So that the Son may bring glory to the Father
My wife is a communicator and does a lot of work with fundraisers. She has a unique twist on the power of asking! She often talks about the arrogance of sufficiency in our society. Many Christian organizations come to her and ask for help in fundraising, but they don’t want it to sound like they’re asking for funds! While the thought of asking in a way that doesn’t convey that one is asking seems somewhat askew, I wonder if our wealth, independence and lack of real need in our society and in our churches has driven away the desire to ask.
A few years ago, a friend of ours had an African man and his son stay with him. They were here by the grace of God and the compassion of a few individuals. The son desperately needed heart surgery and could not have that surgery in his own country. They were refugees and lived in complete poverty. The man noticed that the family had a sewing machine in the house and, as odd as it seemed, no one used it. It just sat well-oiled and ready to be used in a closet in the spare room. So he asked if he could have it. He knew that he could take it to his village and use it to earn an income that would feed his family. A sewing machine like that would cost a whole year’s wage in his country.
Our North American friend was taken aback. He noticed that this man had little hesitation in asking for something that he needed. He simply saw what he needed and he asked for it.
To those of us in North America, it seems a little greedy! But it wasn’t at all. This was a man with great need. While in Canada, he saw a people with great wealth. He saw homes with so many things, things that they rarely used. Surely these people with such a great capacity to give would give generously.
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if
he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are
evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more
will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Our kids are grown up, more or less. The spring of 2004 I went to Halifax to help my daughter move into her first apartment. It was a crummy little one-bedroom and had all the trappings of student housing. I was so proud of her – just finishing first year Nursing and struggling to pay for her Nursing degree and living expenses – she combed the garage sales for the least grimy couch, a couple of old vinyl chairs and a dresser. I wanted to buy her everything she needed!
How much more does God want to pour out his gifts on his children! God our Father loves to give good gifts to us, his children. He invites us to ask for that which we need. He promises to assist us when we need help. He WANTS us to ask.
When we ask, we acknowledge our need for God. We admit that we are not sufficient in and of ourselves. In my personal walk, I am not able to accomplish a life of worship. I need the Holy Spirit’s prompting, power and passion to become a worshipper. This dependency, like hunger, will be satisfied with nothing less than that “. . . he must become greater and greater and I must become less and less” (John 3:30 – NLT).
One of the most difficult issues of worship is that I need to focus beyond the things that I think I want and need. I am so earthly! It’s nearly impossible for me to imagine God – to imagine a heavenly focus. But I need to look beyond that which I know and ask God to give me a focus for him.
I need a focus to help me recognize my need – my utter dependency on God – a dependency that urges me to daily make God my all in all. I need a focus that reminds me that I am a citizen of another kingdom, living for a heavenly reward. I need to ask God to refocus my thinking so that I can worship him with my life.
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