As Jesus spent his last hours with his disciples, he said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you” (John 16:23, NKJV). Immediately following this, he told them, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).
What an incredible statement. As this scene took place, Christ was warning his followers that he was going away, and he wouldn’t see them for a short time. In the very same breath, though, he assured them that they had access to every blessing of heaven. All they had to do was ask in his name.
The disciples had been personally taught by Jesus to knock, seek and ask for the things of God. They were taught firsthand that all of the blessings of the Father — all grace, power and strength — were found in Christ. They’d heard Jesus declare to the multitudes, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my Father. And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:12–14).
Christ’s words to his disciples convict me: “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). As I read this, I hear the Lord whispering to me, “David, you haven’t claimed the power I’ve made available to you. You simply need to ask in my name.”
Here is what I believe grieves God’s heart more than all the sins of the flesh combined. Our Lord is grieved by the ever-growing lack of faith in his promises…by ever-increasing doubts that he answers prayer…and by a people who claim less and less of the power that is in Christ.
No matter how much you have asked of the likeness of Christ, it is nothing compared to the resources of spiritual wisdom still awaiting in his storehouse. Ask largely! Ask for wisdom, ask for guidance, ask for revelation. It must be asked in faith, though, without a whisper of doubt.