“But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48)
And how is what is given to us many times received by us? “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” (James 4:2)
And then, how are we to use or apply what has been given to us because we asked for it? “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5) By the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit we are enabled to apply that which we were given because we asked for it.
And so, what is the purpose of using that which we have received? “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31) We use what we have been given for the glory of God.
Now, how do you know what to ask for, how to receive that which will glorify the Almighty? “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6)
How do we know we can trust Him to give us what we have asked for so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we can be profitable servants, glorifying God in all that we do? “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” (Heb. 10:23)
And my friends, to bring everything back to full circle, because He is faithful, you can ask and expect to receive, when the asking is solely for the glory of God.
You might want to read all of that again, for it describes how those who have been crucified with Christ do not just desire to live, but it is how they live their lives today. They are not waiting to be glorified before they begin to serve profitably, they understand that their justification has come only because of faith in the truths of the Word of God concerning His Son Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that He made for all of us. They understand that to be sanctified means to be set apart, to not be a part of the lineage of the sin of Adam any longer, that when the Almighty looks at our past, it does not go back to the fall in the garden, but to the cross.
We do not spend anytime reminding ourselves of our sins, we do not attempt to atone for them by any works, deeds or actions, they have all been forgiven at the cross, and so we ask with the intent of glorifying God, fully expecting to receive that which we have asked for, but in full knowledge that much will be required of us.
Here is the foolishness of the “name it and claim it” religions, of Charismatic organizations, of Romanism and every cult that seeks self in one form or another. They will not be given because of James 4:3, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
There is no desire to glorify God in our flesh, it seeks its own, not the things of God, and we cannot restrain the flesh of our own accord, only the Holy Spirit can do that. But He will not unless you ask. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) That should be your first action if you desire to ask the Lord for anything, that your cares would be removed, your cares of the desires of the flesh, and the things of the world, that your desires would be what He desires for you.
I add something here to the wisdom I have been blessed with, “Only those who are heavenly minded are of any earthly good.” and it is this, “Those who are earthly minded, are of no heavenly good.”
The proof of this? “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
If you ask anything in His name, with the sole intent that God Almighty would be glorified, you have been promised that you will receive what you asked for. Once you accept these truths, you will become not only profitable, but as our opening verse says accountable. Prepare yourself accordingly.