I’m halfway through teaching a six week course on The Psalms at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. My students seem to be enjoying as much as I am, which is a lot. Last night, we dealt with the “royal psalms.” Those are ones with strong imagery related to the king. There are a dozen or so, but my favorites include psalms 2, 18, and 110.
The most important thing I got out of last night’s session is the promise that if we ask, God will give us the nations as our inheritance, the power to run against a troop of enemies, leap over a wall, or pretty much any of the desires of our hearts. We just have to ask. To hammer this point home, I told this story:
Casanova, the world’s greatest lover, was old and about to die. A young man came to visit him, sat at his feet, and requested to know Casanova’s secret. The young man was also a ladies’ man, and he wanted to be like Casanova. “How did you get thousands of women to sleep with you?” the young man inquired. “Easy,” Casanova responded, “I asked them.”
James 4:2 reminds us that “we have not because we ask not.” Even among those of us who believe in God, how many find themselves in financial, emotional, and other situations they wish they could escape. Have we asked God for deliverance, waited for guidance, and followed it faithfully? If you’re still in the bind, probably not.
I have called on the name of Jesus for everything from paying the rent to giving a big speech to making an impossible shot playing HORSE, and I get answers. God is as close as your next breath, and actually wants to see you happy and prosperous. We only need to keep this in mind when life’s problems come. They’re coming.