Many people familiar with the Bible can quote the words from James, “You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).
As I was reflecting on an experience I had earlier today, I understood a new application of that verse.
There are many Christians I have known over the years who have told me about the lack of excitement they were experiencing in their Christian walk. I have a remedy for that.
Ask God to use you to be a blessing to others and to Honor and represent Him well. ….and then, be responsive to His promptings.
Ask people questions to better understand their needs and ways that you can demonstrate love to them.
Let me make this less abstract by recounting my experience from earlier today:
At my work, I ran into a woman who had mentioned several weeks earlier in one of our meetings that her husband was going to have surgery. So, I asked this woman today how her husband was doing. She mentioned fairly well and that he was trying to get more active. She also thanked me for remembering her husband and asking me about how he was doing.
She then went on to say that her husband and her were just a bit tired because they had stayed up pretty late the night before because their son had called to talk with them about some of his problems.
That seemed to me to be a bit unusual that a son would call late at night (she said it was about 11:30 p.m.), so I asked about his situation and if he was going to be okay. My question about her son opened her up to freely talk about what was going on his life.
So, two things come to my mind as take aways from this experience today:
1) one is that I realized that I took the time “to ask” her how she was doing (I don’t do that as much as I should). In other words, I wasn’t wearing blinders, just thinking of myself and not noticing (or caring) about others.
2) after the woman shared her heart with me and her concern for her son, I did not say, “better you, than me”. I also did not say, “good luck”. How empty, really empty would those words have been. “Good luck!”–really, as though focusing her attention on “good luck” would be more comforting than pointing in the direction of a living, loving God ? What I did in this situation today is respond to the prompting I felt God was giving me.
After she poured out her heart to me about her son’s troubles, I said, “would you mind if we just took a minute to pray about this situation?
I was touched by her gratitude that I would show concern and was willing take the time to pray for her and her son. It seemed like our prayer together lifted the concern off her to the capable hands of God. I think she felt comfort and confidence in that (which she should have).
Experiences like today encourage me in my faith because I see God at work, tearing me away from focusing on myself to think about the needs of others. Sure, it can make me nervous at times to ask someone personal questions and ask, if I can pray for them (but its getting easier to do so, the more I do it), but its so cool to believe that God is using me to be a blessing to someone and to be His hands, feet, ears, and mouth.
Because of opportunities like today, my life and faith are exciting, mostly, because my God is exciting.
You do not have because you do not ask. Ask God to use you to be a blessing to others. As you are engaged with people “ask” them about the things you observe in their words and actions that might reveal an area of need. Then act accordingly to His promptings.