Beliver Receiver

Mark 11: 24

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

This verse really struck me this week. Like you, I have heard it and read it many times. Still, something was louder this time. I believe Jesus is trying to show us something important.

Have you ever noticed that some people are better at getting their Christianity to work for them than others? This has bothered me for years. We all pray, right? So what makes some people different? I suspect the answer is in this verse. Listen to how it reads from the God’s Word translation, “That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours.” Jesus tells us to believe before we receive. Okay, I guess we have heard that before but that isn’t exactly what this says, is it? Jesus said as you pray, believe that you have ALREADY received that for which you are praying. What? If I have already received it, why am I praying for it?

If we can wrap our heads around this and the truth of it sink down into our hearts, I believe we will have the key to unlocking many mysteries in our lives. Hasn’t Jesus already won everything for us: salvation, redemption, etcetera? So, if he has already purchased my salvation then why did I need to pray for it? Has not the Father already provided everything we need? Then why are some of us under provisioned? It seems we have failed to requisition the supplies which have already been put up for us. We ask for them not believing that He has already accommodated our wants and needs.

It turns out that receiving is an action. In order for these things to move from the warehouse to your house, you have to do something. That “something” is this act of receiving. Apparently, receiving does not mean laying on the couch while manna rains down out of heaven on us. Drats! We are required to actively participate in the delivery of the supplies.

Perhaps we need to picture a warehouse with our name emblazoned on the outside. Within the warehouse which sports your name is everything Jesus suffered and died to give you. Also upon the shelves is the substance of every promise God has ever made. That is not all, though. As you walk down the aisles you see that the warehouse is stocked with everything for life. There are cars, houses, clothes, food, and computers. In fact, everything you can even think of is in that warehouse and it is already yours – if you believe it. If you believe that God has already provided, already stocked a warehouse for you then you need only to order it to be sent to you. If we pray believing not that God is going to do something for us but rather that He already has, does it change our experience?

Jesus’ statement is pretty bold. It also has a problem in that it does not fit into our theology but what if he said exactly what he meant? What if we must believe we already have it when we pray? It changes our prayer and our attitude doesn’t it? This represents part of the reason we are called believers. Belief is a key component of the warehouse distribution system. You can have what you believe for so, what do you believe?

The Seeker

Matthew 6: 33


But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.
One encounter with God can change your life forever. Having an encounter with God is worth everything. There really is nothing greater than a touch from Him. But how do we find god in our everyday lives? We must seek Him. When we seek Him, we find Him. In Him is the answer to every question we have as well as every need. Our job is to seek Him out and it is His job to provide us with the resources we need. Everything we need, want or desire is in Him. Seek Him with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength and he will give you the desires of your heart. He will be everything you need or want. His touch will fill your heart and heal your hurts. This type of seeking requires commitment and surrender though. If you will be determined to seek Him out, you will most definitely find Him. Seek Him in His word and through your prayers. He will be found by you.

The Giver of Bread

Matthew 6:11


Give us this day, our daily bread.
I wrote on this verse earlier this week. The emphasis then was twofold; first that bread must be received daily rather than weekly and second that Jesus is the bread. Today I want you to look at the first word of this verse and recall, as you do, that Jesus is teaching on how to pray.

I am struck by this word and this question occurs to me, “Why am I trying to earn a living when Jesus said to ask the Father to “give” me my daily bread?” It seems from this verse, and all that surrounds it, that providing my daily bread is Dad’s responsibility. It appears that my responsibility is to appeal to Him and to accept His gifts.

People get themselves very confused over whether Jesus’ teachings are metaphorical or literal. Let me answer that question for you. Yes!! They are both. One of the important lessons I have learned about Jesus and Yahweh is that they never only accomplish one thing. Dad may direct me to give money to a ministry in order to meet their need but His other goal and maybe even bigger aim is to bless me and meet my needs above and beyond all I can think. So in this verse Jesus is speaking very literally. He means for you to ask God to provide your daily sustenance and expect that the Father will. Jesus also means for you to understand the spiritual principle involved in receiving your daily needs from the Father. Yahweh is our provider. He is our source. Learn to expect Him to meet all of your needs. Secondly, understand that Jesus is the bread of life and ask the Father every day to give you more of this essential nutrient.

God’s Success System

Joshua 1: 7 – 8

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 


Here is a success kit. All you have to do is cut and paste this into your life and success will have to follow you. God’s word cannot be denied and here is His word on success, loud and clear. Perhaps we do not know how to believe as we should but we are all changing that day by day. But, God’s word works and it works all the time. We have lost the ability and or knowledge of how to receive in this country. Maybe it is because we have so much and really have not had to rely on God for our basic needs. In other countries, amazing miracles are taking place. We need only to put our faith back in God’s word and believe that what He says will come to pass. Then we meditate on it, we speak it out of our mouths and we do according to all that is written there. When we do that, we cannot fail. All that you want, and or need, is sure to follow.

Make a Wish

1 Kings 3: 5

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish me to give you.”

Wouldn’t we all like for God to appear to us with the promise to grant whatever we wish? That is what happened to Solomon. As you probably know, Solomon asked God for an understanding heart so that he would know how to rule God’s people. God was pleased with Solomon’s wish and granted him not only great wisdom but also riches and honor. God also promised long life if Solomon would continue to walk in the statutes and commandments.

I wonder sometimes if God isn’t posing the same question to us today? Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7: 7). “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14: 14). Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full (John 16: 24). If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15: 7). Perhaps, then, it is true that the Father is making us the same offer He made Solomon.

What is your Solomon wish?

Believer Receiver

Mark 11: 24

Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.

If you want to receive, then you must believe. I was imagining a football wide receiver running down the field anticipating a reception. You know, those guys want to catch the football, they want the quarterback to throw it to them. They are eager and they believe that if the ball is thrown to them, they will receive. I imagine, though, that if they ran down the field not expecting the ball, not believing the quarterback will pass to them, that it would be quite difficult, if not impossible, to receive. There is a direct connection between believing and receiving. Jesus certainly makes that point in today’s passage.

There are three words in this verse that stand out to me. They are pray, believe and receive. That is basically the formula. There is, however, another word which is perhaps the most important in the verse. That word is “have”. Jesus said that as we pray we should believe that we HAVE received. In other words, we should believe that we have already received that for which we petition him. If we want our petitions granted then we must believe that we have received. 

This is a very radical way of thinking. It certainly is not the way we were taught as we grew up. We were taught, at least most of us, that seeing is believing. What you see is true. It is reality. Unfortunately, that logic does not hold in the Kingdom of heaven. If you wait to see it in order to believe it, you will be waiting a long time.

A pastor friend of mine was accosted this weekend by a “believer” (complete misnomer) who was perplexed about a prayer of his. He had prayed for someone to be healed and that person was still exhibiting symptoms. He questioned why his prayer had not been answered. There are two faith answers to his question. First, who says it hasn’t been answered. If you prayed, believing then Jesus said your petition will be granted. Secondly, I want to ask, “Where is your believing?” Is he praying believing or praying hoping? He looked at the evidence from the world and concluded that his prayer had not been answered. Well, he is going to have a hard time because clearly he is not in belief. That is big time doubt. Jesus didn’t say to look to the evidence of the world for ratification. As a matter of fact, that is the absolute worst thing you can do. Where, do you suppose, that information comes from? Well, from the world at best, so it is carnal not of faith and certainly not of the Kingdom. Worst case scenario, it is the evidence that the devil is presenting. Why do want to believe that? No, you can’t believe what your eyes see, you must believe what the Word says. You have to let that Word from God issue from your heart and overwhelm your believer. Then if the worldly evidence does not agree you get to choose who to believe. If you stick with Jesus then he will grant your petition. If you choose to side with the world’s view of circumstances then that is the result you have selected.

The one thing that seems to trip up people the most is the duration of belief. We stand in prayer and during that time we confess our belief. We screw up our faith and commit our hopes and prayers to Jesus. Then here comes the problem – after we pray, we run out to the world to “see” if our prayer has come true. So, we are letting the evidence of the world validate the Word of God. Instead, your belief needs to survive beyond the duration of the prayer. If you believed, then keep on believing. So when you see that friend still sick your response is, “No, I have believed he is healed so I receive that healing and will not be talked out of it.”

Christians are often called believers. I think we need to make that a true declaration of how we interact with the world and with the Kingdom of God. Believing really is not some big “faith” thing, it is a obstinance thing, a decision really. Just refuse to be dissuaded. You have all the faith you need. Now, do you have all the resolve you need? Believe and keep on believing. Pray, expect and receive. It is time for you to look back up field for the ball coming towards you. Open your eyes, open your heart and receive.

IT WORKS!

Luke 6: 38

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.

If you have been reading this devotional for any period of time you know that I believe in this principle. I very much believe in the principle of seed, time and harvest but it is so easy to lose our conviction as we await our harvest. I shared the story of my overseeding my lawn this year and how I was beginning to wonder if anything was ever going to happen. All of a sudden, grass sprung up all over my yard. So the message there is, “Don’t give up on your seed.”

Recently I saw the truth of give and it will be given to you in striking reality and I want you to know that it really does work. Someone I know gave a significant contribution to a ministry. There were no strings attached. She is just a cheerful giver. The next thing she knew was that she received a gift of greater value than the donation she made. The gift was completely unexpected. It fairly came out of the blue.

Later she called me with her testimony. She realized that God led her to give. You see, God had in mind all along the blessing He wanted to get to her so He had her sow a seed which He then multiplied into something larger. God is so good and that is the way He works. And, it works all of the time. Even when you don’t see it working, those little seeds are in the ground sending out roots and growing. Before you know it you have a crop. Yahoo for harvest! 

So this isn’t theory, it isn’t empty theology. The Bible is a “How To” manual and it tells us how to reap a harvest … plant a seed. If you give, God will take that little seed and turn it into a full harvest. Just think how many tomatoes one tomato plant yields. That is God’s economy at work. Whatever you give to Him, He multiplies back to you many times over. So, if you have a financial need, give. It is the most counter-intuitive thing in the world but it works gang. Give and it shall be given unto you. Don’t believe me? Run your own experiment. See what God will do when you become a giver. I’m telling you, you will never have to worry about finances again.