I recognize that the title of this entry may do something to you. If you are a christian, you may think that Christianity isn’t about getting what you want. Maybe you think it would be great if this guy did have a way to get something from God, but you are really skeptical because you’ve heard crazy claims like this before. Maybe you know exactly where I am going with this, and you just want to confirm that I am or am not crazy.
I’m trying to make this a really short post so I may not answer many of your questions. I just read this passage today, and it got me thinking:
In that day, you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive that your joy may be full. (John 16:23-24, ESV)
Jesus tells his crew to ask the Father for anything. He even goes on to say that they WILL receive what they ask for. There are a few KEY few words here that prevent us for asking the father for big houses and fast cars. Jesus tells them they should ask, “in my name.” Those three words reign in some of the possible requests. This text implies that a believer in Jesus has ‘name dropping’ power. We know a guy who has some pull in heaven if you know what I mean.
For example, if you wanted a job in a highly exclusive company you would be on the right path IF you knew someone who already worked there. It would be even better if that person was well respected and high ranking in the company. I’d say Jesus is well respected and high ranking in the universe, being that he made it and all. This illustration also explains why knowing someone doesn’t simply get you everything you want. If you were walk into this desired company and ask the receptionist to give you the company car for a personal vacation how would the company respond? Even if you had name dropped a the CEOs name they probably would have shown you the door. Your request has more weight because of the relationship you have with the CEO, but it looses credibility IF the nature of the request doesn’t reflect the nature of the CEO.
My point in bringing up this text wasn’t to talk about all that it was much simpler, but I felt I had to dispel any misunderstandings. This passage challenged me today because I don’t often ask for things that I want that I KNOW ARE in line with Jesus. I know from God’s word that he wants people to know about him, but I don’t often ask God to help me find those people. I know God wants me to have a healthy honoring marriage but how often to I pray, knowing that the answer is yes, for growth there.
I think what challenged me isn’t the need to pray for things that are good. What challenged me is my expectations about those prayers. According to this text, if I ask, in Jesus name, for something in line with whom Jesus is the answer is always YES. That makes my heart pray with a bit of a different excitement. I don’t think we will always get a YES in the way we want, but I think we will always get a YES if it is in line with WHO Jesus is.
The last thing I’ll add before my title makes sense is recognition that what we think we want and what we actually want might be different. If you follow every desire to it’s root you find a desire for joy, hope, life, contentment, and happiness. I believe with all my heart that those things are NOT incompatible with Christianity. In fact, I believe that Christians are the only people who can find the deepest form of all those things. Being a christian is about the most fundamental pursuit in life. The difference is Christians choose to ask their designer how best to be happy RATHER then letting ourselves choose for ourselves or letting others choose for us.
So how do you get what you want from God? I’ll give it to you in steps:
Step 1: Embrace the God of the universe who made you by accepting the gift of salvation and relationship through Jesus life, death, and resurrection on your behalf. If you want to know about this step you can read more here.
Step 2: Believe that your maker is the best suited person to tell you how best to find joy.
Step 3: Find out what God says about how to live life so you can find the deepest joys possible.
Step 4: Pray like this passage in John 16 talks about, for things that God wants for you and for others knowing that you will receive a resounding YES for all the things you TRULY (in you saved soul) want.
If you are still wondering what I am talking about let me try one last time. If you ask for something from an infinitely powerful God that that same infinitely powerful God also wants you WIN! Oh by the way HE is what your soul really wants, so ask for more of HIM.