When it comes to receiving from God – no matter what it may be – salvation, healing, needs being met, anything that we receive from God – many people get stuck on one of two things. These two things keep us from receiving the promises of God more than anything else in the world. These two questions hinder us from receiving from Him:
Is God able?
Is God willing?
For the majority of people, we’ve come to accept – to believe to be true – that God is able. We understand and believe that God has the ability to do all things, no matter how big or how impossible it may seem.
The issue then remains: is God willing? There seems to be doubt and unbelief that God is willing to meet our needs, to heal us, to do exactly what He said He would do in His Word. Even though He has said He would, even though the Bible is filled with examples of Him doing what He said He would, there is still doubt – mostly among His people – that He is actually willing to do it.
On the other hand, the questions needs to be asked – are you willing, are you able?
Stop thinking about God for a moment and think about yourself. Are you willing to receive from God? Are you able to receive from God? Because like it or not, believe it or not, it’s not all up to God. You have a part to play. God is not going to pour His blessings down on you if you don’t want them. He’s not going to strap you to a chair, open up your mouth with one hand, and force feed you like an unwilling child. That’s not God. That’s not the character of God. That’s the character of the devil.
Are you able?
Are you willing?
Here’s the thing that might shock some people – even though we have settled that God is able, the truth of the matter is that it’s quite possible that He isn’t able. That’s not heresy. That’s Bible. People who think that’s heresy are either ignorant of the Word (which we’ll fix in a moment) or they’re just too religious to come off their prideful high horse and accept the truth.
People think that God can do anything, but that’s not true. If it’s true that God can do anything, then why doesn’t He make you tithe? Why doesn’t He make you go to church more than you do? Why doesn’t He make the whole world get saved? It’s simple. He can’t. No matter how powerful God is, there are some things He can’t do. It’s not that He’s not all powerful. It’s that He has limited Himself in the Earth. He’s given us dominion. He’s given us free will. He’s given us the ability to make things happen and to deny things from happening. He’s given us a part to play in making things work on Earth, as it is in Heaven. He’s limited Himself. He’s limited by His Word. And He is limited by your actions, and by your faith.
When a man’s son was tormented by a demon, the man brought his son to Jesus. Look at how that exchange between the two happened:
And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” – Mark 9:22-24 NKJV
The man came to Jesus, questioning His ability. Jesus turned it back to the man and said that it was up to the man, not Jesus, if anything was going to happen to his son. God is able. He is well able. But the point He made to this man and the point He makes to us is, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” It is up to us.
Then there was the situation with the man with leprosy. He didn’t question Jesus’ ability. He knew Jesus could make Him whole. He questioned Jesus’ willingness. Look at how that went:
And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. – Luke 5:12-13 NKJV
The man questioned Jesus’ willingness. The man still had doubt as to whether or not it was Jesus’ will for him to be healed. Jesus destroyed any doubt the man might have had by simply telling him “I am willing.” It wasn’t until that questions was answered, that doubt was removed, then the man was healed. If you’re going to get an answer from God, you have to remove those two questions.
When it comes to the promises of God, we have to be clear on God’s willingness and His ability. We have to be clear on our willingness and our ability. Too often people still question God’s willingness, especially when it comes to healing. But look what Jesus said to the disciples (and to us) right after He rose from the dead:
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” – Mark 16:17-18 NKJV
He said right there, “they shall lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Notice what it does not say. It doesn’t say they shall recover if it is my will. No! God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have already settled the question of whether or not it is their will for all of humanity to be healed. Yes, all of humanity. Not just a Christian. That’s one of the reasons Jesus said “they shall recover.” He was making a blanket statement that it was His will for all to be healed.
We have to get it settled that God has the ability to meet our need – no matter what it is. And then we have to settle the question, in us, that it is His will to meet our needs. Then we have to settle that we are willing and we are able to receive His promises from Him – then we are going to get His promises in our life.