If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
For some this seems like a dangerous verse. If we can ask for whatever we wish, then what if we ask for something we shouldn’t have? Here’s a little secret: God’s a big boy. He can say “No.”
But, the verse says that if we ask for whatever we wish, then it will be given. But, we have all asked God some significant things: healing, provision, miracles and not all of those answers have been “Yes.” Is this verse just supposed to frustrate us? Is this reserved for a better, more spiritual class of Christian?
To get the second part of this verse, we have to get the first part. Jesus says that we will get what we ask for if we “remain” in Him. Remain, abide, dwell – that’s all great if you’re a laid back, Type-B personality who spends your days sipping tea, listening to music, and reading spiritual classics. But, for those of us who are Type A personalities, you can’t really nail us down to one spot. Remaining sounds like hard work.
What’s the scariest thing that you’ve ever done? Whether it’s riding a roller coaster, bungee jumping, changing careers, or having surgery, when we are in a high anxiety situation, we tend to pay very close attention to the instructions. If we don’t depend on the amusement operator, our new boss, or the doctor, things could go terribly wrong. We could fail. We could die or be seriously maimed. We trust that they have our best interest at heart.
Jesus compares remaining in Him with a branch connected to a vine. To remain connected is life and fruitfulness. To disconnect is death. If Jesus were teaching this today, maybe He would talk about an astronaut being tethered to the International Space Station or unborn babies receiving all of their sustenance through their mothers’ umbilical cords. In both scenarios “remaining” is essential for survival.
For those of us who are more often called “human doings” rather than human beings, we’d rather just cut the cord. Independent spirits struggle with depending on God. Yet, without Him we can do nothing.
What does your connection with God look like these days? Are you completely connected and enjoying the flow of His Spirit? Or, are you lost in space? Stop right now and make a quick connection with Him. Then, keep it going all day. Before you make a decision, check in with Him. Before you utter a discouraging word, check in. If you can’t remember, then set a timer or a reminder.
Once your connection is strong, then you’ll be amazed at how your wishes change and how many of them are answered.
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