ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?
or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?
if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
this passage hits quite close to home these days for our family. we are intercessory missionaries, which means we give ourselves full-time to prayer and worship of God, as well as building and pastoring a community of people who are committed to establishing around the clock prayer in our area. it is the most amazing opportunity that i could ever imagine being available for my life. i hoped that i could take time aside to fully commit to prayer when i was single; i never imagined the possibility when i was married with 3 little boys and one on the way. yet, this is what God has put before us to do and we are doing it with a family.
part of this intercessory missionary lifestyle is that we live off of donations and raised financial support, just like a traditional missionary. we have been blessed by having a faithful group of people who both support us in prayer and money, but the amount of money it takes to maintain a family of 6 is a lot. this is not to mention the extra expenses that come up that aren't always expected. we have learned the past year to spend a significant amount of time asking the Lord to provide finances where it sometimes seems impossible. sometimes i start to feel like, again! do i have to ask for God to come through in providing money again?! but the truth is, yes! not only is the the way He has asked our family to live, it is the way He has laid out in the Bible for all believers to live.
He desires us to ask Him to provide. Of course we are to work at whatever He puts before us, but He wants to partner with us for our lives. He calls Himself the Provider. when i realize my own weakness and inability to make things happen for myself, it produces humility in my life and forces me to look to Him alone as my Source. even though it sometimes stings so much to live this way, it is the most fulfilling and amazing way to live. we have testimony after testimony in our own lives of God providing in crazy and amazing ways. i wrote before the story of how we ended up being able to go to my brother-in-law's wedding when i had zero faith to even ask the Lord myself, so my husband and kids asked daily until the Lord provided. we are experiencing financial miracles, which builds our faith to share with others that if He can do this for us, He can do it for you!
all this to say that i have to continually go back to the Bible to find what God says about money. as my husband and i have been looking, we have found the most frequent thing the Bible says about money is that God wants us to ask Him to be our Provider. so, we continue to ask. i continue to strengthen myself when i am feeling discouraged by reading the passages that tell of His desire to provide for us. i make myself say out loud all the ways He has provided in the past year to cultivate both thankfulness and faith in my heart. i realize that when i am feeling the most weak, that is the moment He can show Himself the most strong.
"do not worry
then, saying, 'what will we eat ?' or 'what will we drink ?' or 'what will we wear for clothing ?'
"for the gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
we are personally on a search for a minivan because of our soon expansion to our family (7 weeks left until the due date!). we bought both of our cars almost 7 years ago - we aren't people who go out and make a big purchase like a car often. God has answered our prayers of my car selling. it sold for an amazing amount - our asking price in full! now we are down to one car the past 3 weeks and until we find the van we are looking for to buy in cash. the car we have for now is my husband's jeep that only has 4 seatbelts (if you do the math that is one less seatbelt than current family members). so, besides the couple times we have had a kind friend trade us cars for a day or two, we are unable to go anywhere as a family until we buy a minivan. this alone as made me very motivated to find one!
i am reminded to ask God again and again to be our Provider and to bring the right van before this new little one is born. in the moments that i feel like i have asked so many times and may be tiring Him, it is so good to remind myself that He told me to ask Him! it is so good to know that even when i weary of asking, He never wearies of hearing me come to Him to ask. it is so good to remind myself that He knows we need all these things, so i don't have to worry!
even though i started writing this as mostly a reminder to myself to keep on asking until we see breakthrough, i want to also encourage you to not give up as well. He wants to partner with you. He wants to be your Source and your Provider. He knows your needs. He is a good Father.
and my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus,...just as He has provided for ours. He does not tire of you asking, so ASK!