"Ask, and It Shall be Given You." Part 2
By Mrs. E. G. White
"Every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth." Christ is here presenting a law of the divine government. Asking for the Holy Spirit is connected with receiving this gift. The Lord reads the hearts of all men. He selects from His subjects those He can use, choosing material which can be worked. He selects the most unpromising subjects, and through them magnifies His own wisdom and power by causing them to sit among princes. In all ages He has used human beings to carry out His purposes. He chooses subjects who will not be perverted, who in all righteousness and faith will honour His name. He passes by the men who have perverted the capabilities He has given them, and selects men of His own wisdom who make Him their trust, their dependence, their efficiency. He hews and polishes the rough stones He has quarried out of the world. He works through men who realize that they must submit to the axe, the chisel, and the hammer, lying passive under the divine hand. Through those who voluntarily submit themselves to Him in all matters, who seek Him in faith and hope, He works out His plans.
Those who ask because they wish to impart to others will not be disappointed. God will reward those who come to Him in earnest faith. He assures us that the thought of His majesty and sovereignty should not keep us in fear. He will do much more graciously than we suppose if we will come to the footstool of His mercy. He urges His sovereignty as a reason for His great and merciful bountifulness in supplying the demands upon Him. He pledges Himself to hear our prayers, declaring that He will hear them. He condescends to appeal from the instinct of parental tenderness to the infinite benevolence of Him whose we are by creation and by redemption. He says, "If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him." The needy and soul hungry never plead with God in vain.
Humanity and divinity must be linked together in the experience of every overcomer. In our weakness we are to accept Christ's power. He gives us the assurance, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
In view of this tell me who should wear countenances more bright and cheerful, more full of sunshine, than those who live by faith in the Son of God. In Him the needy and hungry find all their wants supplied. But let us not forget that those whom God has blessed with the good things of this life are to be His helping hand, to supply the necessities of His needy ones. They are to be labourers together with Him. They are His stewards in trust, and are to use their goods for the advancement of His work, that His name may be glorified. The Lord desires to employ the church as a channel through which to communicate His bounties. If His people would keep the channel open, receiving the spiritual and temporal gifts of His grace, and imparting them to the needy, there would be no sick ones neglected, no orphans crying for food. The hearts of the widow and the fatherless would sing for joy.
God has given man the richest of His gifts. This He has done that man may dispense His bounties. Medical missionary work and the gospel ministry are the channels through which God seeks to pour a constant supply of His goodness. They are to be as the river of life for the irrigation of His church. There is not the semblance of an excuse for the lifeless condition of a people who know the plain "Thus saith the Lord." God calls their attention to the words, "Ye are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." He reminds us that we have only to ask, and we shall receive; to seek, and we shall find; to knock, and it shall be opened unto us.
Throw open the windows of the soul heavenward and close them earthward. The Lord has made His church the repository of divine influence. The heavenly universe is waiting for the members to become channels through which the current of life shall flow to the world, that many be converted, and in their turn become channels through which the grace of Christ shall flow to the desert portions of the Lord's vineyard.
In the day of final accounts, what will the church give as a reason for her strange indifference to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth? My brethren and sisters, keep the temple of God pure and holy, that He may use it to the glory of His name. God will enlarge His faculties and multiply His gifts to you as you make use of them to gather souls under the bloodstained banner of the Redeemer. "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." By yielding to the temptations of the enemy, by losing sight of God, you have lost the sense of what a child of God ought to be. Your powers of perception are clouded. But the way is open for your spiritual life to be reinforced with new power. "Ask, and ye shall receive."
Originally published in The Bible Echo, August 12, 1901.