Ask and it shall be given to you… this is a great Bible truth that we can use every moment of our lives. When’s the last time you asked the Lord something? Notice I didn’t say ‘ask for’ something, though that is also available. Many of us ask the Lord for ‘stuff’ or to ‘do things’ for us, more than we ask anything else. That’s perfectly fine, but I’m talking about something completely different.
In addition to asking God to help you get that job, or to get the money for that automobile repair, or to attract someone’s love — or even to ask the Lord to do something for someone else, I’d like you to start asking the Lord for information about the people you meet and speak with. God can give you insight into someone’s heart and life so you can truly minister ‘in the spirit of the Lord.’
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
I have a personal example I’d like to share with you, and it’s not the only example I have. I ask God about the people I meet and speak with and sometimes I get clear answers. In this example, I was speaking with someone and I wanted to base what I was saying on the person’s life rather than on some arbitrary scenario. I asked my Father God what the person’s occupation was. I saw a faint but clear image of an architect’s T-square and drawing triangle. I asked the person if he was an architect and he said, “I’m an artist.”
My background from my school days was mechanical drawing and that’s what God used to communicate to me that this person worked with images. You may say it wasn’t from God because I said ‘architect’ rather than ‘artist’ but the end result was the same. I was able to communicate with that person from a more intimate position. I was just learning how to commune-icate with God as well (as I continue to).
“Ask and it shall be given [to] you.”
When I was in my mid-twenties and was getting heavily involved in biblical research, I knew that I was looking at women from a carnal point of view. I’s see a pretty young women and immediately think of sex. You might say I lusted after women, but not to the degree that I was offensive to them or was in any way a degenerate. I asked God to help me because Jesus indicated that if you lusted after someone in your mind then that was the same as committing sexual sin with them.
God told me to look at their life, their soul, rather than their physical appearance. The transition was easier than I thought. From then on when I saw a women, I asked God to show me their soul, their heart. I got a completely different impression than I used to get. I found out that these women had needs, issues and burdens weighing them down. I saw they were in need of God’s love and care. I was then able to approach them differently, with the heart to communicate God’s love for them instead of my own selfish intentions.
“Ask and it shall be given [to] you.”
Asking is Part of Walking By the Spirit
We are exhorted to ‘walk by the spirit’ and not by sight. Sight represents the five senses, what we can see, taste, touch, feel and smell. Spirit is altogether outside the category of the senses. We need to learn how to walk by the spirit if we want to know what’s going on and be truly effective in lives and in the lives of others.
We Christians are spiritual beings. We have been given the gift of holy spirit. That gift can be manifested 9 ways.
I Corinthians 12:7-11 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Most people teach that the ‘to another’ means ‘to another person’ but that doesn’t accurately reflect the context. First of all, it says the ‘manifestation of the spirit’ is given to every person, and at the end of the context it says that, “all these are energized by (“worketh by”) the same spirit, dividing to every man “severally”. But I won’t get into all that here; the purpose of this article is to encourage you to ask God about people and situations you come across and to listen to his answer. “Listening” is what three of those 9 listed manifestations are for.
Three of the listed ‘ways to manifest holy spirit’ are called ‘revelation manifestations.’ These include word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits. These are the only manifestations given whereby we can hear from God.
Here’s what the three revelation manifestations are about.
Word of Knowledge
Definition: Information God supplies that you would not normally know at that time using your own five senses.
God gives you a ‘word of knowledge’ about a given person or situation. God gives you the information you need for a given purpose in a ‘word’ of his knowledge about whatever it is. Just ask and you shall receive. but please listen after you ask.
Word of Wisdom
Definition: What to do in a given situation.
Wisdom is knowledge applied. When you have the information you need to act, whether by our own spiritually minded thinking or from God via the word of wisdom or discerning of spirits, the word of wisdom will tell you what to do in that situation.
Discerning of Spirits
Definition: Determining the presence or non-presence of spirits, and if necessary, their identity.
By ‘spirits’ I mean spiritual beings. The Bible tells us demons, which I believe are fallen angelic beings (angels), can hang around people and even inhabit them. Jesus cast many demons out of people and the apostle Paul did also. If we are to truly help someone, we need to know if one or more spirits are at work around or within that person. Discerning of spirits is the manifestation of holy spirit that enables us to receive this information. Word of wisdom will then give you instruction on whether to cast the spirit out or not.
Ask God and Grow Up Spiritually
Learning to walk by the spirit is a lifetime journey. We are so five-senses dominated that learning to hear ‘that still small voice’ of God is not easy. The world has it’s distractions and our minds are full of our own thoughts. But it is essential.
God gave us this gift of holy spirit for a reason, and it’s up to us to respond and ‘practice’ if you will. Asking God is a good way for you to ‘practice’ the presence of God. He is always with you.
Start asking God about people you meet and situations you find yourself in. Learn to commune with God, which is to communicate with him. Ask and you shall find. Listen for his answers. Act on what he says. Become the spiritual person he meant you to be and you’ll not only have more insight into the world around you, but you’ll be much more effective in helping others.
Ask and it shall be given [to] you.