The second part goes a little deeper in. It is this: Christ's giving is dependent on our taking. You can't give into a tight shut fist. Christ can't.
There's a striking little word on Christ's lips in that Betrayal Night Talk (Joh_15:16). He and the inner group are walking under the full moon, past the Herod temple with its beautiful brass grapevine.
Christ says, "Ye did not choose me, but I chose you." They did choose Him as a Saviour. He chose them for the bit of service they were to do.
"And appointed you," He goes on, "that ye should go and bear fruit." The fruit was the life, what they really were in themselves. All service roots down in the life.
"And that your fruit shall abide." Not green, gnarly fruit, but full-grown, luscious, juicy fruit. He means us to live a life matured and ripened in its spiritual experiences.
"That whatsoever ye shall ask." Note that: prayer, like service, grows out of the life. The life in touch prays, and can pray, and can pray the prayer that loosens out Christ 's power to the full.
"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He may give it you." The striking word is that word "may."
It is not shall this time, but may. Every other time the word used in this connection is shall, this time it is may.
"Shall" means His willingness to do, His purpose. "May" means our co-operation with Him. "Shall" is His side, "may" is ours.
Our asking makes it possible for God to give. We give Him the open channel. God needs an open hand, and that means an open life.
Christ's giving is always dependent on our taking. And we are such beggarly takers. No human hand has ever yet reached up to take as much as Christ's pierced hand is reaching down to give.
For the taking must be on a level with the giving. It means that touch where we want what He wants. He leads us. We follow.
We talk much about God's sovereignty, without understanding much about just what it means. We don't talk so much about man's sovereignty.
Practically, God's sovereignty means that ultimately, through the tangled-up network of human wills, God's love-plan for things down here will work fully out. Yet it will be without infringing on any man's free choice and action.
Man's sovereignty, as planned by God, means that everything we have and get and do is through our own choice.
God's sovereignty waits on man's sovereignty, His purposes on our glad co-operation. And some day these two will run side by side. And man's sovereignty will be deliberately merged in God's. His love will win our choice.
But, just now, the bit to emphasize is this: in actual life the biggest thing is man's taking. We may have, out of Christ's down-stretched hand, all we can take, and then all we, actually will take, and do take.
It's a three-sided transaction. Christ reaches down to give all we need, without any limit or restriction. We reach up and take out of His hand.
The Devil reaches over to keep us from taking out of Christ's hand. He tries to keep our hands, Christ's hand and mine, out of touch, if possible.
He befogs the air so we don't see straight in our reaching. He tries to teeter our reaching hands, this way and
that, or to make them not reach up far enough so as to touch.
He does his best to tire us, to wear us out, so we'll quit the reaching. When he slips here he starts in afresh over there.