Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Confidence to Approach God

1 John 5:13-15
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

I like the boldness of John's declaration in these verses. It is addressed to YOU if you are among those who believe in the name of the Son of God.  That belief is constantly leading us to know that we have eternal life. 

If you knew you had eternal life, do you suppose that would give you the confidence to approach God? I used the word "boldness" in describing John's declaration, now he comes using the word "confidence," describing our assurance that we can approach God. No one can speak with that boldness nor posses that confidence without a strong faith in Jesus Christ. 

John then continues to proclaim if we have the confidence to approach God, we may ask anything according to his will, and he hears us. We may also know since he hears us, whatever we ask, we will have.  The world is going to be quick to inform us that isn't true. Those who are not believers will name instances where we prayed and did not receive what we asked. 

Our previous studies on prayer have taught us prayer is a vital part of the Christian life. As those who have loved, trusted, and obeyed the Lord, it should be natural for us to talk to our Heavenly Father. The one thing John points out in his declaration is the key. "If we ask anything according to his will."  

Sometimes even we Christians start thinking these verses can be the "gimmie, gimmie" kind of conversation where we give God a list of everything we want, and he supplies it.  That attitude toward prayer is not according to the will of God. The "name it and claim it" prayers become centered around our wishes, our wants, and even our will instead of God's. 

If it is so important to pray according to the will of God, then our primary objective in approaching God to ask for anything, must not be like our birthday wish list. How do we know what the will of God is?  One way is for us to stay close to the word of God. Regular Bible study and the application of biblical truth to our lives will lead us to better know God's will. 

Another way, and perhaps a way which will make his will more meaningful to us, is in the quiet silence of dwelling on who God is. Think of his infinite presence, his unending love, his willingness to forgive, his desire for us to be in relationship with him. In our silent meditations, God will make his will known to us. 


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