Matthew 7:7-8 (NLT) Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
How Do We Receive From the Lord?
We receive from the Lord today in the same way that people in the Bible received from the Lord—whether it is salvation, healing, wisdom, or some other gift God has provided. We receive by faith, and faith is belief and trust in God and who He is.
James 1:5-7 (NLT) If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
The Word of God makes it clear that it is by faith, or belief in God and His Word that we receive.
Let’s look at more scripture that prove this point.
Matthew 21:22 (NLT) You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
These are Jesus' comments after the disciples remarked that fig tree that Jesus cursed the day before on the way to the temple was now dead. The Arabic version of the New Testament, which is what Jesus and the disciples probably spoke, reads like this, "in prayer with faith". This indicates that for whatever is asked in faith, if it is agrees with the will of God, which is contained in His word, it will be given, even if it appears to be impossible:
Mark 9:23 (NLT) “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
Jesus said this after that great scene where Jesus was with Peter, James, and John and Jesus was transfigured and talked with Moses and Elijah. When they came down from the mountain, there was a crowd and there was a man there with a demon possessed son. He had asked Jesus’ disciples to help and cast the demon from his son but they couldn’t do it. The man then asked Jesus for help. The man said he believed but he also asked that Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief. I wrote about this in another blog post, “Lord I Believe; Help My Unbelief – Increase My Faith”. Here’s the link to it. Jesus also talks about prayer and fasting in this particular case but this post is about the absolute necessity of faith in order to receive and that's the case with fasting and prayer anyway.
This from the Pulpit Commentary. It is as though Jesus said, "Thou sayest to me, 'If thou canst do anything!' Ah, that 'If thou canst!' All things are possible to him that believeth." In other words, our Lord said to him, "Believe in me, and your child shall be healed." It was right that Christ should demand faith in himself; for it was not fitting that he should confer his special benefits on those who disbelieved or doubted about him - that he should thrust his blessings on those who were unworthy of them. The answer of the father is touching and beautiful. Greatly agitated, he cried out and said, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. It is as though he said," I do believe; but my faith is weak. Do thou, therefore, increase and strengthen it; so that whatever there is in me of doubt or remaining unbelief may be taken away, and I may be counted worthy to obtain from thee this blessing for my son."
Where Does Belief/Faith Happen?
I believe that these verses indicate that believing takes place in our heart, not in our head. Let me explain.
Romans 10:8-10 (NLT) In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. (Emphasis mine)
The word “heart” and some form of the word “believe” or “faith” are used in each one of these verses.
Whatever we receive from God comes the same way—by faith, or by believing. And it’s with our heart, not our head—our intellect or our physical senses.
How Do We Believe With Our Heart Its A Muscle?
Yes it’s the muscle that pumps blood through our bodies but that’s not what I’m talking about.
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Society promotes the “heart” as ONLY emotions (I love you with all my heart, I just love the way she/he makes me feel, my heart is broken) but the “heart” refers to the CORE of our inner person.
The heart, according to Strong’s Concordance: includes thinking. The Greek word is kardia - prolonged from a primary kar (Latin cor, “heart”); the heart, i.e. (figurative) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle :- (+ broken-) heart (-ed).
Holman Bible Dictionary - First, the word heart refers to the physical organ and is considered to be the center of the physical life. Eating and drinking are spoken of as strengthening the heart (Genesis 18:5; Judges 19:5; Acts 14:17 ). As the center of physical life, the heart came to stand for the person as a whole.
The heart became the focus for all the vital functions of the body; including both intellectual and spiritual life. The heart and the intellect are closely connected, the heart being the seat of intelligence: “For this people's heart is waxed gross lest at any time they should understand with their heart, and should be converted” (Matthew 13:15 ). The heart is connected with thinking: As a person “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 ). To ponder something in one's heart means to consider it carefully (Luke 1:66; Luke 2:19 ). “To set one's heart on” is the literal Hebrew that means to give attention to something, to worry about it (1 Samuel 9:20 ). To call to heart (mind) something means to remember something (Isaiah 46:8 ). All of these are functions of the mind, but are connected with the heart in biblical language.
The heart is thought to be the seat of the inner self (composed of life, soul, mind, and spirit). Heart is similar in meaning to soul, but often the heart has a focus on thinking and understanding.
Mark 2:8 (NLT) Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts?
Luke 24:38-40 (NLT) “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.
The heart is regarded as the seat of feeling, impulse, affection, desire.
Matthew 6:21 (NLT) Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
The heart, as the seat of intellect.
Matthew 13:15 (NLT) For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’
1 John 3:21-22 (BBE) My loved ones, if our heart does not say that we have done wrong, we have no fear before him; And he gives us all our requests, because we keep his laws and do the things which are pleasing in his eyes.
So when you think of your heart, think about your inner self including your thoughts, emotions, attitudes, desires, passions, motives, etc.
When the Bible talks about believing with our heart, it’s talking about believing with the inner man, or our spirit.
In other words, you believe on the inside. And what you believe on the inside is manifested on the outside. God starts working on the inside of a person and works to the outside. For example, healing doesn’t start on the outside—it starts with your believing in your heart (on the inside). When you pray, you believe, or have faith, that you receive and you do.
How Does it Happen?
Romans 10:17 (BBE) So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Remember believing is with the heart. To receive you must believe and it begins with hearing the Word of Christ. The King James says the Word of God. Hearing is more than just sitting through a sermon on Sunday or listening to a preacher on the radio, or television, or YouTube. It means spending time reading, studying, praying. But you must accept and receive into your own hearts—the Word.
So often Christians just accept what someone else says instead of studying the Bible for themselves. That’s how so many are deceived by false teachers and doctrine and are hurt and even leave the church. Don't just take my word or the word of your Pastor, or favorite Televangelist or author, study the Word for yourself. What I say, or what anyone else says, is unimportant unless it’s scriptural.
You must believe God’s Word for yourself—in your own heart—to receive from Him. Yes, God can and still does perform miracles but that is not the ordinary way to receive from Him. So don’t sit around and wait for something to turn up. Get in the Word for yourself, believe it in your heart, and then do what the Word says!
Too many Christians are just waiting, letting time pass expecting God to move in their lives. When He does not fix the situation they give up and lose hope. In some cases they blame God, the church, the Pastor or themselves, but the result is the same. God cannot move in their lives simply by praying and then letting time pass. We often quote James 2:17 Even so faith without works is dead (BBE). However many times we don’t work we just wait and do nothing. Work doesn’t mean we forget about God but we do what we know to do and then leave the rest to God.
This cycle has rendered too many Christians powerless, defeated and not much different than the unsaved people around them. In some cases they are worse off because they pray and then do nothing... waiting on God to do a miracle. Meanwhile the unsaved aren't waiting for God so they go ahead and do whatever they can and in many cases come out looking better than the Christian.
In the bible we can read about the miracles in the early church, what happened? When did we lose the power? Did God get tired? Did He treat them differently than us?
Absolutely not! God is the same yesterday, today and forever!
Then what is the problem? If you have been taught that waiting on the Lord is a Holy thing and that God is sovereign and therefore if He answers prayer He will... and if He doesn't then just accept it and He will help you get through the situation... even if it kills you... WELL…. IT MAY JUST DO THAT
Some scriptures that can be misused or misunderstood.
Psalm 5:3 (NLT) Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Psalm 27:14 (NLT) Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.
Psalm 62:1-2 (NLT) I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.
Isaiah 40:27-31 (NKJV) Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
These scriptures read in context tell us to apply our faith to the waiting time.
If we want prayer answered in our lives and receive from God we need to get this! Waiting on the Lord has more to do with what we do, and our faith, than it does with time passing. Time alone will not bring the promises of God into our lives. If it did then over the years we would see everybody healed, and all the problems of the world solved. But we don’t see that do we?
Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Sincerely seeking is not just letting time pass…
Galatians 5:5-6 (HCSB) For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love. It is true most often there is a time period between "Amen and there it is,” Biblical waiting on the Lord, God’s way is to ask in faith, expect in faith and receive in Faith. If we start out in faith then give up we should not expect God to answer our prayer either.
We can receive from God it if we have knowledge of His Word, are committed to His Will, Trust in His ways, and Pray for His Wisdom.
Do You Want To Receive From God?
If so you need to be a part of His family, you need to become acquainted with His Son Jesus.
John 1:12-13 (NLT) But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. Here’s how that happens;
Romans 10:9-12 (NLT) If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.
If you want to receive all the benefits that God has promised to His children then pray this prayer in all sincerity (only you and God know if you’re really sincere);
“Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.”
If you have just prayed this prayer, in all sincerity, call, text, email, Tweet, change your Facebook status and tell somebody, leave me a comment here or send me an email with this Link. Then find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers. Welcome to the family of God.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.