When “Ask” is More Than a Request….

“Ask” is such a small word… But when we understand what it sometimes refers to – the effect can be a powerful thing.

Now what I mean by that.. is the fact that the little word “ask” in the New Testament .. has more than one use or meaning!… So let me explain when the original Greek word for “ask” has such a powerful effect: ….

To begin this explanation – I will tell you that there are at least five different Greek words used in the New Testament..  all of which are very often translated “ask.”  Here are 5 different Greek meanings for the word “ask” ….

  • Ask..  as a question (to ascertain by inquiry)
  • Ask..  as a request or favor
  • Ask..  as a search for something hidden; investigate
  • Ask..  as a petition for help; beseech
  • And finally the “ask” we are going to focus on here – which is “to call for something due; to require  (see #154 & #4441 in Strong’s Concordance)

In Matthew 11:12,  Jesus gave voice to some very interesting words….”From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence (to crowd into); and the violent (a forcer) take it by force”  (to seize, catch away by force, to take for oneself.)  It is the taking by force – the seizing that the “ask” (Strong’s Greek #154) refers to… “calling for what is due” – from the Kingdom of God.  You are not resisting God, but the forces of darkness – the “authority and jurisdiction of darkness” from which we’ve been delivered (Colossians 1:12-14) !

Why “seize” it?… You must actively take hold of what God has promised – because “your adversary the devil” (I Peter 5:8) will not sit passively while you receive all the things that belong to you as a believer in the Kingdom of God!... The Word of God is very clear about that in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8 – in the parable of the sower – which tells us that any time we have a promise from God, the enemy comes immediately to snatch the word of promise away from us – to keep us from receiving it.  That is where we must not be passive!  But we must stand (which is an active upright position) – holding forth the word of promise in faith – against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-13).  It is an active resistance – not as those who lie stretched out passively under his influence while the enemy takes their goods….

And thus, we are back to the scripture on seizing the Kingdom of God by force – which does not mean that we are to be forceful and demanding with God! … No, indeed .. “for it is His good pleasure to give us the benefits of belonging to His Kingdom  (Luke 12:32)… What we are being told is to “ask” (#154) – call for what is due!  It is like when you are writing a check on an account that belongs to you… You don’t get nasty with the bank – and they aren’t upset with you for “calling for” what belongs to you!  Indeed the bank is working with you… And so is God!!  It’s all for the increase of His Kingdom – and His plan is to increase you too – i.e. “blessed to be a blessing”… That’s how God the Father operates… He would like to touch a lot of people through you that aren’t open to Him any other way!

We are talking about a whole lot more than money here.. because we are co-laborers together with God in establishing His Kingdom on earth.  We have a part to do.. because He has “given (assigned or appointed) the earth to man – for a season of time.  (Psalm 115:16)   Indeed, in Genesis 1, God the Father – in His sovereignty – chose to give the authority over the earth to man.. Then after man “fell” from his place of relationship and fellowship with God – God made a way to get man’s authority.. directed by God.. back into the earth  – i.e. He made a way to reconcile man back to Himself by Jesus Christ.

Now we know that when any man receives Jesus, that man becomes a citizen of God’s Kingdom – but as a man – he still has God given authority on the earth…to the end that he can co-labor with God to establish the kingdom of God on the earth.  This is the place where we must “call for what is due.” God is the powerful one that set everything in place (Is God sovereign or what!!)But He needs us to use our God given authority in the earth to “call for” the things that we need to live according to His will and do His bidding….

This is when and where it is right to 154 – “Ask” – call for what He has promised – so that He can “supply all our needs” in and through our relationship with Christ Jesus.  He doesn’t count it as a request, but as a call for what is due His sons and daughters who live to please Him and see His will done on the earth.  This is when “ask” is more than a request!

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Note: The Greek word for “Ask” #154 – is used more in the New Testament than any of the other Greek words for “Ask”.  Here’s just a few examples of the 154 Ask ….

John 16:23,24,26,30      James 1:5,6    James 4:2,3      I John 3:22

“Hitherto have you asked nothing in My name – ask (154) and you shall receive – that your joy may be full.”   John 16:24  !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 3 – Where Were You God?……Giving God Another Avenue to Work Through

That God uses the avenue of believing prayer to touch our lives – is a fact….And that “He watches for His word to perform it”(Jeremiah 1:20) is another fact…  But what does that mean for you and me?……. and how can we apply that fact to our lives to make it an avenue for God to work through?

In a nutshell – “God watches for His word to perform it” – which makes it extremely important (and profitable) for us that we speak in agreement with what God has said…… because what God has said (or says) about anything is the way that He has set it up to operate – and intends for it to be…..

When God watches for His word – so He can perform it – He is not asking you and I to speak word for word in perfect King James English ….. but He IS asking that we  SPEAK IN AGREEMENT WITH WHAT HE HAS SAID ….. This is important because God needs to be able to use the authority He gave man on the earth – in order for Him to “legally” operate and do things here…….. And when we do choose to speak in agreement with what God has said about something – we are giving Him an avenue for Him to work through.

This authority was bought back for us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – who did not bow the knee to Satan when Satan came to tempt Him (as he had tempted Adam)……. thus giving to all who will choose to receive Jesus – man’s original, God given authority again…… Because in Jesus’ mastery over Satan, Jesus stripped Satan of that authority which came to him through Adam (Colossians 2:6-15)………So that now – any “authority” that Satan exercises over those who have received Jesus – is authority we give to him through our wrong choices or agreement with his deceptions…..  But we are to follow the example that Jesus gave us when He was tempted by the devil (Luke 1:1-13)……..

We are to follow His example – in that Jesus answered every temptation with the words of God… And that brings us back to the subject of “avenues that God uses to work in our lives”….. One such avenue being when you and I choose to speak in agreement with what God has said about something. Our agreement gives Him the go ahead to start performing His word that we are agreeing with…… And be sure to understand here – that this does not mean that we will see the full manifestation of that word within 24 hours…… For some things it could happen in that length of time or less – but all “seeds” – which God’s word is (Luke 8:11) – have a certain growing season before you are able to see the fruit produced by that seed…….And likewise, the fruit (which is the manifestation of God’s promise) from the seed – of God’s word – will be “fulfilled in it’s season” (Luke 1:20)….

……So… it is important that we learn to “hold forth His word” – speak the promised word in the face of every temptation to turn loose of what God has said – and instead – start speaking carelessly about what we see or hear with our physical senses…. No, we need to continue to speak in agreement with what God has said …. BECAUSE.. God’s word “shall be fulfilled in it’s season.. (Luke 1:20)…..  We may not yet see any evidence that it is growing – but you and I can abort that seed before it comes to full growth and manifestation if we continue to speak contrary to what God has said…  WHY?  because without faith it is impossible to please and receive from God (Hebrews 11:6)….  and when we speak contrary to the words of God, we are in effect saying that we do not “believe God that it shall be as He has told us.”

All that being true, you might still say “I believe God – BUT – I just can’t see how speaking what He has said will cause anything to happen…..?”… Well – you might consider this – “what happened in Genesis when God spoke?…. Things were created, right?  WHY?….. His word is truth…. it is living and it is with the power to impart and produce life – and orchestrate change – according to what He has said…..

And when we speak the word(s) God has given us, they are still His wordsand we are acknowledging the truth and the power in those words as we give voice to them.  We are  in fact “returning those words to Him” – which words, as He said in Isaiah 55:11 – “will not return to Him void – but those words will accomplish/perform what He has sent them to do” – and that,  because of the life and creative power in the words God has spoken. WHY?  because GOD IN HIS SOVEREIGNTY SET THINGS UP THAT WAY!   Okay?……. He loved us – and He desired to make available to us some avenues for Him to work through in our lives…….. He needed to do this because He had assigned authority and dominion over the earth to man – thus God needs us to ask Him into a situation before He can legally do things on the earth….. So, God gave us some avenues to connect with Him and give Him an opening to work in our lives.

One of those avenues is prayer….. Another avenue is our confession of faith by speaking in agreement with the things God has said to us….. This confession is creating reality – because  of the life and creative power of God’s word.  God’s word is true – all the time!….. but it is our voice acknowledging that it is true in our situation(s) that activates the power in God’s word for us.  That’s the thing that makes our words powerful and an avenue for God to work in our lives.