“WHATEVER you ask for in my name I will do it.” -John 14:14
“Let THY WILL be done…” -Matthew 6:10
In the first text, Jesus tells us to ask for anything, and the next moment, not just anything but that GOD’s Will be done. Is this not a contradiction?
What’s the point in GOD asking us to expect ANYTHING we want from HIM, when HE knows at the end of the day what HE wills for us is what HE will do?
And even then, if HIS Will is what will surely happen, then what do our efforts amount to? Isn’t our destiny already in GOD’s hands? Is there any need for us to make choices, decisions and plans in life?
Let’s begin this way:
First of all, “WHATEVER” in John 14:14 did not mean as we understand it. Most probably, every one of us has prayed some prayers and seen no answers. So if nothing at all, at least from experience we know it is not “WHATEVER” we ask for in Jesus’ name that we receive.
So did the Bible not lie?
Well, let’s break this down a bit. “Whatever” in its literal sense would make the name “JESUS” a tool for mass destruction. Imagine what world we would have if “whatever” people asked just using the name Jesus, actually happened. Think of the deaths, accidents, random turn of events, and all the weird wishes people have actually being made manifest. That would be chaotic!
So that if young Kwesi prays his teacher dies at night for marking him wrong, it happens. It would connote that if Yaa says a simple prayer for her dream lover’s girlfriend to get crippled in an accident, it comes into being. Just think about that kind of world.
So clearly, it is not just “whatever” we ask that should happen. GOD will never use HIS power to fulfill such frivolous, wicked and selfish human desires. We will receive what we ask for if only it is in GOD’s Will for us.
Why then did the Bible say “whatever”?
If you carefully study GOD’s character, you would notice that whenever HE speaks, HE is usually in the habit of saying things, not as they are, but as HE expects them to be!
It is in GOD’s nature to say things NOT as they are, but as HE expects them to be.
If HE saw the earth formless and filled with darkness, he would rather say “LET THERE BE LIGHT” than use HIS mouth to acknowledge the reality on the ground. HE is very particular about HIS Words. No-wonder HE said he exalts them even above HIMSELF. (Psalm 138:2)
So in like manner, HE would rather say the ideal way our prayers to HIM will be handled. By saying “everything we ask” for will be done, HE meant to say that is how HE expects and wants things to be. HE wants us to reach that point where indeed, whatever we ask for is answered.
How does that work?
The truth is, GOD wants only HIS Will to be done in our lives. Not because HE is authoritative, autocratic or self-centered as it may first impress, but because HIS Will is genuinely the best for us. And HE wants the best for us.
The challenge, however, is that HE gave man free will. And so man makes his own choices regardless of GOD’s Ultimate Will. But then, GOD had to solve the puzzle somehow.
What HE did, therefore, was to find a way to cause man to do HIS Will without forcing HIS Will on man. And to do it in a way man would not even notice it.
The Bible confirms this in 1 Corinthians 2:9 where it says, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.“
This means GOD has carved out an ideal life path for them that love HIM. But how will this ideal path become the real life path of people who make their own choices everyday? We don’t see angels directing us on life choices, do we?
The very next verse (1 Corinthians 2:10) has the answer. “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
Once the man follows worships HIM in Truth and in Spirit, HE aligns the choices of that man with HIS divine Will. HE reveals HIS divine Will to him by HIS Spirit. In an unnoticed spirit-Spirit interaction between man and GOD, HE shows those who love HIM the way they should go. HE suggests ideas to them. HE manipulates their feelings towards events, in a way that they will choose HIS ultimate Will.
This is what Psalms 37:23 also tells us that “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”
HE orders the steps of the man that obeys HIM. HE may not appear physically, like a traffic regulator to give directions. On the contrary, by injecting little thoughts, ideas, and desires into man, GOD causes a good man (the person who yields to HIM) to do HIS Will. Without even realizing it, the man’s decision to go into music, or use the rough road to work, are actually GOD’s decisions working in him and leading him towards his destiny.
Just give yourself unto HIM and before you know, you are living the life HE has purposed for you. It is HIS promise to order your step if you do. And HE will deliver on it!
This is the point where “whatever” you ask for in HIS name is done with alacrity.
Must you PLAN and make DECISIONS?
Whether your plans are in line with GOD’s ultimate Will or not, you will be at the losing end if you don’t make decisions in life. Besides, GOD ordering your steps does not mean HE is “taking charge” of your life and pulling every string for you.
Rather, HE will direct your “steps”. This suggests there have to be steps for HIM to direct. You have to plan, make decisions and big time choices. It is in doing this, that HE gets to play HIS part in the process (on the condition that you love HIM and yield to HIM).
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” –Philippians 2:13
The idea of sitting back and waiting that GOD’s Will will happen in your life is neither scriptural nor reasonable. You have to be as ambitous, goal-oriented and passionate as you can be. As you do this and are in HIM, HE will work in you to will and to do.
May GOD continually grant us understanding into the deep mysteries of spiritual matters. To wrap it all up, we will leave you with the text from John 15:7
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”
Please share to bless someone.
Written by Ebenezer Agbey Quist (Author of Reformed Or Deformed?)
[Special greetings to Noelyne Mensah, Nesta Erskine and Fixa Dadzie without whom this piece wouldn’t have been written]
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