The bible is full of crazy promises that are hard to understand. For example, it would seem that God gives us a blank check with this:
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:7-8
Go ahead. You won’t be the first to think new Mercedes Benz.
Have you ever been told to buy whatever you want? The child in the store might go to the absurd, but with proper guiding, wise choices will soon become evident. Giving a child whatever they want is not good for anyone. The same is true with God.
God has promised to provide basic needs, like food and clothing, to those who have faith in Jesus and seek him (Matthew 6:25-34). Does that mean he will make us rich? Not with money, although he might. God appoints some to be rich and others poor. With wealth comes responsibility, to which God will hold to account. While all are called to take care of the poor, the rich especially so.
But to think our “blank check” is about money would be missing the far bigger point.
How about things money CAN’T buy. The Apostle Paul writes that the fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) Who couldn’t use more of these things!
Shall I ask for self-control? Yes, but I should also ask to learn what it means to abide in Christ. And just what that might be? That’s the question that we must keep relearning over and over.
It can include any or all of these things: obeying Christ’s commands, keeping free of sin, praying, reading your bible, sharing the gospel, loving one another, and doing good deeds. Oh, might I add that God looks at our heart. If our heart isn’t in it, guess what? All these things can become meaningless routine or rituals. Faith must be genuine
So, What Do I Ask For?
Shall I pray that someone be healed? Yes, but I must also understand that, in God’s wisdom, sometimes God allows suffering to happen. Why? To draw us near to him so that we might find comfort.
How could I say such a thing? Because what happens on this earth is of little importance compared to our eternal life. In heaven, there will be no more pain, more more tears, and no more sin. He will be our God, and we will be his people. That may seem hard to understand unless we’ve been there or seen it in others.
God still performs miracles, my friends. Often times, he doesn’t. That’s OK. If we are walking closely with Jesus (abiding), all our needs will be covered. One day, he will return and bring us home.
What a glorious day that will be!