through so that we stand in awe of Him and His love, and our trust becomes strong and vibrant. 
God has chosen to work through us. This is a tremendous mystery in my mind, but He loves us and wants to give us the privilege of making an impact in our world with Him. We can’t do it alone, and He has chosen to not do it without us. Asking is our way to unleash the power and resources of Heaven into our lives and our world. We get the chance to partner with Him, and that is a tremendous honor and privilege. 
Well those are just a few things that I thought of today that I wanted to share! 
Have you spent some time ASKING God today? He loves you, wants to work through you and with you and give you the delight of knowing His presence and His love. Spend some time asking and talking to Him today!