“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
1 John 5:14
I love how clearly John stated this, because it cuts through some faulty thinking we can have about receiving gifts from God. Yes, God wants to give us good things – He tells us so:
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…” (James :17)
““If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11)
So John confirms God’s desire to bless us. But did you catch the condition he adds to this fact?
“…according to his will…”
There it is. What a sticking point that was for me my first years as a follower of Christ.? Why? Well, I chose to believe that God desired to give me the good gifts I wanted, and when those presents didn’t arrive I was pretty disappointed.
My understanding of this principle was based on a selfish mindset, imagining all the wonderful material goods I could ask God for. I needed to let go of my old expectations and let Him give me new ones that reflect His plans for me.
It hasn’t been an easy process – dying to self never is. But here is what I’ve learned about this so far: God wants us to ask Him for things; He wants to abundantly provide for us; He knows what is best for us and will often withhold what isn’t good.
It’s never wrong to ask for what I want, but I’ve found myself asking less for “stuff” and more for deeper things. And I’m seeing forgiveness of a sin, or wisdom for a moment, or peace during trials as gifts of greater importance.
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