Monday, June 6, 2011

Can we ask for whatever we want from God?

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will, ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7

Have you ever wondered about this verse? I have. It sounds so simple, doesn't it. Believe in Jesus, pray, read the Bible, maybe even memorize Scripture, and you should be able to ask for whatever you want and get it, right? 
Hmm.. But that doesn't always work out, does it? I've often wondered about this Scripture and questioned God on it. I mean, why didn't He say something like, If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will, ask what you desire, and if it fits into my plan for you and for the world, I'll grant it.  Because isn't that what many people will say when their prayers don't get answered? Well, I guess it wasn't God's will.

It seems like such a cop-out. Before you start throwing things at me, let me explain. Of course I understand that we can't get everything we want. That our plans are so limited an selfish compared to what God has for us, and that like children, if we received everything we wanted, we would become spoiled and complacent. I understand that God often allows troubles and doesn't deliver us right away because we need to mature and grow and become more like Him. Okay, but having said that... this verse still troubles me.

Until I learned that the word for 'words' in the verse was Rhema. Now Rhema in the greek means spoken word. There's another Greek word for word, logos, that refers to the written word. But Rhema refers to something God has spoken directly to you. Here's some examples from Scripture

Abraham received word from God to leave his country and travel to a new land. This was Rhema. His response, he stepped out in faith and whatever he needed was provided along the way.

Noah received word that God was going to destroy the world with a flood. He believed it, then stepped out in faith and built an ark.

Joseph received word that he would rule over his brothers and he never gave up on that revelation, still trusting in God over 15 years later when his dream came true.

God told Moses to go to Egypt and set the Israelites free. He asked God if Aaron could come along. They ended up being a very successful duo!

Joshua received word from God that he would conquer Jericho. He obeyed, did what the Lord said and it came to pass.

Paul was told he'd be a witness to the Gentiles. God provided everything he needed to do that. Money, means of travel, companions, a platform, etc.. I'm sure Paul had many prayers along the way.

This is my point. This verse doesn't mean you can ask God for anything you want. What it's saying is that if you've received a direct word from God about something, you can ask Him for whatever you need in direct connection with that word. For example. If God says you're going to move to San Diego next year to start a ministry, then you have the right and the power to ask God for what you'll need for that move. Lord, I need a house in certain neighborhood, I need a car, I need money...etc..

In other words, God will supply you with everything you need to carry out His will.  First, you discover His will and then you have the right to ask Him for what you'll need to do that will.  The provision for everything you need is embedded in God's spoken word to you. 

You could go on and on through Scripture and see a multitude of situations where God gave a word and in that word existed the power and the provision to do whatever God asked.

The key is to be abiding close enough to Jesus to actually hear His Words when He speaks them.


  1. Monday, June 6th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    I sure appreciated what you shared today. And, not meaning to sound like 'the doom-of-gloom' or anything ... but, I am obviously not 'abiding close enough to Jesus to actually hear His Words when He speaks them' ... because, I am not hearing anything !
    I pray constantly for His Will to be done in others' lives, and, in my own. What 'gifts' I have (that He gave to me) ... I say to Him ... "Use me in whatever way You will ... for Your honour and glory". I believe I have three God-given strengths: love of writing; public speaking (with a big and clear enunciating voice); and, organizing ... I love to organize !!!
    But gadzooks already ... I'm 60, and I don't feel "led" (or spoken to) to be doing 'who knows what' !
    'Maybe' I've missed my 'calling'; and/or 'maybe' ... I'm just 'feeling a little down' today. The only thing I seem to be 'somewhat' capable of doing ... is being a prayer-intercessor. And 'maybe' ... that is 'all' He wants of me ... as various prayer needs for others come to mind !
    Remember when I said that my favourite Bible verse is: "Be still and KNOW that I AM God." (Psalm 46:10) .... well, in total truthfulness ... I am NOT very good with 'being still', and 'listening'. Wow ... do I have a tremendously long way to go !!! Thanks again, for a great post. Hope all is well with you.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Wow, thank you, MaryLu! This verse has always perplexed me, but now it makes total sense!

    @Brenda - Up until very recently, I also had a lot of trouble with the concept of being able to "hear" God (as in actual words, not just feelings and sensations). Then a couple of my friends got me two books: "Walking with God" by John Eldredge and "Soul Revolution" by John Burke. I'm still very new at it, but these books have been helping me tremendoulsy in this area. Maybe they would help you, too. :-)

  3. Mon June 6th,
    Thanks ... Sapphire ... I'll try to get a hold of them. Most appreicated.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  4. Brenda, don't despair. I think many of us are in the same boat as you are. It's not like I hear from God every day.. or every month... or very often at all. In this busy, hectic world, it's not easy to learn to exercise your spiritual ears and it takes time and patience.. and like you said.. being still. I'm not very good at that either. But God can speak to you anytime.. while you're reading the Bible.. when you're at the store.. whenever, you just have to be open to hearing Him. I would bet you hear Him much more than you think you do.
    And another thing, if you're still here on earth, He still has something for you to do. Since you've asked Him and are willing to do anything, He will let you know when the time is right. Perhaps it is just being an intersessor. That's an awesome responsibility.
    The main thing is that your heart is right.. and you love HIm and want to hear from Him and do HIs will. And you're already there! Now, just abide in Him. Rest and He will show you His will in due time.

  5. Mon June 6th,
    Thanks, MaryLu ... so very much, for the encouraging words. Not that I want everyone else 'in the same boat as me' ... but, to know, that 'others' are struggling in this area too ... helps.
    Anyway ... I appreciated what you said ... thank-you.
    Now ... to just 'abide in Him ... and .... rest' !!!
    (*** Mental note to self: Brenda .... STOP striving !!!)
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  6. @Brenda: you are so funny and refreshing! You are like all of us more than you know. Keeping still is getting harder and harder these days. Too many distractions from Satan. Hang in there, God has His plans for all of us and Satan cannot stop those plans from happening.
    MaryLu, you are so in tune right now. All I can say is keep listening and doing God's will. You are touching lives here and we, in turn, touch others through your posts. Thank you for helping us to understand this passage better. I am sure that the majority of us never really understood it's true meaning.
    Update on Jackie: She saw the doctor and the ultrasound showed that the baby's kidney is dilated. He said it is normal and nothing to worry about. She has another ultrasound set up for early July. I told her that if the doctor was worried, he would have had her come in sooner for the next ultrasound. Be praying for her and the baby and I will let you know of any info as I get it. Her shower is on the 18th of this month, so that will be a nice distraction for her (and me). Thanks for always praying for us.

  7. Debbie, thank you for the kind words. I sometimes wonder if anyone really reads my posts. And if they do, are they really helping?
    Anyway, of course I'll continue to lift up Jackie and the baby in prayer. I'm so sorry she's had this little scare. It can be so frightening when you don't know exactly what's going on. Oh.. Baby showers! They are so much fun! I know you'll have a blast.
    Keep me posted...

  8. Thanks for this post, MaryLu! I never thought of it that way, as the Rhema word. That totally makes sense!

    Brenda, another book that has helped me is How to Hear God's Voice by Virkler.

  9. I have never heard this explained so well. Thank you for doing so! There are some hard passages in the Bible, but they do not contradict or require us to leave our brain at the door. They always make sense if we take the time to do a little discovery. I'm so blessed by your post, and His Word!

  10. I agree with this!! Thank you for this expanding on the Word, makes soo much sense!

  11. You're welcome, ladies!! I'm so glad the Lord blesssed you through me. :-)