“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24 NIV
Anything? Really? Surely the true meaning was lost in translation from Hebrew to English over 2000 years ago. Jesus knew this would be hard for us to comprehend, so to make it crystal clear He said, “I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”
Does this mean we can ask God to fulfill any desire of our hearts as long as we ask in the name of Jesus? That is what He said and that is what He meant, but a clear understanding of asking “in the name of Jesus” is required for this formula to work.
“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed” a revealing and insightful prayer for you and me. “My prayer is not for [my disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,” – that’s you and me – “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” This is why Jesus further explained, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
How do I remain in Christ and His words remain in me? We are instructed to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” The word “dwell” used here means to influence for good. We are products of what we consume, thus our lips speak what our ears hear and our belief system is shaped and revealed. Therefore, asking in the name of Jesus is a verbal expression of living in the name of Jesus.
Living in the name of Jesus shapes the desires of our hearts. His word sanctifies us as we consume it daily. It’s like drinking a cleanse. The first sips taste foreign then your tastes slowly change. Your body feels better. You recognize how it feels to be healthy. A quinoa salad begins to look more appetizing than a cheeseburger…on a good day when we are self-controlled and making good choices.
But I don’t always make good choices and cheeseburgers taste amazing. We all know they don’t satisfy for eternity. We would never pray for cheeseburgers, or do we?
What are you asking God for these days? If He gave you what you asked for would it satisfy for a day or for eternity? Do your requests advance your agenda or God’s Kingdom? Even with the best intentions, many of our prayers do not align with God’s perfect and pleasing will for our lives. Yes, there is such a thing (see Romans 12:2).
Here’s a simple way of remembering how to A.S.K., Always Seeking the Kingdom.
1. Is this a desire of my heart or God’s heart?
2. Am I seeking comfort and avoiding fear?
3. Am I presenting my solution or open for God’s best solution?
4. Am I at peace with not getting my way?
How could reading the word everyday change your A.S.K?
In His Unfailing Love,