There is a beautiful promise in scripture that “whatever you ask of the Father in My name (Jesus speaking), He may give to you.” (John 15: 16) The thing is, I have often wondered about that. I can think of plenty of things I have asked of our Heavenly Father that have not been given to me. What’s up with that?
While I was listening to this passage being preached recently regarding being a disciple of Jesus, I noticed something new. This phrase is the end of a progression; it does not stand alone. In other words, there are conditions. We cannot simply make a request and drop it like a coin in a vending machine and watch our answer drop down.
What is the progression? The essential thing is being attached to Jesus, the true vine, as a living branch. The minute we become detached from our life source we start to dry up and die. Then our “asking” gets far a field of God’s will and plan. In order to meet the criteria for receiving what we ask for we have to “abide in Me, and My words abide in you” THEN “ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” (Verse 7)
Hmmm. Is the reason I haven’t always gotten what I’ve asked for because I wasn’t “abiding”? I’ll admit it if you will. I’d rather not waste time dropping coins (or prayer requests) into vending machines not plugged in. I agree with Jesus: “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” (Verse 5)
Okay Lord, graft me back in!