ASK. Psalm 2. WBC 30.04.06 am
Intro: I want to tell you about Miracle on Jewry Street. Last week- on the Tuesday after Easter a lady called Angela turned up at the Bookshop that is part of City Church (one of our nearest neighbours). She was looking for her son, Phil, and showing photos of him. Frances said she hadn’t seen him. Daphne, from the Salvation Army, didn’t recognise his name (but saw no photos).
Angela is from Flockton, outside Wakefield, W Yorkshire. Her son, phil, has bad acne and was having treatment for it that left him incredibly low and changed his personality. He was suicidal. They had rowed. He walked out 10 weeks ago. She had no idea that when he left she wouldn’t see him again. Radio adverts and contacts with the police yielded nothing.
Last Monday night she went to bed desperate praying ’just let me find him and know that he is alive and well, Lord’.
That night she had a dream that she was walking down a street called Jewry St and found her son who asked ’how did you find me’. She immediately woke up. Went to the internet. Searched for Jury Street. Gave up. Searched for streets that sounded like it, found us, and was on the first train the next morning down here.
Her search of Jury St yielded nothing. She went to the High St and sat on the buttercross. 2 lads sat next to her. Another 2 joined, one with his back to her. As he spoke she thought she recognised his voice… then his posture and whispered "Phil is that you?"
He nearly fell over. "How did you find me?" He asked.
The story goes on. It turns our Daphne from the SA did know him- but he didn’t use his real name down here. The SA had taken him under their wing, housed him at Keystone and he had started going to church there.
The mother asked. God the Father and her went seeking the prodigal. He’s on the journey home.
- tingles down the spine, eh? This stuff works!
WHAT ARE YOU ASKING FOR?
What are you asking for?
- the Father longs to give what we ask for. What matters to us
- there are some things he particularly longs to give
What really matters to you? What do you keep badgering Him for? What are your priorities?
Or perhaps I should entitle this-" be careful what you ask for. You might just get it!"
- you see- some things are better to ask for than others. Some things are more in the Father’s will
- which means sometimes He says "no." Sometimes "wait"
- but my fear…. and observation over many years… is that sometimes God does, in the end, give us what we pester for- even if it’s not His best for us
In fact, there are times when I ask
- "gosh, Lord, why did you let them have that? I wouldn’t have.! They didn’t know what they were asking for"
- "gosh, Lord- if anyone is pushy enough can they get whatever they want in this world?"
- (in fact- I think you almost CAN! Whatever you set your sights on… go for… even idolise, covet or worship- can be yours)
o you CAN have anything you want (almost irrespective of God)
- AT A PRICE. Cost.
- And it may not be good for you
Let me give you just one personal example of this: Sarah. My fiancée, 20 years ago.
- both Christians. But the closer we got before courting I still felt the Lord say "No. this is not for you. Not now". She persisted. I persisted. I argued with God, ’claimed’ this and that. Kept on.
- then, strangely enough I felt the Lord simply say "okay", one day
o (but there was a strange tone to His voice!)
- the relationship went very well for quite some time- but while I was away in the USA I later found out she had had an affair! 6 days before the wedding
o that explained why she had almost lost her faith.
You can have what you ask for (oftimes!). So- ASK- but, perhaps, ask with care and wisdom
- some ask for money. Sometimes we should! But be careful
1 Tim 6:10 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
- Illustr: Some very dear friends of ours. He was a Vineyard Pastor. Resigned in the end saying ’this is not for me, for life!". Now huge in Cadbury’s. He’ll end up as head of Cadbury’s personnel global- mark my words
o They’ve got what they wanted. Wealth. Travel
o Kids are fantastic at sports- so that’s weekends gone
o And their faith? Going, too. They no longer go to church. It’s become ’personal to me’. But you know the story
o Because their priorities are elsewhere. They are asking for other things
I have NO problem with money. It has its’ uses! But here’s what to ask for:
PR 30:8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
PR 30:9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, `Who is the LORD?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.
What are you asking for? Your priorities?
- successful kids? Sporting kids?
- That job. Profile and promotion? That’s what you’re driving for. Asking for. Gunning for. "Lord, help me get this so I can serve you, better"
- A partner? "Lord, that’s what I really need"
You see- none of these are wrong. But if you make THEM your goal- be careful, because you might just get them!
- but if you’ve sought God’s priorities first- you might just get them WITH everything else you need. In the right way!
Ask yourself. What am I asking for? Is it what God wants? Am I ’asking in Jesus’ name- so my JOY may be complete?’ (Jn 16:24)
WHAT SHOULD WE ASK FOR?
The thing is.. they key is… asking for what the LORD really wants… sometimes even what He has specifically told you to ask for:
- Is 7:10 The Lord says to Ahaz- ’ask me for a sign’. "I won’t". God says "get on with it! and gives a sign (that points to the Messiah)
- 2 King 20- Hezekiah is about to die but God says ’you’ll live’ and it’s okay for him to ask for a sign- and he gets one; the sun goes back 10 steps
Ask! Ask! Jesus says ’ask!’ but ask for the things God wants- and let Him do the rest
- Jn 14:13 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
- ask for the main and plain of scripture
o and how are you going to ask with confidence unless either
- 1) God has spoken prophetically or
- 2) it IS main and plain in scripture?
- THEN you can pray like Mk 11:24 24 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
- wisdom. It WILL be yours. Jas 1:5
- love. "More love, more power"
- the Holy Spirit (not His hand or manifestations- though those may come)
o After ask, seek, knock in Lk 1. V13: If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
- To be not led into temptation (Lord’s prayer)
- Workers for the harvest field. Mt 9:38 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
The biggest mistake of Christians (particularly nowadays) is not to be asking for RIGHT… main and plain things
- I’m not criticising anyone- but we end up asking for things that relate to us… or our little group… clique…. "Lord keep this group going etc etc"
o How can you pray such things with ANY confidence?
o You might be wasting your prayers! Energy!
- And God might give you what you want and it might be a waste of time.
- ? How many groups that appeal to ’individual’s tastes’ are kept going (but at a fruitless cost)
But if you pray "Lord- your KINGDOM COME, your will be done!""
- you’ll get it!
If you pray- Lord, give us the Lost! The world for Jesus! The nations! SOULS for you! Changed lives! Prodigals returned!
- you’ll get it! (In God’s way)
And here’s where we come to this psalm:
- "ask of me. ASK. And I will make the nations your inheritance"
It’s a psalm of David about his instalment as King. Anointed one
- but it’s so much MORE - because ’Anointed one’ in Heb is Messiah (or Christ in Gk)
- and it can… IS… only fulfilled in Jesus- THE messiah:
o "You are my Son, today I have become your Father"
o Heb 1:5- to which of the Angels did God say this? None!
And it’s only fulfilled in US through Jesus…
"Ask me- and I’ll make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possessions"
- Mt 28: 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
"But the task is too great. Everyone’s against Jesus!" you say
- well, it’s just like this psalm!
o The nations conspire against Him v1
o Even our leaders!
- V2 is sheer astonishment at the senseless rejection of God’s rule and rules by the rulers!
o V3 speaks of a society that shakes off the Lord’s rule. "Let’s do what WE want. Forget it for an instant! Shake off these chains"
- People really do think they can shake off Christ’s Lordship & decrees without consequence!
But, v4, the Omnipotent One in heaven sits securely in quiet dignity and laughs
-at their arrogance. (Not the consequences of their actions! Weeps at them…)
And sends His Son to save. Installs Him as King and judge
So - ASK. But here’s how to get results. Check who are you asking for
WHO ARE YOU ASKING FOR?
For Him or yourself?
Here the nations… souls… lives… are promised to the Son
- they are, similarly, promised to US if we ask for them FOR HIM
- "Lord, give us the nations, for the glory of the King"
- This is what we are called to… made for… destined for… our inheritance
- It is what we are promised if we ASK
Sing: this is my beloved Son
Open prayer- ASK! For main and plain. Souls. Lives. Feast
Challenge to sign up for Feast and get involved in any way you can
Sing? As we see the World in tatters
Sing? Facing a task unfinished