Another "Strengthener-Witherer" - Part Three
Now, just before Jesus goes to die and then rise from the dead, He's announcing the motive and the goals and the course of our lives. We are not to live in regret, but in complete compliance with His commandments, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments"' (John 14:15). This love is the source of true faith. If you look back you will see that this love is the goal of our prayers. Verse 14 says, "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it."' Now what does this mean, "If you ask anything in my name"? Well, what are you going to ask"Lord, give me this, give me that, give me this, give me that, give me this, give me that"? No! You're not going to say that. You are going to say, "Lord, what do you want me to have?"
You wouldn't ask someone you love to do something absurd, something completely selfish for yourself. But someone says, "Doesn't the Bible say, 'Delight thyself in the Lord and He'll give thee the desires of thy heart'?" What heart? Your foul heart? Your lustful heart? What if your desire is that your aunt will die and leave you that oil well? You've got to understand that love "worketh no ill to his neighbor"; that the fulfillment of the law is love; that His love is to dominate our praying; and that in all things love is the aim of prayer.
In 1 John 3:22 it says, "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because"-because-because-because-because-"we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." In other words we are surrendered to His will. We are yielded to Him, and if we are yielded to Him, our attitude in prayer should be, "Lord, I don't want anything that's not for my own good. Lord, I'd like to have this; humanly speaking, I'd like to have this, but I don't know whether this is best for me."
You might see a glass of liquid and you might say, "Oh, that makes me thirsty. Please, may I have it?" Well, it happens to be a solution to kill leaves, plants, crabgrass and dandelions in the lawn. "Yes, but it looks nice. It looks somewhat like limeade." But it isn't limeade. If someone gives that to you, just because you ask him to, and you take it, that nice-looking liquid may do more than kill dandelions in the garden.
Many times we pray in just such silliness. Therefore, we must always say, "Lord, keep me from even asking for something that is to my detriment."
- Do you think that most people consider obedience and love to be connected as closely as Christ makes them in John 14:15?
- Where does the desire to be obedient come from?
Pray that God would change your heart and mind towards the law and give you a spirit of obedience.
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