Beck: Ask, don’t tell
When you were a child, did your parents ask you to do certain things or tell you what to do? When you became involved in a relationship, did your mate ask you to do something or did he/she ětellî you what to do? When you became a parent, did you ask your children to do different things specifically, or did you tell them in a loving way to do certain chores? Did you teach them to honor you or allow them to try controlling you?
Weíve all probably tried to tell others what to do instead of asking in a polite way. Most of us have learned some valuable lessons when we were disrespectful to our parents or our supervisors in the real world!
Do you believe in the power of prayer? For those of us who live in our own little worlds, we sometimes need to talk to someone who will listen and we know that God hears all things. But then we also learn that at times we must ěbe still and know that He is God!î
Most Christians mean to always ask a blessing before we eat but occasionally we dig in before we think to ask. When I realize my negligence, I ask forgiveness and the blessing is followed by thankfulness. In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus said: ěAsk and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.î
Then there are those times when my body doesnít seem to want to cooperate. I struggle and struggle and cry out, ěLord, I need some help here!î Suddenly I am able to successfully complete my transfer. Now why didnít I ask for his help before I started to transfer? It seems I get more and more forgetful the older I get, but one would think that I would remember to stop long enough to pray before I undertake some of the repetitions with which multiple sclerosis patients have to contend.
When I travel to speak for the Lord, there are times my body does not seem to want to cooperate. Why didnít I pray for safety before I left? I have prayed at stoplights or crossroads. I do believe that according to Godís Word we need to have a close and personal relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In Revelation 3:20 Jesus said, ěHere I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.î Jesus didnít say for us to ětellî him to come into our hearts, but rather we should respond to the knock at the door and ěaskî him to come into our hearts. He will be there to respond to any invitation.
During my generation most parents expected, or demanded, respect.
Lack of respect in my childhood carried dire consequences. In todayís world there is some controversy as to whether a parent deserves respect, or has to ěearnî it. Well, our Father God deserves our respect without exception! He is our creator, the giver of life, and our Lord and Savior! He does not have to ěearn our respect.î He is the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow!
In the process of reorganizing several yearsí of notes, I came across the following verse:
ěLook back and thank God.
Look forward and trust God.
Look around and serve God.
Look within and find God.î
In all things, be sure to remember that we should ěaskî God and not try to ětellî him what to do. God can open doors no man can close. Recently, I forgot to ask the Lord about some things and I was reminded of some other scripture: ěYou do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.í (James 4:2-3)
God wants to have a relationship with us; he already knows what we want or need but when we go to him prayerfully, he will be there for us.
Linda Beck lives in Woodleaf.