“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). Interestingly, near the end of His life on earth, Jesus also said, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). Notice that Jesus was speaking to His disciples at the Last Supper, so to hear that they had asked nothing until this time must have been somewhat perplexing to them. After all, the very essence of discipling is a master/student relationship—one of asking and receiving. The fact that the disciples left their nets and began to follow Jesus was the basis of the relationship. They asked, and He answered and gave them what they needed.
What Jesus was actually telling them, however, was that an unprecedented time of hardship was imminent. You and I know that Jesus was about to be taken captive and as a result, all the disciples would flee. He was essentially saying, “You are going to be afraid, and a sense of loss and sorrow will try to fill your hearts. But I will be with you to give you an inner strength only available to those who are willing to do My work in the earth.” You will see this thought very clearly presented to the disciples in portions of chapters 13 through 18 in the gospel of John. “As you walk in the pathway that I have prescribed before you as My Body, you are going to have hope, vision, and joy. Up to this point you have not asked for what is really yours. But now, if you are willing to ask, you will receive all that you will need.”
In Matthew 25:4-8, Jesus gave an illustration of the day of Christ’s return. The five wise virgins took oil in their lamps, but the five foolish virgins had no oil. When the crisis hit, the foolish said to the wise, “You seem to see something that we don’t see. You stand here saying, ‘Behold the Bridegroom,’ yet we see nothing but darkness and calamity. Give us some of your oil!” Yet, tragically, they asked too late.
Beloved, it is very hard to get the resources that Christ is willing to give once the calamity hits. Remember Noah’s day! Before the floods came, God closed the door of the ark and sealed Noah and his family inside. Imagine when the rain started and people outside began banging on the door. They could not enter because the ark had been closed—the time of asking was over; the time of getting needed strength was past.
Ask Jesus now for the things that you need!
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world.