“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
Its the wonderful time of Christmas, so when you visit the mall (if you can find parking), you will see the beautiful decorations, lights and of course, an annex of Santa’s north pole home. I was in the mall recently watching kids lining up to sit on Santa’s lap. It was fun to see them so happy, excited and anticipating their answer to that powerful question, ‘What would you like for Christmas?’. They believed that if they could get to tell santa all of their wishes, that when they woke up on Christmas morning, those requests would be wrapped up neatly under the tree on Christmas morning..of course santa gets the credit, but this is all courtesy of a loving mom and dad!
Some have taken these seriously powerful words of Jesus in John 14 to extremes and make it seem like whatever we ask will or should be given to us like those kids sitting on the lap of Santa Claus. That the baby whose birth we celebrate on Christmas, who would grow up to be a man to die in our place is our ticket to everything we want. Their extreme interpretation can cause us to possibly miss the power of this promise because we don’t want to seem like we are caught up or associated with that ‘name it and claim it’ mentality. James said that we don’t get what we ask for because we ask with wrong motives. ‘You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.’ (James 4:3) I believe that the motives of our ask will be revealed by the depth of our relationship with Him. The deeper we go, the more we trust Him, the more we trust Him, the more we will ask for those things that are not for selfish reasons but to bring Him glory. The disciples whom Jesus was speaking to knew what it meant to give up everything to follow Him. I don’t think they took this verse to mean that they should pray for more stuff for themselves. How could they as they experienced Jesus living out a selfless, sacrificial servant type of life everyday?
But what if I have asked for something with right motives,not for selfish reasons and Jesus didn’t do it? This is where we trust God no matter the answer. We cannot give up believing this promise and stop asking God because He didn’t give us the answer we wanted even though we asked with the right motives. My wife and I believed this verse wholeheartedly and would include this in our prayers as we asked God to do a miracle in her body by healing her from the tumors and colon cancer that she fought against for 4 1/2 years. I certainly wanted my wife to be whole so I could spend the rest of our lives together, but also because she could go on to make an impact for His glory. She loved Jesus in a big way and was an incredible woman and witness of Him to many lives so it seemed like healing would be the logical outcome so that she could continue to be a powerful example for Jesus. But God, in His ultimate wisdom and plan, chose to move her to heaven this past October. Although that was not the answer I wanted or liked, it was God’s answer. But His answer will never stop me from believing the power of this promise contained in this verse. I always want to walk by faith and not by sight so I will keep asking and seeking God for anything and everything that lines up for His glory. God is obviously not Santa, but we shouldn’t be afraid of trusting that Jesus means what He says in this verse. Believe His words and always keep asking, seeking and trusting Him no matter His answer.