WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 27, 2021
TOPIC: ASK ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15 New King James Version).
Sometimes people don’t know what they actually need! Even in our relationship with God, we sometimes think we know what we need and, therefore, ask Him for our needs.
But we often ask for the wrong things and, thus, we don’t get answers from Him. God denies us what we ask for because we are asking for the wrong things. This is one of the reasons for unanswered prayers. James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (New King James Version).
In retrospect, some people have had to thank God for not granting their requests in the past! If He had, their lives would have been in a terrible mess. One woman said if God had allowed her to marry the person she really wanted to marry, she would have been broken-hearted. The man was unfaithful and ended becoming a serial divorcee. But God helped her by not answering her passionate prayer to marry the man.
If God had allowed a businessman to secure the loan he requested for a particular business, he would have been in serious financial trouble because the business was eventually a bad one. But God said no to his prayer, stood in his way, and did not allow the loan request to succeed.
However, at the time God didn’t answer the prayers of these people, they were not happy. They could have felt let down. But God knew they didn’t need what they were asking for. He knew their requests were harmful to them. Maybe you can relate to these stories of unanswered prayers that were a blessing in disguise. You prayed fervently for particular employment or contract, a sick relation, or one miracle of the other, but you didn’t get the expected answers. But now you are thanking because of the outcome of everything.
If you don’t still understand, you will later understand. You will yet praise Him because, in all things, God is always working for your good. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 New King James Version).
Jesus said, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11-13 New King James Version).
Some people need bread but, they, ignorantly, as God for stone. They need fish, but, unknowingly, ask for serpent. And they need an egg but, sadly, ask for a scorpion. When God, as a good Father, refuses to answer them, they feel disappointed. But God does that for their good. Later, they will understand and thank God for not answering their prayer or answering it in His own way.
Blessed are you when God gives you what is His will for you, not what you think you need. Also, blessed are you when your prayer requests agree with His will for your life. Indeed the Bible says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7 New King James Version). But the reality is that it’s not everything Christians have asked in prayer that God gave them.
Does this mean Jesus lied? No. The truth is that this scripture is not the only thing that Jesus said about prayer. There are other laws governing prayer that He stated or are in other scriptures in the Bible, which we must follow. These include asking in faith (Matthew 17:20-21; Luke 17:6; James 1:6). Also, Jesus said in John 15:7, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (New King James Version).
This means that if we abide in Jesus and His words abide in us, our desire and asking in prayer will be in accordance with His will. We will not ask just anything that catches our fancy and think God will give us just because Jesus has said we should ask and it shall be given to us.
The apostle John puts it this way: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15 New King James Version).
This is why, probably the most powerful prayer you can ever pray is “O Lord, let Your will be done in my life.” This is because the will of God is already blessed and is the best for you. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus thought His disciples (and everyone who believes in Him today) to pray “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 New King James Version).
Jesus also taught, by His life, His submission to the will of God. He said, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30 New King James Version). He said further in John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (New King James Version).
According to Jesus, His food was to do the will of Him who sent Him and to finish His work (John 4:34). Jesus could do nothing of Himself, but what He saw the Father do; whatever the Father did, the Son also did (John 5:19). In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42 New King James Version). In line with the Father’s will for Him, Jesus surrendered Himself to the death on the cross.
We are human beings and we don’t always know what we need. We often mistake our wants for our needs. Paul prayed for the Philippians that his God would supply all their need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). This is why we need the help of the Holy Spirit who knows the mind or the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (New King James Version).
Don’t try to turn stone into bread. Jesus didn’t fall into the temptation of Satan to do so. He did the will of God (Matthew 4:3-4). You may be walking in darkness now but don’t make your own light. “Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God. Look, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with sparks: Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled — This you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment” (Isaiah 50:10-11 New King James Version). Wait for the Lord.
Always consider His will. The will of God is superior to your faith. Don’t try to use your faith against the will of God! Abide in Jesus and let His words abide in you. Let your desire agree with the Word of God. Ask that the will of God be done in your life and every situation. Do His will.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to abide in Jesus and His words to abide in me. Let my desire and my prayer requests agree with the will of God for me. Holy Spirit, help me in my weaknesses, for I don’t know what I should pray for as I ought. Let me not ignorantly ask for stone instead of bread, serpent instead of fish, and scorpion instead of egg. In every situation, Father, nullify whatever is not Your will for my life; let it not stand.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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