We’ve all heard the saying, “you have not because you ask not.” But what does it really mean? This phrase, taken from the Bible, is often used to encourage us to take action and ask for what we want.
It’s an important reminder that if we don’t ask for something, we won’t get it. In other words, if we don’t take the initiative to ask for what we want or need, we can’t expect to receive it. Let’s explore the meaning of this phrase and how it applies to our lives.
You have not because you ask not explanation
Many people go through life without God’s help, but it is very low to live this way. When we get to heaven the last thing I want to hear is, “Look at all these things I wanted to give you while you were on earth, but you forgot to ask!” If I don’t receive something from God, I don’t want it to be because I didn’t ask for it. It amazes me how many people pray to God daily, praising Him, and asking for his “list” of things, but forgetting to share with God what is really bothering them. If God says “No” to your request or “Wait”, still praise Him, but ask Him! There is a passage in Scripture in Joshua 15: 18-19 where Caleb’s daughter received land from her father, but it was dry land without water. She said, ” Give me a blessing: since you have given me the land of dry land, give me also sources of water.” She wasn’t afraid to ask. If you’ve ever thought, “I should be satisfied with what I have and not bother anyone,” then you could end up with lands to the south without water.
- Explanation of Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find
- 5 Prayers to ask for help when you need it most
It is true that this would be better than having no land, but why not have both? Notice that she did not ask for a font but rather asked for “fonts”, and her father gave her at least four (see vs. 19). When she asked, she could have said“Can you give me a font?” But hey, if you’re going to ask, then ask for “sources!” If we are going to ask selfishly or for our own interests, then you would be wrong. Nor do I mean to imply that we should be dissatisfied or ungrateful with what we have in this life.
Things you could ask of God include; joy, happiness, peace, a wife or husband, being a better parent, wisdom to answer a question or solve a problem, power and grace to do what God wants, a job, etc.
- Have you ever prayed for an hour? (Matthew 26: 40-41). I’d rather be on my knees in a spiritual battle in prayer for an hour than worrying about something for two weeks!
“Do not be anxious about anything; but let your requests be known before God in all prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ” (Philippians 4: 6-7). You pray and ask God to give you peace that everything will be solved.
There are two parables where Christ teaches us that if we don’t get what we want, to keep praying (Luke 11: 5-8, Luke 18: 1-5). Why? One would think that “If God wants me to have it, He will give it to me, and if not, then why keep asking?” Well, to begin with, if we keep praying for something, eventually we will have to ask ourselves what our motive is for asking, “Why do I really want this?”
God might want you to give up something (1 Samuel 1: 10-17), and if we go to the Lord every day in prayer for the desires of our hearts we will eventually say, “Whatever you want, Lord.” Spending time with God is always good, and I see myself more clearly, I find myself confessing more sins, attitudes, and complaints.