Unwilling to ask. I don’t know what it was in particular, perhaps I was just afraid of upsetting my father growing up, but I neglected to ask him for many things throughout my childhood. He would promise me things and, I suppose in an attempt to not pester him, I would not remind him of those promises and then get hurt when he eventually forgot about them as humans are apt to do. Then, out of a desire to provide for me, my father would get upset with me for not reminding him of the promise and I would draw back in my shell even further. In this way, I set myself up for disappointment and it has poisoned my relationship with my Father. While I have overcome this with my earthly father, I still expect God to disappoint me as only humans can do.
Thousands upon thousands of promises. That is the number of promises made in the Bible. Honestly, there are so many that scholars disagree on the exact number, but counts range all the way from 3,000 to 8,000. That’s some serious promising going on. Despite the number of promises, God hasn’t broken a single one. On the contrary, promises are broken by us, man. Just look at the Israelites if you don’t believe me. Even forty years of misgivings in the desert and God still didn’t give up on them. It was only over the course of hundreds and hundreds of years that God finally accepted the covenant as broken with a people who never kept it to begin with. I won’t enumerate all the promises, because I can’t, but suffice it to say there are many that are pertinent to our daily lives even today.
“And now, O LORD God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken.” — II Samuel 7:25
Asking for what’s been guaranteed isn’t disrespectful. Don’t fall into the same trap as me. A promise is a promise and it delights God when we seek those promises. In fact, He is overjoyed as He only promises, as is His good nature, what is best for us. Therefore, to desire what He has already guaranteed is both no sweat off His back as well as cause for celebration as for one instant our souls return to Eden where our will and God’s was one. It’s a glorious return to a place we know in the depths of our hearts, but to where we’ve physically never been. To ask for the covenant promises of God is to taste once more of a perfect harmony to which we will soon enough experience again, but forever. Instead of shame, we should be beating down the doors to receive this form of communion available to us everyday. Not only do we experience God through the process, but He delights all the more in us.
Not asking, however, is disrespectful. God has already set aside these promises for us. He allocated our inheritances, if you will, long, long ago and so they have been waiting in His heavenly storehouses, pleading for our taking. In not asking for what has already been set aside, we tell God that what He has is not good enough. We are in essence waving our middle fingers high in the air and telling God we can do better. Yes, it is just that ingratiating to the Sovereign God of the universe. Can’t you see? It breaks God’s heart when we do not want and ask for the treasures he longs to give to us. These are things that He knows are for our best and yet we refuse to accept them. Or, is it because we think we ask too much? Friends, if God washed our sins, all our crimson stains, white as snow with the blood of His precious Son, what could He give that is more valuable? We are refusing what costs pennies compared to the multi-million dollar mansion of Christ’s sacrifice. Whatever the barrier, tear it down and now. Let’s no longer be selfish fools.
Yes, I called us fools, because there are literally thousands of promises that have been set aside and we sit complaining about the weather. There are a multitude of gifts and blessings waiting up in heaven for our asking, but we, for one reason or another, neglect to do so. Yes, this is supremely foolish! My own father got angry with me for not reminding him of his promises, because he wanted to give as much as he could (and still does). How is this any different with God? In fact, His desire is only that much greater! Quit making excuses and admit to yourself that in not asking, we are only choosing pride and rebellion against our wonderful and awesome Holy Father. Let us today lay down our swords of self-sufficiency and accept this divine gift of aligning our desires with those of God, if only for a moment. Let’s begin our return to the Garden and jump the fence of our unwillingness to ask.