"ASK AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU." Totally true. Not more, not less. Nothing to add, nothing to take away. Not bound by conditions.
Nothing of that which exists in this world has been created without having been desired first by someone. The iPad, the PC, the toilet, the book, clothes. We desire something and then Life, God, makes it a reality. Just as it was in the Garden of Eden: Adam and Eve were ashamed to be naked and "the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21).
What are you asking God regarding your love life? I have a client who desperately wants to find true love, marry, have children. But her deepest conviction is that she is "not worthy of love." Although she is a very nice person who goes out of her way to please people, she's convinced that she's not worthy of love. Most likely this stems from her childhood, maybe even when she was only a baby. Her earliest memory is that of a crying baby, desperate for her mother,... but the mother doesn't come. The baby's conclusion: "no one loves me. I am not worthy of love."
This thought became even more real with the passing of time. Each time that her mother could not give her the love she craved, her subconscious repeated again "I am not worthy of love." Each time a friend rejected her, she heard an internal voice saying: "I am not worthy of love." Each time a boyfriend broke up with her, she thought: "I am not worthy of love." And every time she has a boyfriend, she thinks: "when he discovers who I really am, he'll leave me." Sure enough, that's what happens.
What she's really asking God is: "don't give me anybody, because I'm not worthy of love."
What are you asking God regarding your finances? Are you asking him for a better economic situation, but at the same time you believe that "money is the root of all evil"? Or perhaps you are convinced that having lots of money makes one arrogant; or you believe that money will bring you false friends; or you think that in order to have money one must work extremely hard, and you know that you don't want to work that much; or you think that nothing that you do ever comes out right; or you think that you don't deserve a good financial position.
You might think you're asking God to give you money, but what you are really asking him (at a much deeper level) is not to give it to you.
What are you asking God regarding your children? Are you asking Him to give them a bright future, but are inwardly convinced that they'll never amount to much? Or you believe that you need to be constantly behind them, for them to do something with their lives? Or do you believe that they could get hurt at any time, that danger is lurking behind every corner?
I am believing that all my children will be taught by God, and He will multiply their well-being (Isaiah 54:13). Hallelujah, God does it for me! I can live in trust and peace.
"ASK AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU."
No... wait! You surely mean: ask, but with certain conditions attached to it: obey the ENTIRE Word of God, fulfill all the law, serve at church, sacrifice yourself, don't sin, be fair, be kind, be perfect, don't dress sexily, work hard, don't complain, ask modestly and without ambition,... and then it shall be given unto you.
You are completely right, this was exactly our case... before Jesus came into the world. Now, our situation is completely different: it simply says: ASK AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN TO YOU. These are the good news that Jesus came to bring us! And they are absolutely spectacular!
Jesus tells us: I have paid the price, I have sacrificed, I fulfilled the entire law, I satisfied the requirements, I complied with all the conditions, I worked extremely hard,... so that you may have abundantly of everything that is good in every area of your life!
I already paid the price for you to have a glorious marriage; for you to have wise, responsible, successful children; for you to have a fulfilling and lucrative work, for you to shine, for you to have a healthy economic situation, for you to live free from all oppression, shame and pain; for you and your family to serve me; for you to live in complete health; for you to have a long and peaceful life.
I. ALREADY. PAID. THE. PRICE. You only need to ASK. You only need to DESIRE.
What happened when Jesus needed money to pay for his taxes? Did he go out to work strenuously? No. He simply told Peter to catch a fish and in the fish's mouth was all the money they needed. Didn't Jesus said that we will do greater things than these?
A Christian friend told me not long ago: "do you know what happened to me? I received exactly what I wanted, but the strange thing is that I didn't even pray about it, didn't even fast." She cannot understand how is it possible that without prayer, without having knelt down, without having fasted, and even though she had not gone to church regularly, and even though she had not behaved perfectly towards all people in the past week,... that in spite of all that, God gave her what she secretly wished for.
Our wish. Our desire. Our petition. Our longing. Our belief. Nothing else is more powerful. It is that which creates our reality. It is that which causes something new to be born on this Earth. It is that which creates something new in the universe. We have been created in the image of God. He created the entire universe... and has given us the same power. Wow!
What are you asking for your life? What is your secret wish for yourself, for your spouse, for your children? What have you created so far?
I invite you to analyze your thoughts. Listen intently to the voice of your subconscious. And you will understand why you are living your current situation.
And if you don't like it, start to think differently. Start to wish for things that are good for you. Tell God the type of husband that you want. Tell him how you want your kids to be. Tell Him what type of work you want. Tell him how you want your church to be. Tell him which clients would please you. Tell Him in which country you want to go next for your vacation. Tell him what type of house would make you happy.
Don't think that you need to deserve any of these things... Jesus already bought them for you! These are the amazing, unbelievably Good News of Jesus Christ!!