Three Questions to Evaluate Your Relationship with God
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7 NIV).
Does God promise to answer everyone’s prayers?
John 15:7 says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (NIV). That’s a beautiful promise. But in Scripture, every promise has a premise. God promises to give us what we ask for — if we have an honest relationship with him.
There are three questions you need to ask to evaluate if you have an honest relationship with God.
1. Do I refuse to admit things that I have done wrong in the past?
When we go our own way, our relationship with God is broken. We are dishonest when we try to live two different lives at once — one for God and the other for ourselves.
So, what do we need to do? “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9 NIV). Confession is simply being honest with God and saying, “God, you’re right. I was wrong. Please forgive me.”
2. Am I ignoring any of God’s principles?
When I know I’m holding on to something that God wants me to let go of, it breaks the connection with him. It says in the Bible, “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us” (1 John 3:21-23 NIV).
You say, “How can I keep all of God’s commands? Nobody’s perfect!” But God does not demand perfection. He wants us to follow him in faith.
3. Do I really want God’s will for my life?
The Bible says in 1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him” (NIV). When we ask according to God’s will, then we have confidence in prayer, and we know he’s going to answer.
Many people go around saying, “God, is it your will that I ask for this?” over every little item. The real issue is not, “God, what is your will regarding this specific circumstance?” The real issue is, “Is my life in harmony with God?” If it is, then my desires are going to be in harmony with his will.
God gave us the Bible so we can get to know him and live out his will. And that can be a source of encouragement. It shows he wants us to succeed at doing the things he asks us to do.
Talk It Over
- What has been your experience when you’ve disobeyed God? What reason would you give for your disobedience?
- What would it look like to be in harmony with God?
- How would your prayers change if you were able to pray with confidence?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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