By Angela Craig
First Thessalonians 5:18b says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Lately there has been a trend to thank God for the small things in life. I am onboard. In fact, I like to think of myself as one of the first converters to the world of small gratitude. Thanking God for the small things minimized a grumbling and discontent spirit. But I have found that focusing on small gratitude minimizes my faith in the BIG things that God is capable off and wants to do in my like. I have put God is a small box that fits my small perspective of what He will do for me.
I have to remember: There are two different ways to be thankful. For the present and the future.
In Scripture, James wrote: “Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it” (4:2b). No beating around the bush James is specific and to the point about the outcome of our lives when we ask for little.
What are you believing God to do for you? What are you expecting? What do you have faith for?
In Mark chapter 10:51, Jesus asks the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” This may seem like an obvious answer to you and me. But how do we know the blind man believed he could be healed? Maybe he felt his immediate need was money or shelter, not sight.
This passage of scripture challenges me in many ways. First, it reminds me of what James said right after he taught that we have nothing because we pray for nothing. James wrote, “ And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure” (4:3). James is correct. Typically, my motives are self-centered and stuck on my present need. I do not see the past, present, and future like the Lord so I have no idea what is good for me. I just want what I want and I want it now. When I ask with the wrong motivation and don’t receive, I quit asking.
But what if I learned to ask for what God wanted instead? This is another clear reason people do not ask. What God wants can seem boring, restrictive, and unknown. But this is only because they don’t understand that what God wants for us is so much BIGGER and BETTER than what we want for ourselves!
Just read the Bible and find out the truth.
Do you remember prayer of Jabez?
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. ~ 1 Chronicles 4:10
The Prayer of Jabez reminds me that when we ask for more territory, more influence, more opportunity, health and wellness we do it to make a mark on the world for God’s Kingdom and in it we are blessed.
There is another place in scripture where the question, “Tell me what I can do for you” is asked and the outcome is riveting. 2 Kings 2:9 in the story of Elijah and Elisha:
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha,
“Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.
This Thanksgiving I challenge you, ask for more than a double portion of mash potatoes and gravy. Ask for a double portion of God’s Spirit to fall upon you. Ask for the miracle of health. Ask for an addiction to be broken by God’s love, ask for a healed marriage with God as the center…
This Thanksgiving let’s ask Him and then thank God in expectation of the BIG things that only He can do in and through our lives!
Please share so we can pray and believe with you.