Exploring 1 John Session 30 1 John 5:13-15
Exploring 1 John Session 30 1 John 5:13-15
13 My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God's Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. 14 And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he's listening. 15 And if we're confident that he's listening, we know that what we've asked for is as good as ours.
We can understand sin as estrangement from God. The intended relationship we were created to share with God needs to be reconciled. Jesus’ atonement makes reconciliation possible. We further understand sin as deeds of selfishness that disregarded the needs of others. Jesus’ atonement makes forgiveness possible. (Romans 3:23-25 (MSG)
The commands of God outline the lifestyle of those walking in the light. The commands you can be sure of are written in the Bible. (2 Timothy 2:15 & Hebrews 10:16)
Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don't drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.
This is caused because we have been taught false things about prayer. We’ve been taught that prayer is what you do when you need God to do something for you. We’ve been taught that we need to fast, or give more, or do more so that God will see the earnestness of our hearts and give us what we want. We quote our paraphrases of scripture: “the prayers of the righteous will make the sick healthy,” “ask anything and it will be given,” “don’t doubt when you ask.” When what you literally have begged God for doesn’t come to pass that well-meaning brother or sister might say, “you just need more faith” or as I now interpret their meaning, “there’s something wrong with you.” But I don’t think so.
I have prayed for those I deeply love to be healed. Good people, saints of God, whose lives made a difference for the kingdom, whose lives made the world a better place, and they were not healed. They died.
from God. That was what I should have expected. In an intimate relationship if you don’t spend time with the person you are close to, you tend to drift apart. It took a year and a half for me to realize that I had moved a long way away from the safety, security, and comfort of knowing you have a solid relationship with God. I was living in a false spirituality, in which I knew plenty of stuff about God, in which I knew all the things to conduct ministry, but I was forgetting my first love.
Revelation 2:3-5 (MSG)
I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out.
4 "But you walked away from your first love—why? What's going on with you, anyway? 5 Do you have any idea how far you've fallen? A Lucifer fall!
Prayer is not how one gets what they want from God. Prayer is for drawing close to God. Prayer is for aligning yourself with the will of God. From 1 John we know that God’s will is for people to be saved (2 Peter 3:9), I further suggest sanctified (1 Thessalonians 4:3), and that in that love lavished upon His children we, in turn, to love God and to love others. That’s His will. It is God’s will that you be saved, sanctified and a lover, it is not God’s will that you be healthy, happy, prosperous, or healed. We quote Isaiah 55:8-9, God’s ways aren’t our ways. Could it be that God knows what things will be like for those that are saved, sanctified, and lovers that what happens in this broken world apart from being saved, sanctifies and a lover doesn’t really matter in the scheme of eternity?
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"
I am sure there are those who will disagree with my conclusion. That’s perfectly fine. I certainly don’t have God all figured out. I concede that I still pray for the way I want things to be while becoming increasingly convinced that the only things that matter to God for us in this life is our relationship with Him and our relationship with others, everything else is inconsequential.
I am convinced that God does intervene in our daily lives. I believe God protects, provides, and sustains us; miracles happen, things work out, and we get through the storms. I’m just not sure that the reason He brings these interventions is that we have asked for such blessings in prayer.
James 4:2 (NIV)
You do not have, because you do not ask God.
So we ask in prayer, we ask with pure motives, we ask in faith believing that God will grant our requests. This I believe is what God’s children are to do. There is nothing wrong with doing so. I suspect that the purpose of prayer though is not to get what we want, but rather to align ourselves with the will of God. That alignment brings peace to our soul.