CLERGY CORNER: Do you know what you need?

Posted on 22 June 2017 by LeslieM

The story is told of King Midas who was granted one wish of his choosing. Being fond of treasure, he asked that whatever he touched would be turned into gold. With his wish granted, he began to touch everything that was common and watch it transform before his eyes. Cups, spoons, chairs and metal coins all now glittered and sparkled with golden brilliance. His delight with his new ability was soon turned to frustration and sorrow as he began to realize that he could not control this gift, for when he embraced his only daughter she turned into a lifeless statue of gold.

We have all imagined what we would do, should we be given the opportunity to have one wish granted. Some would ask for great sums of money; others would request houses or land; and maybe others would ask for fame and notoriety. Maturity teaches, however, that granted wishes are the object of childhood fantasies, and are the fodder for fairy tales and the imagination. It is mainly through hard work and diligent labor that we can attain the things that we desire.

There is something to be said though, of seeking God for favor and asking Him for specific blessings. The Bible indicates that God delights in, and longs for, our petitions and prayers. Unfortunately, some may have been led to believe that they will not receive the things that they request from God. His word assures us, however, that appropriate asking nets appropriate responses.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).

To those who may argue that prayers are useless, James 4:2 cautions “You do not have what you want because you do not ask God for it. And when you ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad; you ask for things to use for your own pleasures.”

There is a need then, for the petitioner to make the kinds of requests that please God and secure His ready answer. Purely selfish motives will not be rewarded. When the intent is for the benefit of others and the glory of God, there is an opportunity for success.

In 1 Kings chapter three, Solomon was the newly established king of Israel. In succeeding his father, David, he differentiated himself from his brothers, Absalom and Adonijah. Rather than presumption and arrogance, he displays reverence and humility. He worships God and prays for wisdom to lead the nation.

In a dream one night (verse 5), God appeared to him and urged him, “Ask, what shall I give you?”

Solomon’s answer exposed his sincerity.

Therefore, give to your servant an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of yours?” (verse 9).

It is recorded that God was pleased with Solomon’s request and granted him superior wisdom along with wealth and honor.

Our encouragement comes from knowing that, despite our inabilities and inadequacies, God stands ready to give us divine support to manage whatever tasks lay before us. In our weakness, He is able to provide strength, and cause us to succeed where others may expect us to fail. But we must ask Him, and believe that He will give us what we need. It is time to align our desires with His design, and to pursue His purposes in our living. Then we can be free to make our requests with the confidence that He will answer affirmatively. Like the mothers of the church in our faith, tradition would say, “tell Him what you need!”

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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