May 22, 2015

Matthew 20:32-33 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

Jesus wants us to be specific in what we are seeking. At the same time, we shouldn’t try to dictate to Him how He is to meet our needs. These blind men had a very straightforward and simple, though impossible, request: they wanted to see. It was impossible because it was beyond human ability to grant, but it was profoundly simple. They were making the request because they believed Jesus could grant it. As James said, we often do not have because we don’t ask. (James 4:2) He then goes on to say that selfish motives can block God’s supply. (James 4:3) So where does that leave these men? In one sense their request was entirely self-centered, but Jesus granted it anyway. However, their need was hardly in the category of a luxury. We need to let the Holy Spirit show us what our needs really are, so that we may focus on them and trust God for them, to be better equipped to serve Him. At the same time, we need to remember that sometimes God’s response is as it was to Paul: “My grace is all you need.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) It all gets rather complicated sometimes! The point, however, is to ask specifically, in faith, while at the same time trusting that God’s plan is good, and He will give us what is best for us.

This is something I’m still learning to do, obviously enough. If I could dictate God’s answers to my prayers, all of Japan would become Christian in short order, in a massive move of the Holy Spirit! I am not to stop praying for that, but at the same time I am to be faithful in the day-to-day business of living as a child of God. I am not to accuse God, even in my own mind and heart, of not hearing prayer, of not desiring the very best for us, or of not being able to do whatever is best. I used to ask God for a resurrection every time there was a death, thinking, “That will show people God is real!” However, I realize that I didn’t pray that at all with this most recent funeral, but I did use the wake and the funeral to issue a clear, straightforward invitation to all present to receive the salvation already enjoyed by the “honoree.” I face numbers of challenges, in my wife’s health but most especially in communicating the Gospel effectively. I am to be clear and specific in my prayers and thank God in advance for His answers, while leaving each matter in His hands.

Father, I still feel like an ignorant child in this area. Thank You for the prayer that Jesus taught us. I do pray that You would be acknowledged as holy, and that Your kingdom would come as Your will is done perfectly, right here. That really seems to cover everything! May I not draw back from asking for what I need, and may I not let any unforgiveness come between me and You, or between me and those around me. May I be fully submitted to You so that I may stand effectively against the devil and all his schemes, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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