“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you, but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power* (dunamis – miraculous, miracle, abundance, ability, strength, possible, to be able) from on high !” Luke 24:49 & ref: Galatians 3:14
“Ask, and it shall be given you; Seek, and ye shall find; Knock, and it shall be
opened unto you; for every-one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth;
and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7.
How many who ask a blessing of the Lord would be surprised should they receive their request. Of what is this want of expectation (lack of faith) that our prayers will be answered, a proof?
–It proves that we have no definite belief that the Blessing (the Word spoken of God) will be granted, that we have no genuine faith that God will hear, that we do not watch for the answer, so that when it is received, we may connect it with the prayers we have offered. The Lord: said “What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” Luke says: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?”
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him . . . for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is (I Am) a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him . . .” Hebrews 11:6
“For thus saith the LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah) that created the heavens . . . I said not unto Jacob, Seek ye Me in vain: for I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right !” Isaiah 45:18-19
If we would only believe, we should receive the Holy Spirit. The question is asked, “Is the LORD’s arm shortened that it cannot save? is His ear heavy that He cannot hear?” –No, He now works in the hearts of those who ask, those who believe that God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20.
We must not be discouraged if Satan seeks to leaven the mind with subtle unbelief while we are engaged in prayer, and our hearts are impressed with the high standard of holiness to which we would attain. The enemy will suggest that the Lord will not keep us from sinning, and make us obedient to all His requirements. He will direct our mind to our past imperfections, to our sins, failures, and mistakes, and tell us we need not expect to come off conquerors at last (ref: Zechariah 3:1-4). We are not to listen to the suggestions of the enemy, or think that our unaided efforts can save us, but we are to believe that Jesus does the work for us.
At times when we have exercised a little faith, we have experienced a little help, and we have hoped to be victorious overcomers. But have we had faith that through Christ we should be able to overcome every tempt-ation as He overcame? We have not generally exercised this quality of faith !
“And Jesus (Yehushua) answering saith unto them . . . Have faith in God !
For verily (truly, without fail) I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain . . . Be thou removed, and be thou cats into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass . . . he shall have whatsoever he saith.
‘For with the heart, man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession (profess, to speak aloud) is made unto Salvation (deliverance, rescue, freedom, healing, and restoration) . . . . For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be put to shame !’ Romans 10:10-11
Therefore I say unto you . . . What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them !” Mark 11:22-24
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive . . . !” Matthew 21:22
Many think that they have not time to pray, or that it would be useless to pray if they had time; for they
have an inheritance of unchristlike traits of character that are strong by heredity, and stronger by cultivation. The least crossing of their will arouses their combativeness and upsets their temper. I am describing not simply the experience of children and youth, but of men and women, fathers and mothers, who have had a limited experience in the Christian life.
They have allowed secular (worldly) interests to divert the mind and to engage the attention. They have indul-ged a strong passion to meet the world’s standard, and have been filled with a desire for human praise. While they are thus unemptied of self, they cannot expect to receive answers to their prayers; for evil tempers and corrupt inclinations will make prayer of none effect. The Psalmist says, “If I regard (consider) iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear me.” Psalm 66:18. The tremendous load of evil upon these souls must be rolled off into the sepulcher, that they may believe, not from impulse, but from calm assurance, that God is True, knowing that whatever He has promised He will fulfill. ref: Hebrews 10:23, 11:11 & II Corinthians 1:20
The Lord has promised to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, and as an illustration of our need and His willingness to give, He presents before us a hungry child asking his earthly parent for bread. The question is asked, “What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?” He appeals to the strong, natural affection of the parent for his child, and then says: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?”
Is it any wonder that we receive not, when we believe not? Should we receive in our faithless condition, we would not appreciate the grace* (G5485) given us of God, or render glory to Him for the benefits. “O Taste and see that the LORD is good; for blessed (with the Spirit) is the man that trusteth in Him !” Psalm 34:8; this is asking and receiving.
“That the blessing of (the Word spoken to) Abraham might come on the gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the Promise of the Spirit through faith . . . !” Galatians 3:14
Those who have tasted of the goodness of God cannot keep the knowledge of this Blessing to themselves; for Christ is in them a Well of Water springing up unto Everlasting Life. Those who are most blessed of God have the most constant indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and they diffuse the Light (unvariableness, neither shadow of turning) of heaven to others. Wherever there is distinguishing mercy, there is always distinguishing duty. Jesus said to His followers: “If ye abide in Me (the Word of God), and My Words . . . which are Spirit and Life . . . abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.” John 15:7 & 6:63
To none will it be granted to enjoy the Presence of Christ in the paradise of God if they do not enjoy His Presence and love in this probationary life, if they do not have a likeness of character to Him on earth. Since nothing short of Christlikeness is expected of the followers of Jesus, God has left abundant Promises whereby this expectation may be fulfilled.
The apostle says: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge (knowing – John 17:3) of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto Life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue . . . Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious Promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (fleshly, carnal desires).” II Peter 1:2-4. The storehouse of unlimited resource is opened to all who knock in faith !
“And for this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the Word of God which
ye heard of us, ye received It not as the word of men (yea, nay or maybe) . . . But as It is in Truth (Verity), the Word of God (Deity, Divinity), which effectually worketh also in you that believe . . . !”
I Thessalonians 2:13 & Romans 10:17
Unbelief is the sin that so easily besets us; and this sin is obnoxious to God (Romans 14:23). However secret is its working in the heart, the guilty one stands revealed and convicted before heaven. The Redeemer of the world has pledged His Word, saying, “Ask, and it shall be given you.” Is it any marvel then that the Blessing of God is withheld when you dishonor His name by your unbelief? Who is it that has made to you these promises? It is He Who “so loved the world, that He gave His Only-Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting Life.” John 3:16.
Who is it that says, “Ask, and it shall be given you?” Who is it that stands before the great multitude holding forth the Divine promise?
—It is He Who came into the world to rescue us from the bondage of Satan, and make us free men and women in Christ Jesus. Then come to God with full assurance of faith, knowing that He Who hath promised is faithful, and will fulfill His Word.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, My Ways, saith the LORD (John 14:6, 1:14). For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My Ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts . . . . For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither (in the same manner in which it fell – John 3:8), but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and blosom, so that It may give Seed to the sower (Luke 8:11), and Bread to the eater (John 6:33-48) . . .
So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth . . . It shall not return unto Me void, but It shall accomplish that which I please, and It shall prosper in that whereto I sent it . . . !” Isaiah 55:8-11
Like Habakkuk, say, “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me.” Having asked the Lord for good things, as a hungry child asks his parent for bread, believe from your heart that the Heavenly Father giveth not the Spirit by measure unto you; for to them that ask in faith the Holy Spirit will be given in its fullness, as free as the river that proceedeth from the throne of God, slaking the thirst of all who will come and drink. Come, then, feeling that all Heaven invites you. Come, then, in steadfast faith, knowing that all Heaven welcomes you. Fasten your soul on the Blessed assurance, for God has spoken this Promise . . . and He cannot lie ! . . . God has invited me, not to mock me, not to disappoint me, for before I knocked, He was unlocking the door for me; while I was yet speaking, He answered, “Here I Am.”
Then put away this distrust of God; come to Him now, and let all the angels of God have occasion for rejoicing, as they see those who are athirst partaking of the Waters of Life.” ref: Isaiah 12:1-6
– Signs of the Times, September 12, 1892