LIFE IS A series of expectations. We’re expecting something either good or bad. Some people are pessimistic. They’re always sure the worst will happen. Others are optimistic and look for the best, no matter what is going on around them.
Our expectations are based on words. If someone said, “Hold out your hand. I have something for you,” most people would immediately extend an eager hand.
Parents have said to their kids, “If you get the yard work done, we’ll do such-and-such.” The children then look forward to what they’ve been promised.
The same is true when we are told we’re getting a raise. As soon as we receive our paycheck, we look to make sure the extra money is there! Some people have even bought something new before they saw the raise. They did this because they believed what their supervisor told them. Before they saw an increase, they acted like they already had it.
God Is a Good Father
Based on what God promised in scripture, we can expect good things. We can also be sure that He is always ready, willing, and able to pour out His blessings on us.
Most earthly fathers help their kids and grandkids as much as they can. I have five grandsons, and if they want something, they call Poppy. And you know what Poppy says? “OK.” Why? I love those boys. If it’s within my power, I am going to make it happen.
Our Heavenly Father is the same way. Sad to say, some fathers don’t help their kids. God is not like that. He wants to help His children more than any earthly father does. Scripture says, “As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask” (Matt. 7:11 CEV).
“Heaven must be full of answers for which no one has ever bothered to ask.”
You Have to Ask
Notice the last part of Matthew 7:11 says that God will give good things to “people who ask.” Matthew makes it clear that we have to ask. Cameron Thompson said, “Heaven must be full of answers for which no one has ever bothered to ask.”* That is a powerful statement! God is both able and willing to help you. All you have to do is ask for what He promised you in the Bible.
One time many years ago, I was making plans to go to a baseball game with some guys I worked with. One of the men really wanted to go but didn’t have the money. Someone in the group preached a mini sermon to him on believing God for finances.
When it came time to collect the money for the tickets, the guy who preached the mini sermon didn’t have it. Only a few days earlier, he had preached to his friend, but he ended up not having the money!
This shows you can know all about a subject but not be able to apply it to your own life! Until you open your mouth and ask God for what you want or need, you won’t get anything.
I have had people say to me, “I just can’t understand why so-and-so is always getting stuff!”
In talking to them, I learned that they have never prayed and asked God to meet their need. They thought He knew what they needed, so they never bothered going to Him about their situation.
Some people think God is moved by our need, but He isn’t. He’s not moved by our emotions or tears either. Faith is what moves God to perform His Word.
Many people have heard faith preached and taught, but they are not receiving from God. They have faith in their heart, but they aren’t putting it into action. They want others to pray and believe that God will do something for them. They don’t understand that they can pray and God will hear them.
You can go to your Heavenly Father the same way you do your earthly father. You can ask God for what the Bible says belongs to you. Here are five practical ways to increase your faith and raise your expectation level so you can receive what is already yours.
- MAINTAIN A DIET OF GOD’S WORD
Meditate on scriptures that talk about the goodness of God and tell you who you are in Christ. Remind yourself of scripture that covers what you are asking for. As you meditate on these scriptures, you are building your faith and you will have a solid foundation to stand on.
- PRAY IN THE SPIRIT
Spend time praying in tongues. The Holy Spirit will tell you things to do that will help you receive from Him.
Praying in tongues helps us be more sensitive to what God wants us to do. We learn to recognize the inward witness of the Spirit more easily. One way to describe that inward witness is that we have an inner peace. As we learn to follow that peace, it will be a governing factor in our lives.
- REMEMBER WHAT GOD DID
It’s good to remember what God has already done for us. If He did it once, He will do it again. Relive the times when God helped you accomplish something everyone said was impossible. It will help build your faith.
- READ THE STORIES OF OTHERS
The Bible is filled with stories of how God helped people. If He helped them, He will help you too. Seeing how they persevered will help you remain steadfast and strong until you receive. The inspiration you will get from reading these Bible stories will help build up your faith and expectation.
- GET IN A CORPORATE ATMOSPHERE OF FAITH
God doesn’t want any of His children to stand alone. Anytime you are experiencing challenges, church is where you need to be. There is a corporate atmosphere of faith in a body of believers.
You may come to church feeling down and caught up in your situation. But when you come together with your brothers and sisters in the Lord, your faith is joined with theirs. Instead of wondering how you are going to make it, you are encouraged and your faith is strengthened.
As you lift up your eyes toward God in faith instead of focusing on your circumstances, you will begin to see what He has for you. Then you can confidently ask Him for the things you need and receive what you ask for.
* As quoted by Ruth Bell Graham in Legacy of a Pack Rat (Nashville, Tennessee. Oliver-Nelson Books, 1989), 151.
Kenneth W. Hagin
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