Matthew 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Just because a Scripture is familiar doesn’t guarantee we are living it out. This particular verse deals with the absolutely fundamental issue of trust. The problem is, even if we have this verse memorized, we sometimes have trouble believing that God really loves us enough to give us good things. The roots of that can get complicated. Not all of us had parents that consistently gave us good things when we asked, and often enough, we asked for things that weren’t good for us. Then there’s the whole issue of feeling entitled, so we don’t appreciate the things we are given, as well as the reverse of that, feeling guilty for all we’ve done to the point of feeling that God has no business giving us good things. All of those are tricks of the devil, the father of lies, to try to keep us from trusting our heavenly Father. God wants us to get back to the simple trust of a child who’s never been betrayed, to ask Daddy for what we need. The examples Jesus gave in the previous verses are pretty basic: bread and fish. (It’s of interest to me that the alternative “bad” gifts of a stone and a snake are puns in Greek, proving that the average Jew of those days had at least a basic vocabulary in Greek, and that Jesus used puns!) We tend to ask God for all sorts of things, often with little regard for what we actually need or what would be good for us. It’s definitely considered not “politically correct” these days, but with Father God, it is certainly true that “Father knows best.” We need to trust Him with that!
I had the best parents anyone could ask for, but I still hang up on this occasionally. However, God has certainly taught me over the years, and I trust that I am still growing. This past Sunday in the service we used the song, A Pure Heart, by Rusty Nelson. The date on the file indicates that I translated it into Japanese three years ago, but I didn’t really remember it when the Lord indicated we were to use it. The lyrics certainly agreed with the message, and it has been running through my mind ever since. That’s a prayer that God would certainly delight to answer! I have learned that when I really allow the Holy Spirit to direct my prayers, I pray things that God already desires, and they are always good. That’s a lesson I want all my spiritual children to learn so that we may delight in, and be delightful to, our heavenly Father.
Father, thank You for this Word. Thank You for bringing that song into my awareness this past week. Help me indeed ask You for what You already want to give me, so that I may grow closer and closer to the likeness of Christ Jesus my Lord, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!