“ . . . you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” – James 4:2 NLT
My wife and I were in the Philippines in 2012 to attend WIM’ s Asia Conference. I wrote about it in another post. What I didn’t tell you was the story behind the story.
Mary Nell and I did not have the money for both of us to go to the Philippines. However, even though it would double the cost, I felt strongly we both were to go. After a time of prayer and waiting, we received confirmation from the Lord that Mary Nell was to go with me. I then prayed that we would receive the money for the trip, and we both made plans to go. Not long after that, we received what we needed!
Many times we do not have what we want because we have not asked God for it. James, the brother of Jesus and the leader of the church in Jerusalem wrote, “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2 ESV).
Using a parable, Jesus taught His disciples to ask (Luke 11:9-10):
“A man had unexpected company arrive at a late hour and found himself short on food to serve his guest. The host ran to his friend’s house, knocked on the door, and boldly requested to borrow provision. The friend had already gone to bed and refused to get up and grant the request. However, because his friend kept bothering him (continued to ask), he got out of bed and gave him what he wanted.”
The point Jesus is making is that if an earthly friend responds to bold persistence, “how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:11)! The theme of Jesus’ teaching in Luke 11 is persistence and boldness in asking.
Not long ago I was praying about our plans for the next month. It was obvious we would need more money if we were going to do what we had planned. I asked the Lord for an increase in funds. A figure came to my mind. Although it was much more than what we usually receive, I asked God to give us that amount. I don’t always feel the faith I felt that day, but this time I knew I would receive what I had requested.
For the next several weeks I continued to pray and thank God for the money I needed. At the end of the month that amount came in, and more. I must add, it did not just fall out of the sky, nor did we send out a plea for extra money. We had asked God in private, and He used our faithful partners in this ministry to supply what we needed. I am very thankful for them.
I want to encourage you, “Don’t limit God!” If you think God wants you to do something but you do not have the money, ask God for it. He stands ready and willing to help you with whatever you ask.