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Several years ago, I purchased a little book of short devotionals centered on faith compiled from various sermons given by Smith Wigglesworth.  One of the lessons deals with the following text:

James 1:5  But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  6 But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  7 For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 {being} a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (NAS)

Smith’s approach is one that I had never really considered.  Of course God is “able” to meet every need and every desire.  Of course God responds to our faith.  Of course we are to pray and seek God’s involvement in our life.  The text does say, “Let him ask…!” But, Smith handled the text in a way that really opened my eyes to an aspect of faith that I think that the Body might be missing.  He takes the position that our asking over and over and over shows a “lack” of faith on our part.  Let me quote a bit here:

“I am satisfied that God, who is the builder of divine order, never brings confusion in His order.  If you want this divine order in your life, if you want wisdom, you have to come to God believing.  I want to impress upon you the fact that if you ask six times for anything, it shows you are an unbelieving person.  If you really believe, you will ask God only once, and that is all you need because He has abundance for your every need.  But if you go right in the face of asking once, and ask six times, He knows very well you do not mean what you ask, so you do not get it.  God does not honor unbelief.  He honors faith.  For example, if you ask God once for healing, you will get it.  But if you ask a thousand times a day till you forgot what you were asking, you’re not asking in faith.  If you would, ask God for your healing now, then begin praising Him.  He never breaks His promise.  You would go out perfect. `Only believe.’”  Excerpted: “Temptation Endured,” Bible study no 12, 12 July 1927, 10-11, Smith Wigglesworth on Faith, Creation House, 1996.

Wow!  In all my years of studying God’s Word, I never had really considered that angle.  I think it is right.  Too often my praying has been faithless because all I’ve done is ask without really believing…over and over and over again.  Bringing yesterday’s lesson back into focus, I think we have already been invited behind the counter.  We don’t have to peer into our blessing cabinet and tap the glass until God answers us.  He greets us at the door and we have all access to the storehouse.  Asking is necessary and it does magnify our faith in Whom we ask.  But we nullify our faith by not believing we have what we ask for.  Once we get this information into our spirit and it becomes reality to us, we will pray differently. I also think we need to re-evaluate who it is that is really doing the heavy lifting.  I think we’ve put a little too much emphasis on “our” part…which can be another form of work or performance.  I can’t see Him allowing us to capitalize on our works in this department.  Once we reduce it to our work, another religious formula, faith leaves the building like Elvis–big hair and all!  There is some mystery in all this.   I say it all the time:  God isn’t an ATM.  We can’t put in our card…push a few buttons…and get our desired miracle.  We are dealing with God here.

Lord, I want to exercise and grow my faith.   I want to believe what I’m asking for!  Thank you that you are faithful and nothing escapes Your attention.  I bless your Name today!  You are good!

-MDP_

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