In my last post I introduced you to Achsah, daughter of Caleb, who claimed the blessing God had given Caleb when she asked her father for a piece of the land and springs of water to make it profitable. Achsah saw God’s abundance given to her father and she believed that God intended that gift to be passed on to his heirs, which included her.
The key here is that Achsah was bold and ASKED for the blessing. She knew her father would want her to have it and that he could give it to her. But she needed to ask for it because it demonstrated her belief in both her father’s love and God’s provision. That concept is still true today. We are blessed bountifully when we ask for blessings which are needed.
This is not the same thing as “a prosperity gospel.” God has not promised that all we have to do is ask and we will receive great wealth. That’s not biblical.
What God has promised us is an abundant life, which is more about our quality of life than how much money is in our bank account. When God blesses us it is usually in a way that these blessings can overflow into the lives of others. The more we are willing to share His blessings with others, the more He is willing to heap those blessings on us. Let’s take a look at a couple of modern-day Achsahs.
Martha Berry was a prominent woman in Georgia in the early 1900’s. She inherited a huge estate from her father located in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. She could have sold the land for a large sum of money but instead she built a school for the underprivileged, illiterate mountain children. She also formed a Sunday school in a country church hear her home and taught Sunday school for them. She became known as the “Sunday lady of Possum Trot.” (Doesn”t that name just make you smile?)
In 1902, she opened a live-in school for boys and deeded her 83-acre homestead to build “The Boys Industrial School.” This later became Berry College which has approximately 2200 enrolled today and is considered one of the premier liberal arts schools in the South. It sits on 27 acres and generously shares that beautiful acreage with residents in the area.
When Martha needed additional funds she was not ashamed to ask for it. She requested and received support from Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Carnegie and Ellen Louse Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson.
She also asked Henry Ford for money. He gave her a small sum to see how she would handle it. She immediately put the money to work and increased it. He then gave her a gift of $1 million, which she used to build a huge gothic-style dormitory complex which has become an icon on the Berry campus.
Martha’s motto for the school was “Not to be ministered unto, but to minister.”
When Martha asked for blessings they were granted. But these blessings weren’t intended for her own use. They were to be used to support her life mission. She asked for blessings so she could bless others.
But first she had to ask for the blessings.
Tomorrow I’ll have another story of a modern-day woman who wasn’t afraid to ask for blessings.