The same way children receive gifts to them is the way God wants us to receive from Him – freely and with joy. John 16:24 AMPC says, …Ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.
If you’re struggling with life, chances are you haven’t freely received God’s gifts, such as His love, grace, mercy and forgiveness, so you can have the life Jesus died to give you.
We tend to have a mentality of getting things, not receiving them. To get means “to obtain by struggle and effort.” If everything in life is a struggle and effort, you won’t enjoy much of it and you’ll be frustrated a lot.
If you’re struggling with life, chances are you haven’t freely received God’s gifts…
Getting things puts the burden on us because we have to figure out how to manipulate circumstances to make them work out the way we want them to. But the Bible talks about receiving, not getting.
We receive by faith, not through works. This is difficult for most people because we’re taught in the world that we have to earn what we get.
But God is not for sale. We can’t buy, earn or deserve Him. His gifts – forgiveness, mercy, grace, favor, salvation – are free. And we could never do enough to earn them or deserve them. Jesus paid the price that we could never pay to provide these gifts for us. We simply have to receive them!
We receive from the Lord in the same way that people in the Bible received from the Lord—whether it is salvation, healing, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, or some other gift God has provided. We receive by faith.
This fact is emphasized in James 1:5–7, which tells us what to do if we are lacking something in our life. The Apostle James said that we are to ask of God, but instructs us to ask in faith in order to receive.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, LET HIM ASK OF GOD, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But LET HIM ASK IN FAITH, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive ANY THING of the Lord.
James begins this passage talking about receiving wisdom, but he ends the passage talking about receiving anything. Well, healing, or anything else the Word promises, is certainly included in “anything,” because “anything” includes all things!
Does “anything” also include the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Certainly, it does. And a person receives the baptism in the Holy Spirit the same way he or she receives anything else from God—by faith.
5 He [Paul] therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
The Bible tells us how the Apostle Paul was able to minister the baptism in the Holy Spirit and to work miracles among the people. It was “…by the hearing of faith.” But if we’re not careful, we’ll think, Well, yes, but Paul was an apostle, and God endowed the apostles with special power. If we had their same power and anointing, we could do the things they did. But Galatians 3:5 just told us exactly how Paul ministered! He did it by the hearing of faith! In other words, those people received from God through Paul’s ministry by their hearing faith preached to them.
The Word of God makes it clear that faith, or believing God’s Word, brings results and that we receive from the Lord by faith. Let’s look at several more scriptures that prove this important point.
22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
We are studying how to receive from God. We know from these verses that we receive by faith, or by believing. We also know from these verses that “all things” are possible to those who believe. Well, “all things” means anything, doesn’t it?
We know we must believe, but where does this believing take place? The verses we’ve studied so far show us that believing takes place in our heart, not in our head. Let’s look at another passage that further proves this fact.
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and SHALT BELIEVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Did you notice that the word “heart” and some form of the word “believe” or “faith” are used in each one of these verses? Verse 10 says, “. . . with the HEART man BELIEVETH unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” But it’s also true that whatever we receive from God comes the same say—by faith, or by believing. And it’s with our heart, not our head—our intellect or our physical senses—that we believe.
I want us to study something further that the Word of God has to say about the heart. We’re told to believe with our heart, but what is the heart? First Peter 3:4 says, “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” Here Peter uses the terms “hidden man of the heart” and “spirit” interchangeably. Our heart is our inward man, or our spirit.
We know from Scripture that man is a three-part being: spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12). We don’t believe God with our soul (which involves our intellect and emotions) or with our body. We believe God with our spirit, or heart.
When the Bible talks about believing with our heart, it isn’t talking about believing with the physical organ that pumps blood throughout our body. It’s talking about believing with the inward man, or our spirit.
Faith is of the heart, the spirit, of man. In other words, you believe on the inside. And what you believe on the inside is manifested on the outside. God starts working on the inside of a person and works to the outside. For example, healing doesn’t start on the outside—it starts with your believing in your heart (on the inside). When you pray, you believe that you receive, and then you shall have the healing you desire (on the outside).