God is “able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within me,” (Ephesians 3:20) What do I ask Him for? Could it be that I “have not because I ask not.”? (James 4:2) Or am I asking Him for all the wrong things? C.S. Lewis said something really interesting when he said,
“It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
I think that may be true, Maybe it’s not that I ask God for too much, but perhaps I believe Him for and ask Him for too little. That may have been the case with the paralytic lowered by his four friends down through the roof of the home in which Jesus was teaching those gathered together there. The paralytic’s friends had to cut a hole in the roof because the crowd assembled to hear Jesus teach was so large that they couldn’t get their paralyzed friend into the house to see Jesus any other way. This roof entrance may seem like a drastic measure, but the stakes were high. They believed Jesus could heal their friend of his infirmity. So they sought access to Jesus by any means necessary.
What they sought from Jesus was physical healing of their friend’s body. This would be a miraculous, wonderful thing and they would be completely satisfied with this outcome. It didn’t occur to them to ask for anything more. (in their defense, they knew Jesus was a healer, but they did not yet realize who He really was – aka – the long awaited, promised Messiah, the Savior, Redeemer, Deliverer, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Creator and Sustainer of the universe) Had they known Jesus’s true identity, perhaps they would have been bold enough to ask for more. (they had already demonstrated their belief in Jesus’s ability to heal physical ailments and their boldness by going to any lengths to obtain such a healing) Could they believe Jesus for more and be bold enough to ask Him for more?
But what would that “more” be? What could be more desirable than to be made physically whole again, after living years in a body broken and hurting? Jesus actually answered that question for them with His first words to their paralytic friend. We read what happened in Mark 2:4-5 –
“Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ ”
Not exactly what they were seeking or asking of Jesus, not what they wanted, not what they were expecting. Nor was this something they even thought their friend needed. Their friend needed a physical healing. This much was obvious to anyone who saw him. Never mind that a physical healing would be temporary at best, because we all leave these earthly, temporal bodies behind eventually. But Jesus saw beyond this man’s immediate, temporal need to his deepest need – a need with eternal consequences. This man desired a temporal healing. Jesus wanted to give him so much more. Jesus wanted to give him eternal life, the salvation of his soul, the joy of the forgiveness of his sins.
As C.S. Lewis pointed out, sometimes we are too easily satisfied with the things of this world when our Heavenly Father wants to give us so much more. We don’t ask too much of God, we desire Him too little and we ask too little from Him. (especially since He wants to give us all things, as He did not even spare His own Son – Romans 8:32) So our story continues as the onlookers react to Jesus giving the paralytic something he did not know to ask Jesus for, something much more valuable than he could ever ask or imagine.
“Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, ‘Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ . . . and He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ‘ He said to the paralytic, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all.” (Mark 6-12) Luke adds in his account, “and went home praising God.”
So Jesus, in His great compassion, fulfilled both the temporal and the eternal need of this man. The crowds that followed Jesus were seeking food (the feeding of the five thousand) and miraculous, physical healings. Jesus wanted to give them so much more. Abundance awaited them, but they didn’t know it was even possible. Jesus’s encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well reveals this abundance that awaits me for the asking.
“Jesus answered her, (the Samaritan woman) ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.’ ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘. . . Where can you get this living water?’ . . . Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water (from the well) will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ ” (John 4:10-14)
Jesus was ready and willing to give this woman so much more than she could ever think to ask or imagine. It was hers for the asking. And ask she did!
“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’ ” (John 4:15)
This woman didn’t ask at first because she didn’t know who it was that spoke these words to her. But when Jesus revealed His true identity things changed. We read the rest of the story in John 4 –
“The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I who speak to you am He.’ . . . Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, . . . (and later) They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.’ ” (John 25-26 & 39-42)
Abundance awaits! While He was here, Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, the lame walked and the lepers were cleansed. But He came to do so much more than we could ever hope for or ask for or imagine. Jesus said,
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Many translations say ” . . . and have it more abundantly.”
God’s abundance awaits for the asking.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
sincerely, Grace Day
2 thoughts on “C.C. abundance awaits #204”
Amen! Jesus, I ask for all of you for my kids, my grandbabies. You given me much, but there is always more & more of You to discover & receive. I want the more & more You possess & offer! Amen.
What a good reminder! We may be shocked to see what we could’ve had if we had just asked. May I remember that the earth is the lords and the fullness thereof. My heavenly father..
My abba wants to provide for me if I will but ask.