Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, December 27, 2017
This is devotional thought number 31 in our devotional series, God’s Promises are Sure!
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24).
OK, so I have shared many, very simple promises with you. Now, let me share one that is a bit more complex; not because it really is, but rather because we make it so. God’s promise is that if “ye” pray and “believe” ye shall have whatever you ask. This is very interesting. Let’s break it down.
Who’s the “ye” in the promise? Jesus is not just speaking to anyone, although anyone can become the “ye” in the promise. Cryptic? Let’s make it plain. Jesus is speaking to His people. Not everyone is among His people at present, but anyone can choose to surrender his or her will to Him by faith and become a part of the family of God. He is speaking to His people. Got it.
He said that His people must “believe.” Bible belief is no light matter. It is full assurance in, adherence to, and submission to the One in whom we believe. It is no mere assent to truth, superstitious positive thinking, or hocus-pocus-genie-bottle-rubbing. It is placing our entire lives in trust and submission to God. One who truly believes is transformed by God, the One in whom he or she believes. We believe unto everlasting life.
This brand of belief precludes foolish requests. It precludes selfishness. It precludes doubt (obviously). It precludes pride. It trusts in the power of the Spirit to translate its prayer into acceptable heavenly language. It trusts in the merits of Jesus Christ as the only means for acceptance into the conversation of prayer. It accepts the sovereignty of God to answer in His time, and in the manner He deems fit to glorify Him and satisfy us. Answered prayers are a miraculous work.
Submission to Him Activates This Promise
Let’s summarize and rejoice, shall we? Jesus promised that anyone who is fully submitted to God can pray anything in full assurance of faith, because we trust Him to answer according to His will. The answers that keep His will in tact are always in the affirmative. We can be confident with God, as it is written: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:12–15).
Do you see how full submission to God is linked to positively answered prayers? Here’s one more passage: “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” (1 John 3:18–24).
Fully surrender your will to God. Ask anything according to His will. Allow Him to be sovereign and do not write Him a prescription for the exact manner in which He “must” answer, and it shall be done. God knows exactly what He’s doing. Let Him keep this promise in your life and give Him the glory!