First, you must set your intention by answering Jesus’ question, “What do you want me to do for you?” And then position yourself to receive. This is best illustrated by Jesus’ story of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Read it now:
Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”Luke 18:9-14
In order to receive from the Father, our position needs to be one of humility and surrender. Nothing we receive from him is because of our own good works or because we deserve it. In Ephesians 2:4-8, Paul makes it clear that salvation is a gift from God; we don’t earn it or deserve it. A proper understanding of our need for his work in our life is necessary if we wish to see significant change.
What about you? Do you tend to stand afar off and look down on others because you are just a bit more righteous? Do you count on your own good works to pay a portion of your redemption? Or do you come completely dependent on Jesus’ work on the cross?
Set your intention and then posture yourself to receive by recognizing your deep need for redemption and forgiveness.