However, I find the Lord continuing to stir in me concerning the command- ments of the New Covenant. Yesterday I had a conversation with a dear brother. He insisted that we must keep the ten commandments of the Old Covenant, especially the "Sabbath," and that the law does give life. It was as if he had never been taught Galatians or Hebrews or Romans or Colossians. Yet, in his concern for "obeying" God, it was clear that he had never regarded the critical commandments of the New Covenant, nor was he much dismayed that by "obeying" the Old, he was walking in continual disobedience to the New.
I shared with him Christ our life, and I believe that God is taking the simple words that I spoke and is stirring them in this brother's heart to see Christ and Christ alone.
The word God speaks operates at many different levels. We find Him speaking to us at a certain level when we are babes or young men in Christ. Then, as we learn more of His ways, we realize that we had been keeping Him at arm's length. We realize that we had been "hearing" Him wrong.
But it would be foolish to then throw out what is written in either covenant, as many seem to do. No, we wait upon Him, believing what He says without having to "explain" any of it. Then, in our growing knowledge of our union with Christ, suddenly we see that same word, both Old and New, that we had once applied wrongly when we were carnal, bursting with life and power beyond what we could ever have imagine, fulfilled in all fullness in Christ in us.
But what God continues to speak to me concerning the commandments of the New Covenant I find to be an essential building block in imparting to you my present understanding of the Great Story of God.
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matthew 7: 7
"Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." Mark 11: 24
"And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." John 16: 23-24
There is a story concerning Elisha in 2 Kings Chapter 13. Joash, king of Israel, comes to see Elisha as Elisha is lying sick. Elisha immediately tells him to take his bow and to shoot an arrow out the window. He tells the king that this signifies the defeat of the enemies of Israel. Then he tells the king to take his arrows and strike the ground. Elisha is angry with the king for striking only three times.
The moral of the story is this: when God says ask, ask. Do not ever limit God by any form of timidity.
But what do we ask Him for? That's easy - all that He speaks.
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." 1 John 5: 14-15
God's word is His will; God's word is Christ in us.
Every word God speaks in the New Covenant is ours. Every word belongs to us. Every word.
Christians, when contemplating God's command to us to ask, have always set their asking at ridiculously low levels. "We don't want to presume on God; we're not sure what His will is."
Baloney! We know exactly what God's will is. He tells us in the covenant we signed with Him. It is God's will that you and I be filled with all the fullness of God, right now and forever inside all of our human weakness.
Then one more verse before we get to the asking.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." Ephesians 3: 20
It is impossible to out ask God; He will always do more than we ask.
But in Mark 11, Jesus adds this requirement to asking. He commands us to believe that we have received what we ask for.
Let's obey Jesus and ask. In fact - let's not be timid; let's shoot for some big ones. We'll try just two for now to get warmed up - but we won't stop with two. We ask all that God speaks and in asking we believe that we have already received what we ask for.
"Awake to righteousness, and do not sin." 1 Corinthians 15:34
"My little children, these things I write to you, that you not sin." 1 John 2: 1
"He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." 1 John 2: 6
"Whoever abides in Him does not sin." 1 John 3:6
Let's ask - with the understanding that whatever is not of faith is sin. Sin is imagining that "I" still live and am "doing" things out of a life that is not Christ.
"Father, it is Your will that I cease forever from all sin, all that absence of faith and confidence in You that displeases You. It is Your will that I walk in all the sinless faith of Christ revealing Himself in me. Father, I ask You to perfect me in just the same way that You, Father, are perfect, according to Your word. I ask you to cause me to walk in this dying body, tempted in all points, just as Jesus was tempted, yet without sin, without losing my utter and continual confidence in You, just as Jesus walked. I ask You to fulfill in me Your own distaste of sin, inside this age of human folly. I ask this according to Your will, for Your word is Your will and Your word is Christ in me.
"Now, having asked according to Your will, Father, I believe with all the faith of the Son of God who is my life that I have received all that I ask You for, that I walk upon this earth, in this age, in this body, without sin, free from all shadow of separation from You or any possibility of displeasing You or falling short of Your glory in any way. Though I may not at this moment "see" it with my eyes, yet I will dance in celebration of victory, for I know that I shall see Your word fulfilled in me, and I shall see it in my flesh, standing upon this earth. I believe that I have received all that I ask, and not only that, but I know that you will still blow my socks off when You do far more in me than what I am asking."
Now some, in praying through these words might notice a little phrase hollering at them from the edges of their minds. It says something like this: "But I - ; but I - ; but I - ! Go ahead and finish that phrase. "But I am a grasshopper." Only that's an Old Covenant word. In the New Covenant, the phrase runs like this: "But I - not Christ!"
Rest assured, the voice that cries, "But I - " is your great enemy.
God's answer to it applies the same way in both Covenants: "Why do you keep treating Me like dirt?"
The correct phrase is "Not I, but Christ." - Yet I live, for He is my life.
Do you see why Satan has kept the asking of Christians so low to the ground? To ask is one of our mightiest weapons. To ask is to end the age of human folly.
Now, it is important to understand what happens when we ask, believing that we have already received what we ask for. Our asking does not "make" things happen. God has already spoken His word. Inside every word God speaks is the full conclusion and finishing of that word. Everything God has spoken is Christ and Christ is the only life we have; we have no other life than the completed Word God speaks.
"Asking" is a simple mechanism God uses to enable us to respond in faith to what He speaks. When we ask, believing that we have already received, our eyes are opened. We awaken from sleep. We see God and not the limitations of our present state.
Some say that we ask once, and then, giving thanks from then on, we don't ask again. This is partly true. Having asked once, we do not continue to ask as if we have not already received what we ask for. Yet Jesus said to ask and keep on asking. How is that?
We can understand what Jesus is after for us by the simple understanding that His grace is new every morning. That is, we ask again, not pleading for something we imagine God is still withholding from us, (that is an evil imagination) but only to reaffirm our faith in our own minds and hearts, that yes, today, His kingdom is come in all of my life and in everything that comes my way. Today.
Someone else might say, "Well, I asked, but look, I just blew it again; I don't "see" that God did anything." Of course not. Do blind people see? And who is speaking the truth, God or the one who cannot see? Those who are physically blind are honest. They know they can't see. But those who cannot see God in all things are arrogant. They imagine that their blindness speaks the truth.
We walk by faith, by the jubilant celebration of what God speaks, and not by the inability of our eyes to see.
Let's try another one.
"For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality." 1 Corinthians 15: 53
"For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee." 2 Corinthians 5: 4-5
" . . . our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel . . ." 2 Timothy 1: 10
"Father, You say that death is my enemy. You say that I, Daniel Yordy, a mortal man, facing the inevitability of death and the grave, must put on immortality. You say that You have prepared me for the very purpose of experiencing my mortal body being swallowed up in immortal life. You say that Jesus, in dying once, has conquered death forever, and that He has brought to us life and immortality. You say, Father, that Jesus has given me His victory over death.
"Father, it is Your will that I defeat death and cast it from me. It is Your will that my mortal body be swallowed up in the life of the immortality of Christ. It is Your will that I never know physical death. Father, I ask for full and total victory over death. Father, I ask that I see my 100th birthday, walking upon this earth. Father I ask that I see my 500th birthday walking upon this earth, not with a "mortal" body, but with an incorruptible body, one that enables me to walk in all the heavens of God and to walk in all the goodness of the earth at the same time. Father, I ask that I see my 1000th birthday walking upon this earth and so see death defeated and gone forever by the victory of Christ in me.
"Father, You say that the same Holy Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead is right now working resurrection life in my dying body, though I "see" it not. Father, I ask for the full measure of that Holy Spirit, that death would be swallowed up by life - in my physical body. Father, I ask that my body be transformed into a body just like Jesus' glorious body right here on this earth by the power with which Christ in me subdues all things to Himself.
"Father, I ask these things according to Your will, for Your word is Your will, and all that You speak in the New Covenant belongs to me. And in asking, I believe that I have already received what I ask for. And in believing, I dance in celebration of the victory I shall see with my eyes in my flesh, for I know that You will do far more in me and through me than anything I could possibly ask."
Do you see how it works, this asking?
There is one little phrase that Jesus commanded us to pray, it is this: "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Do you see that if we simply believe we have received this simple request, we bring an end to all human folly and to this age of darkness?
Let us be warned by the foolish timidity of Joash; let us ask all that God speaks concerning us and let us never stop asking nor ever stop believing that we have already received whatever we ask for.
Let us ask to see the same love that flowed through Christ flow through us in all of our present experience. Let us ask to see the overcoming of Christ overcome in all measure through us in this present life.
Let's ask that all the fullness of God fill us now, today, this moment, and all the moments of our life.
Let's ask that mighty rivers of life from the throne of God flow out of our bellies, giving life and healing to all who cross our paths, now, on this earth.
Let's ask that every enemy be cast down, every shadow of darkness defeated, every demon be driven from this planet.
My God, my God, let us ask and not stop asking. Why on earth should we be satisfied with any part of the darkness and evil of this age of human folly? Why in God's name should we accept one iota of it? Shall we put off the evil day? Shall we place upon our grandchildren the curse of walking under the evil and torment of this world because we ourselves were unwilling simply to ask God for its deliverance?
Can we not ask, and in asking simply believe that we have already received what we ask for? And do we not know that God will do in us and through us ever so much more than we ask?
Ask and ask; strike and strike, until all the glory of God covers this earth and no shadow of darkness remains upon it.
This is God's will for us and for our children. Timidity can never honor Him.
Ask, and do not stop asking.
Be blessed in the Lord,
Click here to access a copy of my book, The Jesus Secret, from which the "Ready" quotes come.