Tuesday, March 24, 2015

KNOWING THE HEART OF GOD


If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. - John 15:7

Many people, including some church pastors and teachers, only see, read, and declare the second part of this verse - "ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." 

It is true that Scripture says believers in Christ can come boldly or with confidence before God's throne of grace to receive mercy and grace in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Even the original Greek word for "ask" (aiteo) in this verse means to boldly or confidently request, with respect, of your superior - something you know He can provide.

However, the key is to have seen, read and understood the first part of the verse so you can implement the second half - "If you remain in me and my words remain in you". This is and "If...Then" statement without the "Then".

"Jesus knew that if His words take up permanent residency in your heart and mind, you will never ask for something that is out of line with His will for your life. His Word will so transform your mind that your prayers will always be in accordance with what He has already said. In fact, this transformation process is what gives you the confidence to boldly come into God's Presence and make your requests known! You ask boldly because you already know it is what He wants to do!" (p.177, Sparkling Gems From The Greek, Rick Renner)

Mr. Renner pre-supposes you and I are studying God's Word enough to know what God says, keep His words in us, and then ask whatever accordingly. The fact that there is an "If" to begin this verse suggests that there is a possibility you may not remain in Him and His Words may not remain in you. Not that you will lose your salvation, but your walk with Him may falter and need restoring through asking of forgiveness and returning to His Word.

John restates this position to the believers of the churches in Asia Minor when he said, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God:  that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him." - 1 John 5:14-15 Another disciple that supports John in Scripture is James. James 4:3 emphasizes this point on the proper intent in our prayers when he instructed - "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

So, I encourage all of us to get into His Word, study His Word and know His Word. If you stay in His Word, His Words will stay in you - giving you the right questions to ask - therefore Knowing The Heart of God.