If I ask God for something, and I have faith, will I get it? This question has been raised to me on many occasions. Today, I am pondering it anew. My daughter was recently in a production of 42nd Street by the Rahway High School theater program. It was a great show, and I was present every night. I like to sit way up in the back of the theater. One night a young mom was in the nose bleed section with me watching her little girl run up and down the stairs. The little girl didn’t want to sit and watch the show, so she was scrambling all over the place. I was a little nervous about her getting hurt. But there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about it, so that was that. Now, if that were my daughter, she would have been sitting in her seat and if she didn’t like it I would have found a corner for her to stand in. My kids keep telling me what a tough dad I was, but I think I was just trying to protect them and teach them the rules of proper behavior. After all when children become adults, they have to live within the rules of society. If not they end up hurting themselves, hurting someone else, and/or in jail. So I see it as my job to teach my children how to function in the world, and that includes knowing when to say yes to them, and knowing when to say no.
When do I say no to my kids? The simple answer is, when I thought it was in their best interests. When do I say yes? Same answer. Job asked a simple question of God, why did this disaster happen to me? The answer he received was equally simple; I know what is best for you. Just like a wise parent knows how to guide his/her children into their future, God knows how best to prepare us for the long haul. “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2). God is timeless and is not limited by time like we are. Therefore, God knows our past, our present and our future. “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 145:5). Each one of us is unique in the creation, and yet, God knows everything there is to know about us. “The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19). As a result, God is the wise ruler of the heavens, and knows what is best for us. As a result, when we make our petitions to God, sometimes He says yes and sometimes he says no, according to His Will for us.
Ah, but what about this quote; “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). The answer to this question resides in the words; if you remain in me and my words remain in you. What this means is that if we are connected to God through our faith in Jesus Christ, that spiritual connection will give us the ability to do God’s will. And if our petitions are in accord with God’s will, we will always receive the answer yes. In other words, getting what we want from God depends upon whether what we want is in accord with God’s plan for us. Just like the situation with my kids. When they ask for something that is good for them, they’ll always get a yes.
Now my kids are becoming adults and are almost on their own. The day is coming when they will be making decisions that are in my best interest. Man - that is going to be seriously weird.
God bless you,