It seems that the Lord is speaking to me a lot about prayer lately. Last Saturday we discussed prayer in our Men’s breakfast (see post Praying With Zeal). A couple of Sundays ago we learned a lesson in prayer from Jonah and his adventure at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea while in the belly of the great fish (Two Messages from Jonah). This past Monday evening I arrived at 1 John 5:14-15 as I am working my way through that book of the Bible at the Lima Rescue Mission.
1 John 5:14-15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
This is not a license to selfishness. It is not a “name it and claim it” verse! It is a call to obedience in the knowledge that God will care for us and provide for us as we serve Him. It is not about presumption but confidence that God will supply what is needed to work out HIS WILL in our lives! The God who says no to our wants is not punishing or neglecting us but fostering and protecting us from what He know will separate us from Him rather than strengthen our relationship.
James 4:3-6 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”
Selfishly asking God to serve us and give us the things that push us away from Him and toward the world, James calls adultery. God’s will is to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). He will not foster us in being conformed to the world. He will not aid us in our adultery. What are you asking God for? Is it “according to His will?”
Audio from the sermon can be heard by clicking on the link below.
He Hears Us – 1 John 5:14-15