I don’t like asking for things. People say men don’t like asking for directions. I don’t either, and I am not a man. I would much rather figure things out for myself, complete a project knowing that I did it myself, or prove that I can learn something new or do something I never did before by not giving up, or at least not asking someone else to assist me. There is some merit to this dogged determination, but most days I would have to say I probably don’t like giving someone any power over me: the power to say NO and thereby reject me or some part of my life by refusing my request, the power to take part of the credit and satisfaction for something I might have accomplished on my own. And most of all, I don’t like to be needy, weak, or helpless in some way; it makes me feel stupid.
This means that I also ask God for very little, at least specifically. I ask for great and vague things such as wisdom, truth, courage, strength, protection, direction, love, purity, forgiveness…you get the picture. Today I was reminded of the verse “you have not because you ask not.” Now that sounds pretty simple until you look at the context: "You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it. You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way." (James 4:2-3 The Message)
Yikes! Could part of the reason I don’t ask God for much be because I don’t trust my own heart? Some part of me really believes that most of my requests, when they are stripped to the bare root, will be basically selfish or inappropriate, so as a safety precaution, I ask for nothing other than something that I know is already approved, like the spiritual fruit list. Now what kind of a relationship is that? I don’t REALLY say and think and feel and ask for the things that are on my heart, I don’t be myself - whether I am having a bad day or a good one - but instead, I censor my words and desires in order to please this God who has already said that his love is unconditional, that he will never leave me, and that he wants to get close to me, the real me, the whole me. I hate to be disappointed – don’t we all, but the least I could do is ASK for something – something unique to Matte, something interesting and exciting and big and more important to me than I even care or dare to admit.
‘And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find. It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble."’ (James 4:6 The Message).
Let me come as a child, flushed with excitement, perhaps unkempt and dirty from play or work or a fight with my peers, but let me come with big ideas in my head and wild dreams flashing in my eyes – those things that God has planted in no other person but me. He is waiting to hear me ask for them…