And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight (1 John 3:22).
Oh, the list I have! It’s long! Everything on there is something I have asked of Him, all the way from having curlier hair to being a multi-millionaire. The Bible already told me in John 14:14 that I can have whatever I want.
“If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:14).
I believe that Scripture, but let’s be honest, if I just stop right there, I will never have what I want. Why? Because there are conditions. We receive from Him because we keep His commandments. That’s one condition, and the second is doing those things that are pleasing in His sight. So how do we know what those two things are? Let’s continue with what follows John 14:14.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15).
There we are back at the first condition we found, which is keeping His commandments. Do we know what His commandments are? Yes. They’re rather simple.
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37–40).
And yet they’re rather hard! My neighbor isn’t always very lovable and even God can seem like a cold fish at times. But these commandments don’t even mention the other guy, only “you.” It seems the recipient of our love isn’t all that important; we’re the ones God is looking at. Will we be lovers, no matter what happens, or not?
I hate it when people complain about me; it drives me mad, and mad is not exactly a loving place to be. So I’ve learned to wait, not retaliate, because God will show me a path on which I can return to being a loving person. Right after telling us to keep His commandments, He promises us help in doing that.
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:16).
And so I wait and before long the Holy Spirit has helped me to rise above the situation and step into joy. But then there’s that other condition, doing what is pleasing in His sight. Now really. How on earth can we know that? Well, here’s what I discovered. I am called to write. When I am writing I find that just about everything goes my way. It’s uncanny! But when I put off writing—and oh how often I find ways of doing that—I feel like I’m walking through a field of mud with army boots on! How well it all goes when I am pleasing Him! How awful it is when I’m not.
May we all spend our days pleasing the Father and being people of love. Then we’ll get what we want! It’s about time I had curlier hair and became a multi-millionaire. How about you?