“Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with Me”, Rev 22:12  "And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come", Heb 6:5 "If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious", 1Pet 2:3

You cannot deny the reward of God, because God is in the reward itself. And you cannot deny God either because of having achieved the thing which you set you heart and prayers to search God for. If your goal is to receive from God, God’s is that you receive Him all along well. God’s aim is that you have Him and it won’t happen if you refuse to pray to God because something might seem to be too selfish to ask God for in your own view. Have in mind that you may start wrong to end right – that’s the whole point of prayer: to have it take the necessary time to have an importunate asker changed in the process of asking. This is why we come to read from Jesus “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” Luke 18:7. He may take long to answer because He is waiting to have mercy – not because it might not be His will to grant it at all.

Asking is a command from God: and woe to such as stand up from their knees before having an answer given them.

There is a close relationship between asking and receiving and we may never deny either the asking nor the receiving. It is here where God works the best. We know that people are not born again by fasting their minds on becoming born again; in fact, it usually takes place once their minds are set on something else while their deepest desire is to be conceived once again from within by getting too near a Living God – if they near God with it. If they enter the realm and boundaries of Life, conception takes place. The same thing might take place in sanctification, for God often diverts the mind of someone towards a certain need so God can change and love in the innermost hidden part of man unhindered, while the need serves to bring someone nigh to God. God cannot change Himself; man cannot change himself either. A computer does not change itself, but is changed by someone else.

In the same way, people are found hindering God from His main inner work in the soul because they deny Him the means and the opportunities to do so as He best knows how. They will either change themselves on their own (hindering God to do it so alone), or simply deny God the time and the chance to do it by refusing to near God with a certain request which might seem selfish to either their own eyes or to other’s eyes. People are changed by having their eyes settled on God, fasting and feasting on Him, on this marvelous sight. Whatever God uses to have you look unto Him, matters very little unless you give up on it, really. If His reward is with Him, we might say, also, that He is with His reward. You may still have the reward and come to deny God because you gained and think to need Him no more until the next need comes out to show itself, or deny the reward and loose on both.

I have talked to a friend recently that rekindled an old issue within me. She said she did not ask from God because she was settled down and did not wish to be disappointed on God, for it would hurt deeply if God granted her not the request. So being, she thought it best not to ask from God, wishing the dissapointment to be smaller. There is a touching honesty on this assumption, though, however wrong it may be still. Now, I tried to make full use of the honesty to reach a point. It is good that one refuses to be greedy or selfish. But to think one will remain greedy close to a changing God is to be wrong concerning the whole of the Gospel message. We read “Look and live”, “come to Me….” And we may even quote thousands of such words from God Himself such as “ask”, “enter” along with many others as well. Whatever makes you turn to God is good even if it starts off selfishly. A burning bush made Moses turn to see the sight because it stayed burning for days and never turned into ashes. In going to see that marvelous happening, he got to speak with God. He soon forgot the bush that did not burn down by its fire. So, not to go and see because one may regard that as unbelief, may hinder God to speak to you personally. To believe you will stay an unbeliever close enough to a living God, is to think foolishly. To go after an answer from God, we may bump into God Himself. That’s why every prayer needs an urgent answer from God and not from our minds only. The point is simply this: as a human being has a spirit, has a heart so to speak, every prayer has it in the answer upon it and any prayer whatsoever that does not reach its purpose, NO MATTER HOW EVENTUALLY it happens, is useless and is a mockery against a LIVING God. It is a shame if people pray for weeks on a row about something they should be in a state to receive on the spot and give up on the last half an hour of it, dying at the beach after having been swimming for so long to get to the shore. To pray without ceasing means just to pray without giving up on God on any matter whatsoever.

Prayer is just too often quoted, linked and put together with having a good time, with making people happy beings, and even if it reaches a goal (of healing for example) it is again and again said that it is there on account of people's happiness. I am not saying prayer is not a good time with God at all; I am neither saying prayer does not kindle a fire to have more of God and of it. All I am saying is that the goal and the end of all prayers should be a specific answer upon it. If you're having a good time with God and you, even so, do not purpose in your heart to go after the answer, God will soon enough deny you as well. Having a good time with God should have you go for it and not have the opposite effect upon you at all! It should encourage you to reach the end of it rather than to stay at the enjoyment of the moments along the way. That's the whole purpose of having a good time during prayer: to reach the will of God in it! But God has some other hidden purpose enclosed in it: to reach to God Himself along with the request.

Now, if the answer is the goal, you may still reach the request and loose on God on account of resting on selfishness. If God has granted you for real, have this in mind: You have to reach after God Himself as soon as you have your request granted - even if the answer is a word from God alone. I mean this: people seldom reach an answer because they pray for the goodness of the experience of it, which is a mockery to God if so. They do that because they are selfish and not prayer warriors. So, if to reach an answer is so beyond the intention of God Himself even if it far more then yours, imagine how far from truth are such as have prayer for the enjoyment of the moment! You have to reach God as well, along with the request you may get from Him. That's why God might turn it so difficult to reach an answer from Him: not that He is deaf, or His arm too short to reach unto us, but rather that our own iniquities separate us from a sure answer, Is.59:1,2. That's why God intends Himself to be included in the deal of asking and receiving and He says "My reward is WITH ME", and He removes selfishness where He is God, the God of your whole life - even of that which He is able to give you. That's why Jacob refused to let go on God even if God told him "let Me go, you have what you wanted"! Many would say "Jacob, you have to obey God! He said 'Let Me go'!" All God wanted to reach from Jacob was his so-called "disobedience" really. All words of God are there just never to return empty unto Him. They mean to achieve something in man, from man. Think on why did Jesus praise Nathanael when he confronted Jesus and why Jesus, kind of disappointed because Nathanael did not persist on that track of mind, reprimanded him because he gave in at the first sign of a miracle, saying he shouldn't have given in because there would be so much more to see than that and he should not even become amazed by the whole of it, how much less with such a small issue as that still, John 1:44-51. He was not to be astonished by anything great Jesus did, but with Him alone. How would that happen if he gave in at the first small prophetic remark?

To cause the red sea to open should never astonish us at all, for we have to set our minds and hearts in a natural way towards the God who has done all of that still. People are used to love a woman or a man taking into account the clothes they wear or not wear. God is not used to be loved from such a frame of mind at all - He cannot be loved having in mind what He is able to give unto us. Are clothes more important than the body which is wearing them? NO! Hence the reaching of God and the disdain upon the answer on account of refusing to be selfish WITHOUT DENYING THE ANSWER itself. Asking is a command from God, because He Himself said "ASK and you shall receive" and especially because there you might have the opportunity to have your heart tested and cleansed from selfishness by having it nearing a changing God. It is easy to be holy in heaven. But God says, "on earth as in heaven". It is easy to disdain upon lust if there is none of the opposite sex around and you might never come to know how bound you might still be to it if your heart is not put to be proved in front your very eyes; in the same way, to disdain or to refuse an answer from God, does not make you unselfish, but rather someone who might be hiding away selfishness for some reason you may even uphold as a good thing to be done.

So, to have a good time with God, is not even close to the genuine purpose of all prayers, really. To have an answer is the Goal - to have God in it is God's own aim and goal for us all, even if the answer is our goal. By having the heart fasting on the answer, we get to be acquainted with God very soon.

We easily uphold Job for many a thing he had said and done. But there is a remark from Him which touched my heart recently. He said: "Can that which hath no savor be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? (7) My soul refuseth to touch them; They are as loathsome food to me. (8) Oh that I might have my request; And that God would grant me the thing that I long for! (along with the request) (9) Even that it would please God to crush me; or that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off! (10) that it be still my consolation, Yea, let me exult in pain that spareth not: (if in) That I have not denied the words of the Holy One”. Job 6:6-10

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José Mateus