“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. “– John 15:7.
Have you ever wondered how this can be possible? Does God really mean that if I ask whatever I want that He will do it?” How is that possible? The key is in the first part of the verse, “If ye abide in me.”
It is because we abide in Him that we can ask what we will, and it is given to us. As we abide in Christ, our occupation with our self diminishes and our own thoughts and wishes become captivated by the thoughts and wishes of Christ. As we abide, like-mindedness to Christ grows. Everything is yielded to the power of His life in us, that it may exercise its sanctifying influence even on ordinary wishes and desires.
- As we abide, without even knowing it, our desires change, our focus changes, and we become more and more occupied with Christ’s desires. When that is the case, what Jesus said will become true of us, “The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” (John 14:10) When His words abide in us, we will pray in accordance with the will of God. Abiding in Christ renews and sanctifies our desires so that we can ask what we will, and it is will be given to us, because what we desire has become what He desires!
- Abiding in Christ also sanctifies our will to become like Christ. As Jesus said in John 5:30, “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” God’s greatest desire is that we will glorify Him. “Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31) Instead of seeking our own glory and fulfilling our own will, abiding in Christ teaches us to seek the glory of God. As we abide, we will begin to discern what will be for God’s glory.
“Whatsoever ye ask in my name,” (John 16:23) may not be severed from the command, “Whatsoever ye do, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Cor 10:31) If the name of Christ is to be wholly at my disposal, so that I may have the full command of it for all I will, it must be because I first put myself wholly at His disposal, so that He has free and full command of me. It is the abiding in Christ that gives the right and power to use His name with confidence. Just as the Father gave everything the Son asked, as we abide in Christ, we too can come to the Father as one with the Son. His righteousness is in me, His Spirit is in me; the Father sees the Son in me, and to him who abides there, He promises He will give him his petition.
- How much time would you consider you spend being occupied with self vs abiding in Christ?
- If the key to “having full command” of the name of Jesus (asking everything in Jesus name John 16:23) depends on being wholly at His disposal, how much does Christ have “command” of you?
- What hinders Christ from having free and full command of you?
- What hinders you from being wholly occupied with Christ and abiding in Him continually?
Adapted from Abiding in Christ Chapter 21 – Andrew Murray