Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CLAIMING THE POWER THAT IS IN CHRIST

As Jesus spent his last hours with his disciples, he said to them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you” (John 16:23). Then he told them, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (16:24).

What an incredible statement. As this scene took place, Christ was warning his followers that he was going away, and he wouldn’t see them for a short time. Yet, in the very same breath, he assured them they had access to every blessing of heaven. All they had to do was ask in his name.

The disciples had been personally taught by Jesus to knock, seek, and ask for the things of God. They were taught firsthand that all of the blessings of the Father—all grace, power and strength—were found in Christ. And they’d heard Jesus declare to the multitudes: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:12–14).

Christ’s words to his disciples convict me: “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name” (John 16:24). As I read this, I hear the Lord whispering to me, “David, you haven’t claimed the power I’ve made available to you. You simply need to ask in my name.”

Here is what I believe grieves God’s heart more than all the sins of the flesh combined. Our Lord is grieved by the ever-growing lack of faith in his promises…by ever-increasing doubts that he answers prayer…and by a people who claim less and less of the power that is in Christ.

No matter how much you have asked of the likeness of Christ, it is nothing compared to the resources of spiritual wisdom still awaiting in his storehouse. Ask largely! Ask for wisdom, ask for guidance, ask for revelation. But it must be asked in faith, nothing doubting.