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Thursday, August 13, 2015

“Not Prepared to Receive…”

I often marvel:
  • How people will stand in long lines to win the $100 million dollar Power Ball Lottery. Many have won. Yet within a few years, they are broke.
  • Athletes “go pro” and sign multi-million dollar contracts. They immediately go from poverty to ultra-wealthy. Many are more focused on the access this new money provides instead of their athletic skill. Within a few years, they find themselves released from the team and in financial trouble.
  • Many entertainers pray for success and fame. They get it fast and find themselves overwhelmed. They weren’t prepared for the loss of privacy and ridicule that came along with it. Some succumb to drugs, alcohol and bad behavior. They end up being “one-hit wonders.”
  • Example:  You prayed for new furniture. God Answered. He is trying to move in the brand new American Signature furniture you prayed for. The truck and movers are right outside your door…but you’ve got to move out the old furniture.

In the movie Facing the Giants, a teacher told this story to the coach:
Two men prayed for rain for their crops. One tilled his fields, preparing to receive it. The other did not. Whose Faith was strongest? You need to go prepare your fields for rain.

Many of us fall guilty to this. We ask, plead and pray for blessings we are not prepared to receive.

As with the lottery example, people are advised to have a lawyer, financial advisor and accountant in place before coming to claim the money. Some advise the winner to remain anonymous

Life offers opportunities somewhat like an assembly line. They will continuously present themselves to you. It is up to us to prepare ourselves to receive them.

The Bible discusses this in Matthew 25:1-12 (NKJV) in “The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.” It basically highlights 10 virgins who took their lamps to meet the bridegroom. Five took oil with them; five did not. While the bridegroom was delayed, they all slept. At midnight, when it was announced that he was approaching, five did not have oil to trim their lamps. Although they rushed to purchase more, they returned to find the door to the wedding shut.

James 4:3 (NIV):  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Memorable Quotes
“Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.”
 “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” - Robert H. Schuller
“I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” - Oprah Winfrey
“A winning effort begins with preparation.” - Joe Gibbs
“Be careful not to compromise what you want most for what you want now.” - Zig Ziglar
“Don't think your dreams don't come true, because they do. You'd better be careful what you wish for.”  - Barbara Billingsley
“The way you can be careful of the catastrophe that success can bring is by paying attention to something else that comes along with success - responsibility.” - El DeBarge
“Sometimes we may ask God for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals.” - David A. Bednar

Pay attention. Make sure you are clear about what you ask and prepared to receive it.