At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy… Then you will ask in my name. (John 16:23-24, 26)
Relate: “I don’t trust You.” Basically, that is what David was saying. In the Old Testament story (2 Samuel 24) David decided he was going to take a census of the fighting men of Israel. David was a warrior king. He didn’t just kill Goliath, he killed so many of Israel’s enemies that when he was still a teenager they had already made a song about his martial prowess. The dowry to be able to marry the king’s daughter was set at a hundred dead Philistines. He doubled it. Once he became king himself, David took down the Philistines, the Moabites, the Edomites, the Arameans… pretty much any ruler who was a neighbor felt his boot on their neck at some point or another. So when David took a census, it wasn’t just curiosity. He wanted to know what his military capability was. The thing is, David’s strength should not have been found in his armies, it should have been in God.
David’s lack of trust was a sin and as a consequence of that sin he was given three choices. David chose the plague. In three days time, seventy thousand people died. Seventy thousand. All those numbers David took for the census… in one long and horrible weekend they were made obsolete. David put his trust in numbers and God took those numbers from him.
Sharing all of that story was a foundation for this point. David sinned, he had to suffer the consequence of that sin, but it was God who first relented. It was God who wanted this plague to end. It was God who told the avenging angel to stop. Then God sent a prophet to David with a command to go to Arunah’s threshing floor that the plague would be stopped. God did all the work, but He still demanded from David the ask.
React: The greatest ask any of us could ever make is three words: “God, forgive me.” This here in John was the last message Jesus was giving to His disciples. In a few hours He would be hanging on the cross. He would be paving the way for our forgiveness. Through His death the way has been made. The road has been paved, but still we must take it. Still we must ask. When we take these scriptures and this promise and start asking for things like more money or a bigger house or a better job, we cheapen that promise. We dilute His Word. our vision is too low. Way too low.
“God, let Your kingdom come. Let Your glory be revealed. Let Your grace be made manifest.” This is where it’s at. these are things that are worthy of God’s time. “God forgive me.” This is far and away the greatest ask we could ever make. It is also one that we could never deserve. But it is an ask that God will never, ever deny.
God, forgive me. For those times when, like David, I have said in word, thought, or action that I do not trust You. For those times when I have run after blessings rather than the blessing giver. For those times when my aim and my desires were for things that, in the light of eternity, are so inconsequential. God, forgive me. When I say these three words, I am not asking for the removal of the consequences of my sin. All I am asking is that Your grace would cover me that I might once again be allowed in Your presence. God, forgive me. For all I desire is You.