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.
This word “abide” is truly important. It means to “be at home in.” “Your word I have hidden in my heart, …” said the psalmist in Psalm 119:11. Notice, not in his head, but in his heart. Paul prayed in Ephesians 3 “that Christ may dwell in your hearts.” Why does the Lord want His Word to abide in your heart and not just in your head? Because influenced by decisions, distractions, and dilemmas, the mind is incredibly undependable. We can change our minds one hundred times in a single day concerning a single issue. But not so the heart. If you have ever lost something valuable, you know how this plays out. You may know in your head that you can live without your lost item, but you still feel a deep loss. Why? Because your heart does not let go effortlessly. That’s why the Lord wants His Word to dwell in your heart. How does this work? The most practical way knowledge moves from the head to the heart is through reflection and introspection. In order for the Word of God to sink in and permeate the soul, it must not just be written on the paper. It has to be written on the heart. With your heart in line with God, you will actually end up asking for that which the Lord already desires to give to you.
When you first read this verse, you get the impression that you can ask for anything you want and God will give it to you. Experience will show you that is not the way to interpret this verse. God is not there to give you anything you ask for. Otherwise, you would receive what would be potentially harmful to you. No child ever knows what is best to ask for from their parents every time. Challenge yourself this week to get God’s word into your heart before you come to Him in prayer. Once you spend some time in the scriptures your heart and prayer will better line up with the Lord’s desires for your life. Then, when you ask, you can be confidently assured that what was asked for was not from your own selfishness. Just as a parent wants to give their children exactly what will be best for them, God wants to give to you and me what will be best for us. I have found in my life that I am thankful that God does not always give to me what I want, but rather, He gives me exactly what I need and keeps me from what will harm me. May the Lord use you and bless you.