6 So Jesus went with them. But just before they arrived at the house, the officer sent some friends to say, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of such an honor. 7 I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.
Luke 7:6-7 NLT
Living in this world, there are natural limitations that can seem impossible to overcome or requests that can seem unreasonable to make. This officer (a centurion who was Gentile or non-Jew) in this passage had made a request to Jesus. One of the officer's valued servants was sick. Could Jesus, who was some distance away, come and heal him, the centurion asked. The Jewish elders, through whom the message was conveyed, thought it an unreasonable and undeserving request. They assumed that Christ would only heal Jews and thought it necessary to “persuade” Jesus that healing the Gentile’s servant was justified and the man deserving – because of his good deed towards the Jewish nation. But Jesus had a different agenda. In spite of the unorthodox circumstances, He healed the man’s servant and commended him for having a faith that surpassed any that He had encountered in “all Israel”.
The world says that requests must be “reasonable”. This means that there must be a connection between the request and the prevailing circumstances. There must be a cause and effect that does not violate natural expectations. If there is no precedent, it is likely that the request is unreasonable. The world also says that the person making the request must be “deserving”. By way of action or accomplishment, the person making the request must be in a superior moral or situational position to justify entertainment (of the request). This is typically the process we go through if we want to borrow money from the bank, receive a promotion or ask for a pay increase.
Soon if we are not careful, our internal dialog, influenced by convention, is “I don’t deserve this because it is unreasonable or because I don’t qualify. Therefore, I will limit the request I am making to God so that I am not overcome by disappointment”. When this permeates into our spirits, we allow the standards set by others to limit God’s power in us. We prefer the safe route of self-protection and self-dependence.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
John 14:5-8 NLT
God has a different standard, however. He desires that His glory be demonstrated in the granting of supernatural requests. He is not interested in whether there is precedent or whether I feel deserving. He is interested in manifesting His power in the lives of surrendered people. What request do you have for him that you think is unreasonable or undeserved? Have you held back in prayer? Confess it to God and others. Stand on the promise of His word. Fill yourself up with Him as the passage above says and ask! Don’t hold back! Don’t be limited to what you think is naturally possible. God does not respond because of us. He responds because that is His character. Let your internal dialog change to:
“I know the request is unreasonable and outside of the realm of natural expectation, but You God will do it anyway. I know that I don’t deserve the favor, but You will do it anyway! Thank You Lord!”