Receiving What Is Yours

Hope, Healing & Freedom Podcast: Episode 83


“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you’ll find, You get what you need.” You Rolling Stones fans will recognize that song? In today’s podcast I am going to talk about receiving what you want and what you need and what it means to receive. In the Kingdom of God receiving is very active rather than a passive word. Let me explain.

I’m Lee Whitman from Restoring the Foundations and I welcome you into this Hope Healing and Freedom podcast. Today’s verse is John 16:24, “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” There is a big difference between receiving and getting. I am taking some of this podcast from messages I heard by two people, Joyce Meyers, and Jack Taylor. And of course, I started by quoting the great philosopher Mick Jaggar of the Rolling Stones.

Joyce Meyers told the story of bringing a group of children up on stage to demonstrate a point. She gave each of the children a gift and each child gladly took what was handed to them without hesitation. Joyce points out that not a single child refused the gift by saying “I don’t deserve this gift. I have not been good this week.” She went on to say that not one of the children looked at her suspiciously wondering why she was giving them a gift. They just received it with joy.

Something has happened in our world over the last 100 years. The men and women from my father’s generation, people who were born between 1900 and 1925 are called the greatest generation. The greatest generation is a term used to describe those Americans who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II, or those whose labor helped win the war. These brave men and women did not look to others or to the government to take care of them. They were responsible for taking care of themselves and their families. They knew what it meant to get things for themselves. Getting is defined as “to obtain by struggle and effort.” Responsibility and hard work characterized the people of this generation. And you do not have to look very far to see the incredible impact these brave and hardworking people have made in our world. A biproduct of this hardworking generation is that they adopted a works theology where you must work for what you receive from God.

Contrast that generation with what is happening today. I am going to make a generalization about what is happening today knowing that generalizations do not accurately characterize everyone. It seems however that many in the world today feel like they are entitled to benefits and privileges, many of those benefits they have not earned. Entitlement is the feeling that you have a right to do or to have what you want without having to work for it or deserve it, just because of who you are. Hard work and effort are not part of the vocabulary of today.

Hang in there with me, I am going somewhere with this. So how does entitlement affect our relationship with God? For many who are trying to follow Christ entitlement has told them there is nothing they have to do in their relationship with Christ. They have adopted a misunderstanding of the grace of God to mean that God does it all and we do nothing, including not needing to stop sinning.

Two words that define and characterize the Gospel of Jesus Christ are the words grace and mercy. Let’s talk about both of those words before I return to my topic of receiving. Grace is defined many ways. The most common definition is the acronym Gods Riches at Christ’s Expense. As I have said previously in this podcast my favorite definition of grace is God doing for man what man could not do for himself. I love that. I could not save myself, so I desperately needed God to save me from my sin. The definition that I want to focus on today is that grace is getting what you do not deserve. Let me repeat that, grace is getting something that you do not deserve. I deserved punishment for my sin, the wages of sin is death the bible says, but instead I got the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:23) I do not deserve to be healthy and strong. I do not deserve to live in a free country like the United States where I can worship God with freedom. I don’t deserve any of those things and many other blessings that we enjoy. Yet because of the grace of God, I am getting what I don’t deserve.

How do we experience the grace of God? We must receive it. We can’t obtain it by our hard work and effort. The only way to experience grace is by receiving. John 1:12 says “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name,” Salvation was made available to all of mankind and still is to this day. Yet the only ones who have entered a relationship with God are the ones who have received the gift of undeserved grace given through Jesus Christ. Salvation is totally by grace because no way did, we deserve it. Being saved however has a condition to it. A person must receive this gift. They must make the choice to take into one’s possession what has been offered.

When I left our family business to attend seminary, I went to work for a church in Dallas, Texas as their youth pastor. For the years prior to going to seminary I had been blessed financially through our family business. I was in no way rich, but I was also not without resources to provide for myself and our family. I however only owned one suit. You might remember suits; they were the medieval pieces of clothing designed to torture the wearer. Just kidding. This was back in the day when most men wore a suit and tie to church. After several months of being on staff at the church and wearing the same suit to church every Sunday, these two grandmotherly ladies came up to me and told me they would like to take me shopping and buy me a new suit. They were extending grace to me, offering to give me something I did not deserve. Yet I had a choice to make. I had the money to be able to go and buy a suit for myself. Something in me said it was important for them and for me to allow them to do this wonderfully kind act for me. The point is for me to experience their grace I needed to receive their gift. Their offer alone was an amazing blessing, but it was an even greater blessing to wear that suit to church every other Sunday and see how blessed they were to see me in their gift to me. I received their gift of grace, and it blessed them and me.

How does this fit into entitlement? If you feel like you are entitled to something then when you don’t receive it you believe that you can take it because in your mind it is your right, that you are entitled to it.

I heard a troubling sermon recently where the speaker was saying that we have a right to put a demand on God because of the covenant we have with Him. He was using the example of physical healing and said that we can demand that God give us the healing because the scripture says that by Jesus stripes we are healed. He was saying that since healing is part of the covenant, we have with God then we have a right to healing. I was very troubled by the idea that we can demand anything from God. I do believe that we can “ask” our heavenly Father for healing based on the covenant and that by Jesus’ stripes we are healed. If one of my children came to me and demanded that I give them something based on my relationship as their father, I would be troubled by their making such a demand. But if they came to me because of our relationship and asked me for something as my child, I would gladly consider their request. Entitlement says that you deserve certain things. The truth is you deserve punishment and hell but because of grace you will not get what you deserve.

The other word that characterized our relationship with God is mercy. The simple definition of mercy is not getting what you do deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, and mercy is not getting what you do deserve. I am so incredibly thankful that God does not have a limit on the grace and mercy he extends to us because if He did, I would have used up my allotment.

Here is where I have been heading with this podcast. This entitlement mentality has crept into the church. It says that since God is a God of grace and mercy then there is nothing, I have to do in order to be in a right relationship with God. To put this mindset in simple words, this mindset would say that because I am covered by grace and mercy, I can live any way I want, and God will have to forgive me. And because of grace and mercy there is nothing I should have to do in order to experience more of the blessings of God in my life. I already have all that I am ever going to have of Christ in my life right now. This mindset would say that we don’t need ministries like RTF because when Christ went to the cross, He gave us everything we need in order to live the Christian life. It was all done at the cross so there is nothing more we need to do to experience it. I don’t believe this is true. Let me explain how we co-labor with God to bring His blessings into our lives.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 talks about a process called sanctification. Sanctification means to be set apart. It also describes the process of moving towards holiness or cleansing that affects our behavior. John 17:17 says “Sanctify them in your truth.” It is saying cleanse them in your truth. It was not all done at the cross, but it is a process of being sanctified. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 describes sanctification this way.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no one violate the rights and take advantage of his brother or sister in the matter, because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you previously and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in sanctification. 8 Therefore, the one who rejects this is not rejecting man, but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”

This verse describes sanctification as a process. God does His part through grace and mercy, but we have to do our part. We have work that we have to do in this sanctifying process. I believe that RTF is a wonderful tool that God is using in the body of Christ to bring about sanctification. Was everything we need to live the Christian life given to us at the cross? Absolutely. But we have to first receive what Jesus did for us on the cross and second, we must apply it to our lives. We must appropriate His work on the cross to our lives. Appropriate means to receive or to take to ourselves. In other words, we have to receive it and make it our own. It takes a conscious choice to appropriate what Jesus did for us on the cross. God is not going to do that for us. He offers it to us through grace and mercy, but each of us has to receive and appropriate what Jesus did for us on the cross to our lives. As I said earlier Salvation is available to all of mankind. The only ones who benefit from it are those who have received it and appropriate Jesus’ death on the cross to their lives. Those who just acknowledge that Jesus died on the cross are not saved. Only those who receive it and appropriate it to their lives actually enter into a relationship with Jesus, Father God and the Holy Spirit. And the sanctification process is not automatic. God offers freedom from the bondage of sin, but we have to take hole of what Jesus did for us on the cross and appropriate it or apply it to our lives. That takes effort on our part to allow God to surface the causes of our bondage and then take the necessary steps to break that bondage. RTF ministry is all about breaking the bondages in our lives so that we can be more and more sanctified.

Some of you have lost hope because you feel like God has not moved on your behalf. I am saying today that God is still doing His part, He is still offering us the grace and mercy we need to obtain all that God is offering to us. It might be that some of us have been affected by this entitlement mindset that has kept us from receiving and aggressively appropriating God’s gift of grace to our lives. Please don’t allow this mindset to keep you from all that God has for you. You need to grab ahold of it and for many of you it will take some ministry from a trained RTF minister to dismantle this mindset so you can appropriate what God is offering you. Sanctification is available. To get there you need to allow God to do His part and you need to aggressively do your part.


Father God, please forgive us for any way we have allowed this or any other mindset to keep us from everything you have to give us. Please reveal to each of us if there is anything we are believing that is holding us in bondage, even just a little bit. Then give us the courage to address that thing and aggressively take hold of all the freedom that Jesus died to give us. Thank you for your incredible grace and mercy. Amen

RTF Featured on The Shawn Bolz Show

On the second half of this week’s episode (May 20th 2024) of “The Shawn Bolz Show”  RTF directors, Lee and Cindi Whitman, were the guests. Watch for powerful insight and two special listener offers on products to help bring hope, healing, and freedom.