Why We Can’t Have What We Ask God For

Matthew 7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

God tells us to ask Him for what we need, but sometimes we don’t keep asking, seeking and knocking. Why? Because we don’t believe He really wants to give it to us.  We don’t understand that He WANTS to give these things to us.  We have come to believe otherwise, and so we act on that wrong belief.  And you can’t make yourself wholeheartedly do something you don’t believe in.  That results in you not getting what you are asking for.

John 4: When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirstyand have to keep coming here to draw water.”

The Samaritan woman was blinded by her believe that Jesus, a Jew would never give a Samaritan, a half-breed anything, so when He offered her living water, she initially couldn’t receive it. She took convincing.

James 1:If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Our double-mindedness – trying to believe that God is good and wants to give these things to us, but underneath, not really believing it, causes us to not have what we ask for.

James 4 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Then there is also the reason that we are asking for something to replace God’s involvement in our life, and He really just can’t get behind that.  If you are just trying to make yourself feel better apart from God with what you are asking for, it becomes an idol that you worship instead of God.

But let’s deal with the wrong ideas that we have about God.  In CR, we talk about how we must come to a place where we believe 3 things:

  1. That God exists
  2. That I matter to Him
  3. That He has the power to help me.

If we are having trouble believing God for something, we have stopped believing one of those 3 things. When we want something but won’t ask for it, either we don’t believe that God exists, or that we matter to Him, or that He is powerful enough to provide it.

But that is where we go wrong. God ORIGINALLY INTENDED to provide for us, without us working for it.  That was how it was in the Garden of Eden. He wanted to be our Provider, and actually created the earth to be self-regulating and produce whatever we needed. And if we needed something outside of the earth, He stepped in and created that with His own hands for us.


Gen 2: This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth[a] and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams[b] came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters.

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

God made self-replicating plants that created fruit, streams from under the ground to water all of the vegetation and animals, and when God saw Adam needed a helper, God specially created the helper Himself. It was always His intention that we should have what we need from His hand.

But then sin entered into the world through Adam and Eve’s lack of faith in God, mixed with their desire to have control over everything the way God did, and not have to depend upon Him any more.

Gen 3: 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”

So, because of the curse, we were doomed to have to sweat and toil and earn everything in the world. Creation turned against man, and whereas it once GAVE freely to man, now man had to TAKE FROM THE EARTH in order to survive.

But Jesus came to nail the curse to the cross.

Galatians 3 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”[h] 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.