I am writing this a little ahead and I can’t help but focus on God during this Easter season. Like many of you I am in a time of turmoil and suffering. My heart aches and languishes in the searing pain of brokenness from unfulfilled promises, dreams, and hope that has been deferred (Proverbs 13:12) for a very long time. Yet, if we allow Him to during these times God will draw near and if we listen He will teach us, grow us, and draw us into a deeper relationship with Himself.
I hear people talking about certain scriptures like Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” , and John 14:13-14 “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.” These people seemingly think that God should give them whatever they ask on a whim and it grieves me. Would any parent who cares for the wellbeing of their child, if that small child asked, freely hand them a knife, a loaded gun, or put them in the driver’s seat of the car and allow them to go off down the road just because the child wanted it?
Brothers and Sisters, God is not a vending machine. We are meant to seek Him and have an intimate relationship with Him first and then He will put the desires in our hearts that He wants us to ask for. Note the first part of Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord,” is written out first. Right before verses 13 & 14 in John 14 verse 12 Jesus says “whoever believes in me…” and just after in verse 15 He goes on to say “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” The things that He freely bestows on us must be in His will and plans for our lives as part of a relationship with Him.
As I keep focusing on the promises God has made to me, the dreams and desires that He has put in my heart and as I strive everyday to have a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him I keep being reminded of Matthew 6:33 “But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.” and Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”.
This reality has led me to seek God’s will for my life even further. As I was reading and studying this morning and reflecting on all that is Easter I ran across a devotion with these scriptures which spoke to me deeply.
The first is part of a prayer that Jesus prayed in the presence of His disciples after foretelling of His death and resurrection just before His betrayal. “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24 I love this verse because it shows God’s love for Jesus in the midst of His great love for us as He has prepared to go off to be tortured and suffer a horrible death to save us from our sin.
The next verse is 1 John 3:1 “See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.” As I read this I am personally reminded of my life’s experiences and how God has been my father throughout my life. Even still it is good sometimes to see that those of us who believe in Him and follow Him are called and counted as children of God.
The real takeaway verse for those of us who are born again believers of Christ is that if we surrender ourselves to Him completely everyday to live how He calls us to live and to the work that He calls us to do we can stand fast in His promises to give us what we ask out of His will. We should celebrate in Romans 8:32 as we ask for our heart’s desires, “He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?”.
This has led me to a place where I know that the hopes and dreams that I have are pure and in line with the promises He made me. The things of this world fade in importance and seeing His glory and drawing others to a relationship with Him (Christ) and spreading His great love are becoming my focus. I want to shout His glorious name from the rooftops and see others brought into His presence. Christ Jesus is our Savior and our King! He reigns victorious over sin and death and just asks that we believe in Him and live for Him every day.
Let us celebrate our victories even before they are won, let us give thanks in our testimonies to His faithfulness and love even before we have them to share.
“To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen!“ Philippians 4:20
Sovereign Most High Living God, I Love You, I Love You, I Love You! You and You alone are worthy to be praised! All praise and honor and glory belong to You and You alone! Help us to see You and Your will for our lives. Make the things of this world fade from our view and give us a stable trust in Your provision for our needs. Show us Your plans and will for our lives that our heart’s desires would align with Yours. Give us a spirit of forgiveness, peace, joy, and of Your great love that we may have the desire to shout the good news of Christ Jesus with everyone on this earth. Draw us to Yourself God, fill us with Your presence sweet, beautiful, and holy Spirit of God. I pray these things in the precious name of Jesus. AMEN