Asking, Believing and Receiving
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe thatye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24
Believing to receive what you already have requires no faith because you already have it. But, there is a secret truth in believing for what you already have, before you see it.
When you make an online purchase the item you buy is yours from the moment your payment clears. Even though it may be days before you receive it, it’s yours the moment you pay for it. Prayer in faith works that way.
Consider this. Anything that will be realized in the future requires some measure of faith from us now, even those things that we already know are ours but are yet to be in our hands. For example, we can say. “I’ll draw out $25.00 from my checking account tomorrow.” Now according to your bank statement you have more than enough in your account to make the withdrawal, but until you actually have it in your hand you are exercising faith that it will be there at the moment you request the payment. In the mean time, you have no doubt. You don’t even imagine not being able to make the withdrawal. As far as you are concerned it will happen. That certainty is the measure of faith you have for the transaction to take place without interference, delay or negative issues of any kind that would prevent it.
So, now we desire something from the Lord. We submit it to prayer, asking specifically for what we want. Now, in the moment we pray, ask or petition the Lord for anything, we should also believe with like confidence that we had in withdrawing funds from the bank, that we receive what we have asked for.
But, you say, Joseph, the reason I have faith the money will be there for my $25.00 withdrawal is because I put it there in my previous deposits. I don’t have any such assurance on petitioning Heaven that is, Jesus and the Father for the things I desire, that I can’t get for myself. I’m asking God because I don’t have a means by my human resources alone to come up with what I desire. If I’m going to receive it, it’s totally up to God to provide.
You’re right in part. But you do have a Heavenly account that you regularly deposit into. As a tither, God has promised that He would open the windows of Heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And even more, He will rebuke the devourer, the devil, the thief, the spiritual forces that would steal your blessing by cunning and misadventure, so that he will not destroy the fruit of those things you have planted, and naturel forces will not ruin your crops and cause them to fall to ground before they ripen.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:10-11
This is a promise of God for us to embrace, believe, act on and receive the blessing that comes with it. We can and should tithe with expectation, hope and confidence that God’s Word is stronger and more reliable than our personal bank deposits. By that I mean, what God has done for us and promised to us is more worthy of our confidence and faith than any human action we might take as a matter of mundane everyday activities.
What is most remarkable about this promise of God is that He tells us to test Him in it, to try Him and see if He won’t do it.
"…and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts."
That is amazing! Normally, when some one makes an “outrageous” claim we are the ones who say to them, “Prove it!” But here God tells us to prove Him, to dare to do what He says, just to see that He will do it.
There is nothing to fear here or to be cautious and timid in acting on it.
Have we, and do we tithe? Then we have treasure stored up in the God’s storehouse. It’s not stored up for His use. He doesn’t need our money or the myriad blood sacrifices of Israel because without them He would be incomplete. So, who is the meat in God’s storehouse there for? It is there for our benefit and help, for our blessing and provision in the time of need.
The works of our hands will be blessed and more than what we can produce from the fruit of the earth, from human labor, sacrifice and investment, God will protect and keep from robbery and wasting, but He will also pour down from Heaven an overwhelming, flow of blessing, too great for us to contain.
So, when we ask and believe that when we pray we receive, in that moment we do indeed receive it. Therefore, we have it. Now we only need to wait to receive it in hand. It was granted when we prayed. Our Faith now says, when we prayed we received and soon we shall see and handle it with our own hands.
Well what if God says, No? If we asked according to His will He does not say, No. If we asked amiss to consume it on our lusts, then the answer to that is always. No. [James 4:1-3]
But that you may prosper and be in health is always, Yes!
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." 1 John 5:14-15
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
3 John 2-4
"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32