June 11, 2011

This one has taken me a long time to write.  Wrestling with promises from God is tough.  I want God to answer my prayer now!   I don’t understand him sometimes, and I feel like he doesn’t understand me.  Of course one of those  two statements is wrong, and I know which one it is.  So lets spend a minute or two looking at John 14.

11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

OK, on the face of it this is a pretty straightforward passage, right?

In the first part, Jesus is clarifying his position in the Godhead, quelling the doubts of his disciples, pointing to the facts, pointing to the miracles.  “I AM who I said I am,” he seems to be saying.  Look at the facts.  Look at the evidence.

OK.  I get that.  I believe that.  What the Bible says is true is true.  Jesus claims are backed up with deeds and facts.  Faith is almost unnecessary.  Almost.

Then we get to, for me, the really tough passage of scripture.  One I have wrestled with for most of my faith walk.  I am not alone, at least I don’t think so.

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

Really?  Then why…?

That “anything” keeps some of us from asking for anything.  We think, that can’t possibly be right, can it?  We believe everything else Jesus says, but then falter where the rubber meets  the road.  I can pray believing for someone else, even for healing, but then…

I am still in a rather untenable situation after two years!  What’s up with that?!

God is not angered with these kids of questions, but I wonder if he shakes his head (metaphorically speaking) in wonder that we accomplish so little in his name.  I really believe Jesus when he tells me that I can ask for anything in his name.  But I don’t always (I don’t often) receive what I asked for.  So what is this verse saying.  Am I asking wrongly?  Have I (we) misinterpreted his words?

What do you think about this verse?  Have you found the balance between Jehovah Jireh, our Provider and Christ the Cosmic Candy Store?

I don’t expect miracles from you. (I do from Jesus.)  I’ve done research.  Even a web site like offers more heat than light.  But I think this might be a worthwhile discussion, since nobody I know has everything they want.  Heck, I don’t even have everything I need!

So.  Tell me what you think about this passage.  What has been your experience with asking and receiving?

Even after all the time I have spent on this passage I don’t feel like I am offering anything but questions.  What passages of Scripture leave you with more questions than answers?

I guess it’s OK to have questions, as long as we are asking the Right Person.  And asking to learn, not to whine.

I’m working on that last part.

And I’ll keep asking.


One Response to “Anything?”

  1. Sue said

    One of my favorite stories that Jesus told was of the persistant widow and the judge. Ask, ask often, keep asking and don’t give up. That’s my m.o. I’ve experienced God’s delays to my requests. If the answer has not presented itself, it will. God’s timing is exquisite. Usually, the answer is worth the wait and more than I could ever have imagined.

    As for not understanding passages what works for me is going for a walk, looking at flowers, remembering God LOVES me. When I remember I’m loved, I don’t worry about what I don’t understand. Of course, I ask for understanding… which goes back to waiting for the answer! (What joy)

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