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Lost Crusader #199 Caveat Emptor

“Ask, and it shall be given you…”

Matthew 7:7

This single phrase is often extended to those in distress as a blank check in which anything might be written, and happy results ensue. Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. Now, those words are not in scripture, but the principle behind it is.

In conjunction with Jesus’ exhortation to ask, he illustrates the role of God as Father giving gifts to His children. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him.”

This is where a lack of knowledge about the nature of God the Father fails so many petitioners. God, as Father, is not a modern-day parent held hostage in a check-out line by the tantrums of his children. Everything we desire is not good for us. When we finally come to terms with and make peace with God, we agree to enter into a Father-child relationship. We may not take our role seriously, but God does.

Every gift God, as a good Father gives to His children has a lesson attached. The gifts God gives are designed to promote our growth as individuals and the deepening of our relationship with God. As a good Father, He will say, “No” to that which does not lead to those ends.

But sometimes, He will say, “yes” to our ill-conceived requests to teach us a lesson we will not soon forget. I’m going to share just three examples of this.

In the wilderness, God gave His people manna from heaven. They had only to go out and gather up a day’s supply. But they grew tired of bread from heaven and wanted meat. After much crying, like that child in the grocery store, He sent them quail. They ate quail until it came out their nostrils.

That story always reminds me of the time I wanted to try one of my father’s cigars. He finally let me—I puked my guts out the rest of the day.

In the next instance, God’s children asked for a king to rule over them so they could be like all the other nations. God told them what life would be like under a human king, but they were not deterred by His warning. God gave them a king. A great deal of the Old Testament is filled with how their kings were their undoing.

Later, when the kingdom was destroyed, a group went to the prophet Jeremiah. They wanted him to ask God to tell them what to do. The prophet came back to tell them that God said to stay where they were. He would protect them. But they had already decided on a plan and that wasn’t it. They went into hiding in Egypt, but all the things that they feared would happen to them at home followed them—and as they feared, killed them.

When you ask God for something, He answers. The answer may not be what we wish to hear, but it is the Father’s answer nonetheless. That answer, though it may be unpleasant, is for your good. Accept it, reject it, or ignore it, God gave you the right to do any of those things. And every choice has its own set of consequences.


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