Truths

The freedom to ask God for big things

Who wins when I ask God for big things? I have always thought it was me, of course. But recently, I have been seeing a different dynamic at work.

Look at these three passages that follow each other in the book of John. When you see them together it spoils the punch line, but it is worth doing anyway:

  • Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. – John 14:13-14
  • If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7
  • I chose and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. – John 15:16.

A command and a promise

Three times, in quick succession, Jesus is urging us, “Ask big!” And he follows that with pretty astounding promises. With such a blank check in our hands, why don’t we ask for outrageous things more often?

We could go through the usual list of reasons. We have a poverty mentality. We don’t think we are worthy. We don’t have enough faith. We aren’t the original 12 apostles. We haven’t risen from the dead yet … How can we ask for anything?

But this list of excuses misses the point. We are so narcissistic that we think answered prayer is about us – how we ask, when we ask, our level of faith, our insight into the mysteries of abiding, persevering, pressing in, whatever.

Friend, it is not about you or me. Let’s look at some of those verses again and see who Jesus is really talking about:

  • Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. – John 14:13–14
  • If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7
  • I chose and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. – John 15:16.

These are all verses about what God will do for those who belong to him. The only requirement is that we stick with him and ask … the bigger the better.

Asking for the right reasons

Now I see it. Now I ask things so big that Jesus can get a big return on his investment. I ask big “so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” Jesus can say, “Dad, see what my brothers and sisters on earth are asking for! That’s because I went in obedience to your plan and did what you asked me to do. I told them to ask, and now they’re doing it. Now it can happen on earth and bring you glory. Let’s give it to them, with a little extra!”

The bigger we ask, the greater his reward, the more the glory God receives, the more opportunities others will have to see his goodness. Go ahead, son or daughter, ask big. Give him the return his work on earth and his intercession today in heaven deserves.

Photo: Nathan Dumlao, Unsplash

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