A very wealthy nobleman died and left his faithful servant an exceedingly large amount of money in a bank account that was easily accessible. The servant decided one day to go the bank and ask if it would be possible for him to withdraw a tiny amount for an item he wanted to buy. The teller explained to him in many different ways that he could have the small amount, but he now also had access to much, much more. But it did no good. He had never had much, and he just couldn’t comprehend the concept of asking for more than he had ever had before. He only wanted his tiny request fulfilled so he could purchase one item and then return to his little home. Years went by with him continuing to make similar small requests. From a purely ascetic aspect, this servant did do one admirable thing—he did not give in to fleshly indulgences and squander the money frivolously. He also spared himself the burden of managing his wealth, and he never had any fear of it being stolen from his house or wallet. But he also never made good use of the abundance the nobleman had supplied for him. After many years, the servant died in poverty, never having realized that he had forfeited a fortune.
How often we, like this servant, don’t want to burden God with our needs beyond those which we consider trivial. God is limitless—but in our finite wisdom, we often exhibit a false humility, thereby limiting what He can do for us. How many times do we treat God this way as His children?
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).
Why put God in a box when it comes to making our needs and desires known to Him? He is our Heavenly Father! He certainly does not want His children in lack. He says in the book of Psalms, “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Psalms 50:10-12). If He owns it all, why would He object to His own children drawing on His abundance and having all their needs met?
Jesus said, “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. Or 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?” (Matthew 7:7-11).
All God expects is for us to come to Him asking and believing. Too many simply ask and that is the end of it; there is no anticipation of receiving. In fact, some even forget they asked at all. When God says to ask, He wants us to keep on asking—not as vain repetition, but to prove the depth of our desire to Him. Then there are others who ask with reservation. They simply can’t believe that God will meet all of their need, so they ask hesitantly, only hoping and expecting to receive a small portion of it. This is not faith, but doubt! When we don’t fully expect God to fulfill our requests, we are limiting Him. In essence, we are saying that His supply is not sufficient to meet every need that we may have. The Apostle Paul said, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 emphasis mine). That ‘all’ Paul mentions here encompasses both physical and spiritual need.
Yet, while God’s supply is inexhaustible, it is not unconditional. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:3). Our Heavenly Father graciously supplies our need according to His will.
A loving father is not going to give his young child a flame-thrower or a rhinoceros just because he asks for it. He knows what is best for His children, and won’t give them something that they are not yet mature enough to handle.
The same idea applies with our Heavenly Father. When we ask for something we are incapable of managing, or when our heart’s desires are actually selfish, He will not supply it until we are at a proper level of spiritual maturity. What God really wants is for us to be in such a close relationship with Him that we do not have to wonder whether or not our requests align with His will. Then we will know how to ask according to His will, and that our requests will therefore be granted.
Where do we stand when it comes to asking of our Heavenly Father? Are we asking Him to be generous and believing that we will receive, in His timing? Or are we like this servant, limiting God by asking for just the bare minimum, never believing that He can give us more than enough to meet our needs and is willing to do so? Do we embarrass God by always walking around in rags, as if He is incapable of meeting all of our needs? God is greater than all the universes combined; ask Him for the maximum, not just enough to get by! Seek Him not for what we think we can handle, but for what He knows we are ready to handle. God wants to move us out of the little sphere that we have carved out for ourselves and into the big realm that He has made for us. Ask Him for what you need and partake of His inexhaustible supply freely and without reservation!