Recently I was reading the first chapter of Ephesians, and I found myself underlining certain parts that stood out at me, like “[God] chose us before the world was made so that we would be His holy people” (verse 4) and “God, with full wisdom and understanding, let us know His secret purpose” (verses 8-9). Once I’d finished doing this, I noticed that most of the things I’d highlighted had to do with receiving something from God. This got me thinking about the way we can sometimes focus too much on what we obtain from being in relationship with God. Even when it’s something as good and lovely as grace, or something for which there is a Biblical precedent such as wisdom, we’re in a scary place if we subscribe to the ‘Santa Claus God’ model.
That being said, our God is a giver by nature, and we have been charged by Him to do things that, on our own, we just wouldn’t be able to do. So it’s certainly true that we need to ask for His help fairly often. It took me quite a while to understand what Jesus meant when He said “Ask for anything in My name, and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). The meaning there is that if we’re trying to carry out God’s will, and we find we need to ask Him for anything in order to do it, then He will be more than willing to provide whatever we need. So really, we shouldn’t be too afraid to ask for things from God, depending on what it is we’re asking for.