Sermon: Getting What You Need

Written by Timothy

Getting What You Need

How many of you feel devastated by the cross? Feel you can’t do anything? That indeed, the more the cross is revealed to you the more rebellion you see and the more sin you see in your life? And you begin to feel even more helpless than when you got started. We’re going to look at tonight to see how we can get the power and the grace to live this life. But I’m only talking to those of you who are devastated. If there’s anyone who feels like well, they’re doing the best that they can, then this sermon doesn’t apply to you. If you still feel like you’re that you’re just kind of plodding along and that you’re in line with everything and that you’re in step with it all and you have no real special need then you can go get coloring sheets out of the back and just color Sunday school pictures. Because this sermon will mean nothing to you and you have not privilege to even claim it. But if you feel totally devastated, you feel like everything you do is wrong and you know that it’s even more wrong than you can point to being wrong, then this message is for you. It’s how you can get the grace.

Let’s go to Matthew 11:12. The nature of the cross is that it makes us completely weak and completely vulnerable. And it’s precisely at that moment then that faith should arise.

Matthew 11:12 – From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

Christianity is not a lazy man’s religion. It’s not a religion for the self pitying. For those who come to the cross and become devastated and see the rebellion, they just sit there at that point. The purpose of the cross is to show us who we are and then to have us rise up out of that self pity, that self absorption, and then to tell God that we have to have the grace necessary to live this. God wants to weed out of those who just want to serve Him just to have something from Him and to find true lovers of God.

So it’s when you don’t feel like praising God, when you don’t feel like you have any power or any grace or any mercy to do anything God is calling you to do, that’s precisely when you need to rise up and be forceful about the situation. In another version, in most versions it’s worded this way. Let me read it, verse 12. It says: “From the days of John the Baptist till now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent men take it by force.”

Christianity again is not a lazy man’s religion, it’s not the soft pew religion. Christianity is someone who comes in before God and he forces God to bless him. And he continues to ask and he continues to plead and he continues to beg and to knock and to plead and to ask until he gets the answer. And he refuses to take no for an answer because very often God is going to tell you no first. I had one brother come to me this week and say, “Ever since my baptism I feel like God is further away than before.” And I said, “That’s exactly what God wants you to feel because He wants you to cry out to Him and He wants you to ask.” And that’s what we’re going to look at tonight.

Let’s go to Luke 11, this is where we’re going to be. Luke 11, starting in verse 5. We’re going to skip a portion of it but in the beginning the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. How do we ask for the grace that we need? Verse 1 says:

Luke 11:1 – One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

We’re not going to look at what’s normally called the Lord’s Prayer. What we’re going to look at is the bottom part of that. Let’s go on down to verse 5:

Luke 11:5 – Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,’”

So if you’re a friend of God you can claim this passage. If you’re someone devastated and in need you can go before the Father. What motivates this man to come before this person to get what he needs is that he is in need. That he doesn’t have the grace necessary to set before his friend. He doesn’t have the righteousness. He doesn’t have the holiness. He doesn’t have the bread of life. So that drives him to go and ask the Father or to ask this person for what he needs. It says that he comes to him at midnight, at the darkest moment of night, just when everybody is settled in, when it’s the most inconvenient. And so I need to ask you a question. Are you willing to be aroused, yourself, at midnight? That is, are you willing for needs to come into your life and to wake up and get out of bed and go before the Father and to say to the Father, “I need loaves of bread. I need the Bread of Life.”

You know, we whine and we complain that we can’t overcome the sin in our lives and we talk about that we wish God would deliver us and help us but we don’t get out of bed at midnight to even ask. We come when it’s convenient, we come when it’s easy. Finally when you begin to realize, “I am in desperate need,” then we might run before the Father and say, “I need this grace. I need these loaves of bread. I need the power.”

So again, do you want people coming to your house at midnight asking? Do you want those things that are going to trouble you and to come before someone?

Now notice he says, “Friend, lend me three loaves.” He doesn’t even have what? The freedom to say, “Give me three loaves of bread.” He comes before him and he says, “Lend me three me loaves,” but he doesn’t say, “Give me three loaves,” because he doesn’t feel righteous enough, he doesn’t feel holy enough. He doesn’t feel like he has the privilege to say, “Give me the Bread of Life.” He says, “Lend it to me and I will repay you.” And so we need to have the same attitude when we come before God. We need to say to the Lord, “I will repay You in righteousness. I will repay You in obedience. I will repay You in every fashion if You will just give me the bread that I’m crying out for.” In verse 5 again it says:

Luke 11:5 – Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,’”

Why three loaves? Anybody tell me why he asked for three loaves? I know you know the answer. He’s asking for the full gospel. The three in agreement. He wants the complete Bread of Life. He doesn’t want one loaf or two. He wants all that is necessary to feed his friend, to take care of the needs of those before him. And so when we come before the Lord, let us ask for the full message of the gospel to be worked in our lives, to be renewed according to the Word.

So let me give you some rules here of coming in before God and asking and getting what you need.

Rule number one is to be specific. Don’t come before the Lord and say, “I want righteousness.” Don’t come before the Lord and say, “I just want holiness,” or “I just want forgiveness.” Tell Him what you want specifically. “I need three loaves of bread.” He didn’t come before the door and say, “I need some food.” He didn’t say, “I just need to set something before my friend.” He said, “I need, specifically, three loaves of bread,” and how much time is wasted when people come in before the Lord and they say, “I need righteousness, I need forgiveness, I need this blessing,” but we don’t tell God specifically what we need from Him.

Look at Hosea 14:1. And think about it as you turn there, how often did Jesus Christ turn to people and say, “What do you want?” I mean I was just reading the other day a blind man is called before the Lord, and we’ll look at it here tonight, and surely Jesus could see that as the man is walking up toward him that’s he’s blind, that he can’t make it on his own. It’s kind of obvious what the man needs and Jesus doesn’t turn to him and say, “I already know what you need, don’t ask Me.” Jesus Christ says, “What is it that you want from Me?” And Jesus Christ is waiting for us to rise up, get out of bed and say, “Jesus Christ, I need this. I need to see. I need to walk. I need this. I need the Bread of Life. I need You to deal with this. I need to overcome this.” And we need to think ahead of time, “What am I going to say to God? What is it that I really want from Him?”

So tonight God wants to know what exactly is it that you want. Specifically. What do you want to be delivered from? What is it you want to be made willing to do in the kingdom?

Hosea 14:1 – Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall!

We admit that. People see that. But look at what He commands us to do and directs us to do.

Hosea 14:2 – Take words with you and return to the Lord.

Think ahead of time, what is it you want from God? What is it you want to be delivered from? Do you really want to surrender your whole life? Do you want to give Him everything? Then go in before Him and specifically tell Him exactly what it is that you want. There are many times I’ve gone before the Lord and said, “Lord, this sin has got to be dealt with. You must do it and I will not take no for an answer.”

One incident I can think of when I first became a pastor, all I ever heard of when I first started preaching was story after story after story of how pastors ran away with somebody in the church. And then I began to look at my own heart and began to examine my own lust that dwells within there and then I began to look at David and how he fell into adultery and all I could do was collapse in front of the Lord and say, “Lord, what hope is there for me if David could not resist?” And so out of that sprang desperation that said, “God, You will have to do it. You will have to make an example. You will have to deliver. You will have to protect. You will have to do the work. And I will not take no for an answer. I will not venture into this work, in this service, unless I am sure that You will deliver me from this.” I was specific in what I was asking for. Little did I know that there would be many times when there would only be women in the church. And I have not been plagued with lust after a woman in the church or have fallen into any type of similar, He has answered that prayer. It was a specific prayer and it was a specific request. It was a demand. Now I’m not sure enough to just stand in confidence and say, “I will never be tempted or fall.” It is a pleading and a resting in God saying, “This is what I want.” These are the words that I bring before the Lord. “This is what I want delivered from. And I will under no circumstances from You God, take no for an answer.”

Hosea 14:2 – Take words with you and return to the Lord.

Think about it ahead of time. What is it you want from God? Write it down. Examine it before you ever utter it out of your mouth. Tell God exactly what you want. He doesn’t want the multitude of your words. He wants earnest prayer that is specific that says, “I want to be delivered,” or “I am in need here,” or “I have somebody that is coming before me right now.” We have a brother coming to start a deaf ministry. We barely can support what we have. I cannot and I will not take no for an answer to meet those needs. And I will be specific before the Lord and I will thank Him for that privilege and I will arise at midnight and I will say, “Accomplish this and do this work.”

Hosea 14:2 – Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.”

Instead of whining and complaining about what you are not or what you cannot understand or what you cannot complete in God or how stubborn or how rebellious you are, get in before the Lord and tell the Lord whatever it takes you must be delivered. That’s why I said only people devastated by the cross can pray this kind of prayer because anybody else that is not devastated by it doesn’t really want to change. But I have prayed before the Lord when I haven’t felt like changing, when I have been rebellious. I said, “Lord, make me willing to be willing. Give me a heart that wants to do this. Don’t leave me alone. Not only do I not want to perish, but I want to fellowship with You, and again I will not take no for an answer.” And that may go on for days, it may go on for months, it may go on for years. There are still things that I’m wrestling with but I will not take no for an answer and I will be specific about the sins in my life. Because when we are specifically for Him then His grace is specific to deal with us. “I have a friend who is in need and I need three loaves of bread. I have this sin in my life and I need three loaves of bread. I need it dealt with, I need it crucified.”

Hosea 14:3 – Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount war-horses . . .

How often we rebel and we look for other causes. Haven’t all of you spent enough time mounting your war-horses, running off doing your own thing, thinking you’re going to conquer this? Marching off to battle only to be defeated. Take words with you. Sit down, examine. What is it you really want God to do? Jesus Christ is saying, “What do you want?”

Hosea 14:3 – . . . We will never again say, “Our gods” to what our own hands have made . . .

There’s a prayer right there. You could be specific on that. “God, I do not want You to be a God unto what I have made or what I will try to make You to be. I want You to be God of my life.” That is a specific prayer. “Never again, God, do I want to be deceived or delusioned or taken in by anything that I would create or make You to be.” There is a specific prayer right there. That never again will we say “Our gods” to what our hands have made.

Hosea 14:3 – . . . for in you the fatherless find compassion.

Look at verse 4.

Hosea 14:4 – I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.

You want to feel God’s grace and mercy? You want a part of the resurrected life? Then come in, take words before the Lord and be specific and tell Him what you need. Lay out your cause very clearly. Look at verse six of Luke chapter 11. He says:

Luke 11:6 – because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.

Come before the Lord with logic, with reasoning. So often I talk with so many people and they’re trying to tell me something and I go, “What is it you want? Bottom line it and tell me what it is you’re after.” But we don’t talk specifically because we know if we’re specific before the Lord He will seek to deal with it. So we like to fudge over here and talk over here without really saying anything. Because if I come before the Lord and say, “Okay, Lord, I have this problem and it needs to be dealt with.” You know—you know He’s going to take it seriously. You also know that if you’re coming before the Lord and you say, “Lord, here are these needs of these people that I need to preach the gospel. I need the grace in order to share the gospel with them.” He’s going to give you grace to do it and then demand that you lay down your life for that. So the last thing most people want to be is specific before God. Because to be specific means you know He will answer. He will do the work. It’s a question of whether you want to lose your life or not. And if you don’t want to lose your life then I suggest you ask Him to make you willing to lose your life. And have some faith that He will do it.

Luke 11:6 – because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.

Be specific. Lay out a direct, logical argument of what it is you need, why you need it, and why you’ve come. The bottom line, of course, with a lot of these requests is, is this just to benefit yourself or somebody else? What motivates this man to go and get his needs fulfilled is that he might give to somebody else.

You know what God tries to do, I mean God tried to do it with Jeremiah, He tried to get the women to repent by making them eat their own children. But even that didn’t drive them to repent. A lot of the time, the only time we really begin to repent is when we realize how our sin is affecting other people. As long as we think it’s just between me and God we tend to be on the laid back. But when we start seeing our sins start to affect people that we love, sometimes men let go. When we look back over our lives and see the destruction that we have caused, sometimes men will repent. So this man is coming in and saying, “I have this need, I need the Bread of Life, I need to present it before him.” And his motivation is totally unselfish. So before you go in before the Lord, ask Him to purify your heart and requests. And know that every time you ask He will answer yes, no, or wait or whatever, but He will deal with your heart first of all. The motives must be pure. This is one reason why God puts us off so much. A lot of times God is quiet because He knows and He gives me enough time to think about it and I realize—hey that was a stupid prayer! It really wasn’t even worth His time to answer me. Then there are other times when my motives are mixed and God has to remain quiet and He has to remain silent until I search my heart, until I examine, until I get the words right, until I get my heart right to come in before the Lord in such a way that I know then that He will answer because the motives have become pure.

Look at Mark 2:3. And look at the friends this man has. And this is the kind of fellowship that we need with one another.

Mark 2:3-4 – Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.

That we all had friends like that. That we were a people that would rise at midnight to go and get what we need in order to bless somebody else. Most of us are comfortable; we like to be home in bed at a certain time. We have certain schedules. It doesn’t even dawn on us to get out of bed and to pray for what we might need to give to somebody else. That we have friends like that, that if we were paralyzed in the Lord or physically or whatever, they would do whatever is necessary for us to get the healing. They would do what we cannot do. They would dig a hole in the roof, climb up, make sure they got me in front of Jesus Christ in order that I was made well. So why do we ask what we ask for? Do we want God to heal our marriages to make us feel comfortable and at ease, only for our own self benefit? Do we ask for miracles and spiritual gifts and things in our life in order that we can be puffed up or in order that we can lay down our life for other people? Do we have arms and legs so that we can carry those who are paralyzed and lower them down through a roof before Jesus Christ? Why is it that we want the blessings? Why do we want the bread? So Jesus Christ puts us off to purify us, to have us search our hearts to examine what really lies in there. Because you know if it’s just for selfish motives you eventually just give up. And you know what kicks in? Self pity. It’s like, “I went, I prayed, I asked, whatever, He just wouldn’t give it to me. I quit.”

But a man who loves somebody else says, “Look, I don’t matter any more, I just need to be delivered for their sake” and you’re driven out of love for somebody else not to take no for an answer to get what you need. Let us be a people like this that love and then we know we can come boldly before the Father and we can ask of anything and we know that He will give it to us. Eventually they get out of this whole business of, “I just don’t want to sin because I’ll get caught in sin,” or “I just want to go to heaven.” And they get on to, “My sin separates me from God and separates me from other people and I want Your righteousness and holiness that I might love. And that I might have Your love.”

In Matthew 5:6 we’re given this promise. It says:

Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

This message is only for those who hunger and thirst. Because those who do not hunger and thirst they’re going to play at this. God wants people who will come in, that will knock, will ask, will seek, will beg, that will not take no for an answer, who will find the right words, who will get their hearts right, who will get purified, who will come in before the Lord, will do whatever is necessary in order to have God. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” You are promised you will be filled. We are promised that we will be given the righteousness that we say we want. It always amazes me how people tend to sit back in so much wallowing and self when He has promised righteousness and He has promised holiness and He has promised forgiveness and self-discipline. Hasn’t He promised all those things? We act as though, “I’ve gone in before God, I’ve prayed, I’ve asked, I’ve confessed sins, I’ve walked in the light. I’ve done all these things over here and yet I’m still trapped in this sin. Why?” Why? Because the heart isn’t right. You’re not hungering, you’re not thirsting, you’re not begging. You’re not getting up at midnight. You’re not saying, “I need three loaves of bread.” You’re not being specific.

Look at Luke 11:7. Because we come in with all of our logic and I guarantee you God’s going to come with all His logic. And His logic is going to be correct. But God’s trying to draw out our heart. This is not a debate. It’s not a lawyer situation. Look at Luke 11:7.

Luke 11:7 – Then the one inside answers, “Don’t bother me. The door is already locked . . . “

Point number one, the door is already locked. God comes to you, you come before the Lord, and the Lord says, “Look, I can’t get up and give you want you need because A; number one . . .” You come in with your argument and you say, “Lord, I need this because,” or “I’ve done this and I need Your righteousness.” And He goes, “Sorry, you can’t have it because of this.”

Luke 1:7 – Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed.

“We’re comfortable, we’re fellowshipping, we’re relaxing. You’re on the outside; you can’t have any of this. I don’t want to get up. I would rather stay in this bed and tell you no than get up and get you what you need. This is how unconcerned I am about you. In fact, I can’t get up and give you anything.” Yes, you’re going to feel like God isn’t there. Jesus Christ when He hung on the cross said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” If we are being crucified with Christ, if we are participating in His sufferings, you are going to ask the same question. You are going to hear God tell you no. He’s going to call you a dog. He’s going to make it difficult for you to get to Him. Why? Out of the deepest of love, He is drawing love out of your own heart. He is trying to purify our motives. He’s giving us opportunity to come out of ourselves and to begin to worship Him. And so when you say, “My prayers just don’t seem to get through,” Well what’s your point? Then ask! Then plead! And when you’re tired and you can’t plead any more collapse on your bed and then get up and plead some more.

Look at Job. How many years was he in that condition and he never stopped? He would rise up and say, “Though the Lord slay me I will still trust Him.” Even his wife urged him to curse God and to die. But he didn’t stop. The first little opposition we get, the first little dry land, we get the first little problem, we think it’s the end of the world. Well who’s our God that we should think it’s the end of the world already? Ask, plead, beg, scream, do whatever is necessary. Get in and get before the Lord and say, “I will not take no for an answer, even if it takes years.”

You might indeed hear God say, “I can’t give you anything.” Man doesn’t argue with the logic. Those are the facts. God might indeed say, “You’re not worthy for Me to give you anything.” I don’t argue that point. I find some other point. “For Your name’s sake. For Your glory. For Your righteousness. That You might be praised.” I find some other point than my own righteousness. But I’ll find the point. I’ll find what moves His heart because He’s waiting to see what moves my heart. What is it that I long for?

In Luke 11:8 it tells us why the man answers. It tells us why God will answer our prayers. This is the one thing God is looking for.

Luke 11:8 – I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

You may not be a friend of God. There are many times in my own behavior that I can’t count myself as a friend of God. Yet because of what? Because of the man’s boldness, his forcefulness, his violence, his pleading, his perseverance, he will get up and give him as much as he needs. Yes, the cross is devastating, and yes it crucifies the flesh, and yes you feel weaker and weaker and weaker. And yes you have to wait on the Lord, and yes there’s many confusing things and yes, it’s difficult, but what is the point? Press on and plead for what you need. You know it’s the cross that shows you what your need is. Without the cross I wouldn’t know what to ask for. Get on to a place so that God can bring people to your life at midnight and you know where to go get bread for them, let alone for yourself.

Look at Mark 10:46. Think of all the stories you read in the New Testament. Zacchaeus climbs a tree. They tear a hole in the roof. They stand at a distance and shout. They weep and wail and they pray. You ever thought of taking a vacation and just going and seeking the Lord? The thought of taking a weekend and three days and go seek the Lord? You ever thought about getting in front of the Lord and saying you will not take no for an answer on this particular thing? What lingers in your heart? What do you want? What’s important to you? If overcoming sin is all that important in your life then why don’t you go get it? If it’s really that important to you, will He refuse? No, He will not refuse.

Mark 10:46-47 – Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

He began to shout, he began to declare, he began to say, “I want something from You.” He tried to get the attention of Jesus Christ.

Mark 10:48 – Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet . . .

You get devastated by the cross, your needs, you’re blind, whatever it is, and you begin to cry out to God and you’re going to have many people tell you to shut up and be quiet. “Don’t ask with so much zeal.” “Don’t ask with so much importance. Just claim it by faith.” He heard Jesus Christ was coming by so he begins to shout and what to do? When they told him to be quiet, what does it say that he did? It says:

Mark 10:48 – . . . but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

The more the world said “Be quiet,” the more he shouted to get the attention of Jesus Christ. The more the world told him the cross was the wrong message the more that he preached it louder and louder and louder. The more that they told him, “Don’t bother Jesus Christ,” the more that he troubled Jesus Christ. And the more men stop me from the cross and to be crucified the more I push them out of the way. The more I say, “Get away from me,” the more I cry out to Him to make it real and to make it alive. And the more men told me it’s not possible to live this, the more I told God that this must be livable.

I can remember a time being up in the prayer halls after I’d been baptized, or up in some room, pounding the walls of the church saying, “God, You have got to do something.” Not that I knew what I was praying. But I was so sick and tired of everybody telling me, “This is just the way the church is and this is the way people conduct themselves and you can’t expect anything any better.” I’m thinking, “Oh, God, it cannot be so.” And when I would tell elders in the church that I felt this guilt and this sin and God convicted me they’d say, “Oh, it’ll pass, it’ll go away. Just claim it by faith.” I don’t want it to go away. It’s my friend. It drives me to Him. And we look at each other like nobody can understand one another. Can we not ask the Lord and say, “Lord, make a holy church”? Why doesn’t all the hypocrisy drive everybody to pray to have the real thing? It’s an excuse, it’s a sham. We just want to believe that it’s not possible because to believe that it is possible means He will have to take our lives and crucify us.

The church we were in when I was first baptized everybody complained about the church. Everybody liked to whine about it. Well, not everybody, but most everybody else I was around whined about it. One day I finally said, “Let’s do something about it. Let’s start another church” everybody deserted. Now it wasn’t all that bad. Nobody wanted to do anything about it. It’s a comfortable place to believe, to sit back and say, “Oh, it can never happen.” But every time somebody tells us, “You’ll never be healed,” “You’ll never have His attention,” “You’ll never have that holiness,” let us shout all the more and demand that He do it.

Mark 10:48 – . . . Son of David, have mercy on me!

And look what it says in verse 49 that we can experience in our lives.

Mark 10:49 – Jesus stopped and said . . .

Just that He’d stop and you’d have His attention. Yes, we’re going to feel like God is way out here and our prayers are not being answered. Shout, shout, beg, plead, until He stops and gives you His attention. Will He refuse you forever? No, of course not. Where is your faith? Where is your perseverance? Where is your love for Him?

Mark 10:49 – Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”

Now what friends. The same people telling you to shut up, now when you start to get the revival in your life and things start to get positive, dear friends, “Oh, I’ve been praying for you for a long time.” You watch, if this thing takes off and God really does a big work I’m going to have a lot of friends come out of the woodwork. “I’m been praying for you for years. You’ve really changed. It’s really good what God’s doing. We really hoped this would take place.” “Cheer up!” Where were they when I was blind? Watch who your friends are. They’re people who shout with you. “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Look at verse 50, it’s amazing, first of all Jesus Christ just stands still, doesn’t He? He doesn’t go over to the blind man. A lot of us in our self pity would have been, “Well, Jesus Christ won’t come close to me.” Get up and get close to Him. You got His attention, now get over there. Because look at what Jesus Christ is drawing out of this man. Look at what he does. What is the most significant thing that this man does in verse 50? What is it that, the action that takes place? He throws his cloak aside. He throws the world aside, that which he depended upon, that which protected him.

Mark 10:50 – Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

He throws away his security blanket. He throws that which is comfortable and he goes to Jesus Christ and all of his blindness, all of his nakedness, all of his helplessness, he’s standing there before God and he’s saying, “I’m here.” He forgets about the world. He forgets about his comfort, doesn’t he? So whatever pride, whatever excuses or whatever reasons you have, whatever little pity of self you’re holding on to, whatever treasure you have in the world, Jesus Christ is waiting until you cry out enough that once He gives you attention you’ll throw it aside and not even know you threw it aside. Right now for most of it is to deny yourself in this, give this up over here. Praise be to God when we finally change enough that we don’t even know what we’re sacrificing. Right now it’s a lot of things that we have to deny ourselves and give up but blessed be the time when we finally give up things and we don’t even know that we gave them up. That we stand before God not knowing what our left hand or our right hand did. We just did it. He doesn’t go, “Well, I gave up my cloak. I hope I can go back and get it later.” We’ll see what he does here in a moment.

Mark 10:50 – Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

And Jesus Christ still says in verse 51:

Mark 10:51 – “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

What is it that you want Jesus Christ to do?

Mark 10:51 – The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

You want to understand Scripture. You want it to be alive. You want self to be dead so that you can really pick up on it and apply it, then get before the Lord and say, “Lord, I want to see.” Get His attention, beg, plead, ask, I don’t know what. You determine that in your own heart. He’s walking by, He’s right before us even now. He’s laid a lot of things before us. All you have to do is get His attention. And throw your cloak aside and you will see.

Mark 10:51-52 – “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

He disobeyed Jesus Christ. He disobeyed. What did Jesus tell him to do? To go. Why? Jesus wanted to know what was in the man’s heart. Would he go back to get his cloak? Would he go back to go on his way? Would he be like other lepers who’ve just gone on rejoicing what they got from God or would they follow? Why are people made well? Why is it that they want all the blessings of God? They hear Jesus Christ say, “Go, go on and live your life.” And they can tell you honestly, “I heard Jesus Christ tell me to go do this.” Turn to them and say, “You heard Him all right. Too bad you didn’t choose to disobey Him.” A testing of the heart and what is in the man.

Mark 10:52 – “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

How many people are getting the blessing that God told them that He was going to give them but they should have disobeyed? Read through the gospel sometimes and see the subtleties of those things. “Go, show yourself to the priest,” He tells the ten lepers. Along the way one is made well and comes back. He disobeyed.

Rule number two, be bold. “Yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.” As much as you need. Not only is there no excuse for sin, that’s to put it in a negative light. But blessed be to God, there is victory over sin. It’s really supposed to be good news.

Look at Hebrews 4:16. Verse 14 says:

Hebrews 4:14-15 – Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

Verse 16 tells us then exactly what to do because of this fact and because of our faith.

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

It is a negative thing to be constantly saying there is no excuse for sin—that is negative. And it has to be said so many times. But this is a grand promise. This means that I can come in before God and say, “God, I am burning with this lust and this sin and this thing in my life and I come before Your throne of grace. A: for mercy, and B: for the grace to overcome it.” And I come confidently, I come boldly, and I come asking and I will not take no for an answer. “You will overcome. You will work it. You will deliver me from this. I want to see and I will follow.” And I will throw my cloak aside and I will leave everything behind out of joy. We come with confidence so that we may receive mercy. The forgiveness, the freedom, and the grace, the power to overcome, the power to say no in our time of need.

So we go back to Luke 11:9. And Jesus Christ says,

Luke 11:9-10 – So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Absolute statements. But you have to do three things for three loaves of bread. What’s the first thing he said? Ask. We’ve already seen, tell God what it is you want. “I need three loaves of bread.” You ask specifically for what you need. You find just the right scriptures. You find the exact words. You find that promise. A lot of the reasons you guys don’t know the promises of God is because you haven’t pled them before the throne of grace and mercy. Take a promise before God and say, “God, this is a promise. You will fulfill it in my life. You will work it.” Tell Him what it is you want. Ask. And then seek. Look for the answer. A lot of us would be surprised if we got the answer. God comes along to work the answer and we’re kind of taken back by it.

You know it says of Moses and the burning bush that he noticed the bush was burning. I wonder how many other people walked by and never just noticed. How many times does God seek to answer us and we just don’t notice, we just don’t see Him doing it? Seek and you will find it. The answer is there.

Thirdly, it says knock. You work to make sure to lay hold of that. You tell Him what you need. Then you look, you get out of that prayer closet and you begin to look for the answer for which you asked. If you say, “God, I need to be delivered from this pride,” and you ask in the prayer closet and you’re specific about it, then you walk out into the world and you begin to look at everything that happens for God to deal with that pride. Then you won’t be so taken back that when He finally does it and you’re being humbled. You look for it. And then you knock and you pound and you get the answer and you say, “You get out of there. You give it to me. I have to have it.” You make sure that it is solid. You see a lot of people are just happy to ask. “I’ve been asking the Lord about that.” A lot of people are just content to ask. They feel there’s something noble about that. A lot of other people are just happy with the answer. “I asked. He gave me the answer. He told me He was going to do this.” But we don’t go on to knock. We don’t go on to make sure that it is ours. That it is completed. “I asked God to deal with my pride. I heard Him say that He will deal with my pride.” And they’re content with that. Fan into flame the gift. Keep in step with the spirit. Knock and make sure the door is open for you to walk through.

In 2 Peter, chapter 1, this is what it says. Some of you have already been reading ahead and cheating here a little bit. We don’t have time to look at the whole area but look at what it says in verse 10:

2 Peter 1:10 – Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,

If you do them, if you knock, if you make sure that door is open, don’t be content to just ask and don’t be content to just hear the answer and hear the Holy Spirit say, “I will give it to you.” You make sure that it is completed, that it is done. What kind of friend goes and knocks on the door, “I need three loaves of bread.” And finally he hears the answer, the guy says, “Okay, I’ll get up and get you the bread.” And then he walks off and goes tell his friend, “Well, my friend is going to get you the bread.” And he goes, “Where is the bread?” “I mean he said he was going to get it.” Look, you’ve got Jesus Christ’s attention. Walk on over there and make sure you get what it is you’re asking for. Don’t expect Him to get out of bed, walk to the door, you’re gone and then have to walk and find you to give you the bread for your friend. Don’t be so lazy that you make Jesus Christ wait on you.

Let’s go back to Luke 11:11. Again the grand promise.

Luke 11:11-12 – Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

You know, do we really think that if we go in before God and we ask Him for these things that He’s not going to answer? Isn’t that how most of us live our life? Think about all the people you know struggling with all the sins in their life and all the things that they have and never really overcoming or really growing. I mean they’re the same there were ten years ago as they are today. They are a living testimony to other people that God doesn’t answer prayer. We really act as if God is not going to answer. Do we really think that if we come in before God and we say, “God, here is self crucified,” and then ten years later nothing’s going to change in a dramatic sort of way? Believe that He will do it.

Luke 11:11-12 – Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

Believe, have some faith, let Him crucify, let Him work. Verse 13, again we have to remember who we are. We have to accept the facts. Jesus Christ says what in verse 13?

Luke 11:13 – If you then, though you are evil . . .

“Though you are evil.” Is He not putting us off again? You know to those that love God, that is not a put off. That’s the truth. It’s a joy to hear those words. I love to hear those words. Because I am evil and when He tells me the truth I know He’ll deliver. I know the Mercy Seat. I know the grace that overcomes. How many times people say, “Thank God He doesn’t show us all our sins at once?” What kind of nonsense is that? Sure, we would all be dead, but why be thankful for it? Oh that He would do as much as He could do and as quick as He could do it and as fast as He could do it beyond what I’m willing to endure or bear.

Luke 11:13 – 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!”

You remember I said in the beginning that if you’re not devastated by the cross, and I do mean devastated, this sermon is not for you? For are we not taught that when you are baptized and when you walk with the Lord you have the Holy Spirit? What did Jesus Christ say here? That God will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. Do I really think I have enough of the Holy Spirit? Yes I received it at baptism. Yes I was baptized in the Spirit. All those things were there. But do I have it all? Do I have not need to ask? Look at what He’s telling us to ask for. Not a job promotion, not a blessing in this, not a blessing in that, we are asking the living God to give us His Holy Spirit. Think of the words. We are asking Him to take that which is holy and to place it in this. Would I not then be willing because it is such a precious thing for Him to cleanse all sin from me? Would I not then be willing to wrestle and to allow God to work it? “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

As you know I spent three days just in prayer. And it was a very quiet time. It says in Scripture that David was just sitting before the Lord. And it was good just to sit before the Lord and my flesh wasn’t welling up wanting a bunch of things. There weren’t a lot of thoughts running wild in a lot of different things. The vile thoughts that all men can have. I didn’t even take Christian music. I had no outward thing, it was just quietly sitting before the Lord and I could be content. Now I share that with you not to point to me at all but to tell you that’s a big thing. David says he has to wean himself like from a mother’s breast in order to be content before the Lord. Just to be able to sit before the Lord and my mind not wander off in fifty other directions. To not have to turn on the TV or listen to music over here or read this over here just to have—I mean it was just a brief thing. The flesh came right back in and I had to wrestle but just that taste of sitting before the Lord just content to worship and to be in His presence, not needing anything, not having to demand anything, not having to confess anything. It doesn’t mean I was innocent. It just means we could just sit and enjoy one another’s company.

And what a blessing it is for people that God has cleansed and purified that you can just sit before Him. Just try it at home tonight to see if it can happen. The mind will wander and the flesh will cry out and you will find it to be boring. We always have to worship and we always have to ask, and we always have to plead and we always have to pray. We always have to come before the Lord on this and we always have to have this from God. But when the flesh can be crucified enough just to sit and to fellowship, just to look at each other. He will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. He will answer the prayers. He will do the work. And every time men tell you that it cannot happen and it will not happen and that God is not able to do that, shout all the louder until it does. And let us shout for one another. When we are paralyzed and we can’t get down through the roof, when we get tired of shouting in our own lives, turn to somebody else and say, “I’m tired of asking for God.” I can ask fine brothers and sisters and they will ask for you. And you know when you ask them, tell them what you want them to ask God about. Don’t call up and say, “I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to verbalize it.” What is it you want? If nothing else, just say, “I want Him.” He will answer and He will give. For he who asks finds the answer.

Let’s go ahead and pray.

Father, glorify Thy name in every way. And work within a people, Father, to make them righteous and holy. Not that a church’s name can be exalted or lifted up, but to prove all men liars, Father, that You can work righteousness in those who look to You. We ask this in Jesus’ name, confidently before that throne of grace and mercy. Amen.

This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.


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Host of The Consider Podcast
Examining today’s wisdom, madness, and folly.