Celestial Santa Claus
1 John 3:22
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
I was in Manila, Philippines on a missions trip sharing the Gospel there. The team was to be on the other side of the city, but the transportation providers were on strike. Four of us formed a circle and began praying for God to provide the means to reach our destination. After the fourth man had said, "This we humbly ask in Jesus' name..." Jim Camp patted me on the shoulder and said, "We got it guys!" The four in the circle said, "AMEN!" Two cabs were awaiting us!
The reason I cite this incident is to make an important point. We asked and we received. We were in Manila for the cause of Christ. We were not there on vacation or our own self-interests. We were there to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who desperately need Him. We were living out our ministry of reconciliation that God had placed in our hearts. The answered prayer was proof positive that we were exactly where God wanted us to be. We were dependent upon Him to fulfill our mission. He answered.
Now, contrast this to what the antichrist, health and wealth charlatans are proclaiming...and using this verse in the process. They proclaim that the reason God has not allowed you to win the lottery is because you are not obedient to His commandments, have no faith, or worst of all, have not "proven" your faith by sending your Social Security check to the charlatan! How fleshly can one be??? They are attempting to transform our God of Grace and Mercy into some sort of celestial Santa Claus! Grace cannot be influenced by our actions, or it would cease to be grace!
God answers our prayers in accordance to His Will and His purpose, not our own. The two often are connected and are duly answered. You may well be asking for a dependable vehicle, that does not mean a new BMW. It may well be a 1998 Chevy that is in good mechanical condition. Or, it may come in the form of employment that would provide the means to purchase the vehicle best suited for your purposes. We must keep our fleshly desires out of the equation.
When we bring our prayers and supplications to the Throne of Grace, we should be sure we are clean before Him (1 John 1:9). Our requests should be focused on HIS Honor and Glory, for His purpose not our own. When we are yielded to His precepts and purpose, it is a change of priorities. His purpose takes precedence over our own. Material wealth takes a back seat to Spiritual wealth.
When we take our prayers to the Lord we must ask ourselves what is truly in our hearts. Are we asking, "What can you do for me?" or are we asking, "What can I do for you, Lord?"
Meditate on this.
Have a Blessed