John 15:7 says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” What if the Bible said we could ask God for whatever we want, not just for what we need?
IT DOES! God is giving us complete permission to ask “whatever you wish” – is that even possible? Some people claim that we can only ask God for what we need, not what we want. That’s actually not biblical. The offer of ‘whatever’ runs throughout the scripture, especially the New Testament.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
I John 3:21-22 “ Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.”
I John 5:15 “And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
The noticeable pattern is “whatever.”
We know of course, that God is not Santa Claus, but our relationship creates an open-door atmosphere to ask for good things.
Psalm 103:19 “The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.”
James 4:3 “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
There’s something in God’s nature and the kind of relationship He’s made possible with us creates an open-door atmosphere to ask for good things. Our ‘whatever’ requests can be met by a favorable response from Him. Otherwise, He’d never make such an audacious claim. Why would He need to?
The key is, if you are walking with Him, on the path He wants you to walk, and if He’s your first love, and if your heart’s desire is to please Him, then He delights in the granting of your hearts desires. The good ones. Hannah didn’t need as son, but she asked one and God gave her one.
1 Samuel 1:27
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.
Jesus didn’t need to curse the Fig bush, but that was what He wanted at the time, and so it happened. Some people describe God like He’s an impoverished distant dad who only lets His kids ask for socks and underwear for Christmas.
When our delight is in Him, when the beat of our hearts is to say ‘Lord, what can I do for you today, Father?” The beat of His kind heart is to say ‘Well, what can I do for you, my child?’
Jesus declared with His mouth and demonstrated with His life that He always does what is pleasing to the Father.
“The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”
The son lives to honor the Father, and the Father delights in blessing the son. And that’s where we can live too.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
But the word for ‘desires’ in the original language is ‘petitions’ and that’s where ‘whatever you wish’ becomes not just a pleasant thought, but a powerful prayer strategy.
But in all these ‘whatever’ verses from the bible, God is telling us not just to throw out the legitimate desires of our own hearts, afraid we’re asking too much. Don’t be afraid. Ask Him. Ruth 3:11
And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.But God wants you experiencing His answers to desires that don’t grow old or out of style.
1 Kings 3:5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream,and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
And because solomons heart was turned to making the best choice – the one in line with the heart of God – the Lord said: “I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days.”
How many of your desires are those that please the Lord when He hears them?
1 Timothy 6:17
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
He delights in His amazing creation and wants us to fully delight in Him and all the good things He’s made. Think about it. He not only made food necessary and nutritious, but delightful and delicious. He could have made food taste bad or not even made taste buds at all. He not only made the universe functional, but beautiful. He also built us with our eyes and our bodies to experience it all. He could have made seeing or hearing painful to our bodies with every second of sight data taking months to mentally process. Instead, he made it instantons and effortless. The devil wants us to view God as dull and to view sin as delightful, but the truth is, the devil has never created anything good… or anything at all for that matter. Every good and perfect gift you’ve ever enjoyed in life comes to you from God. And because of answered prayer, you haven’t seen the last of these gifts. Not if your delight is in the lord.
Set your heart upon Him. Live to please Him. Acknowledge Him as being everything in your world. Then you’re free to ask Him for the moon knowing He’ll give you that wish, or something even greater… because He delights to give His beloved children the desires of their hearts.
Lord, I am so grateful that You delight in blessing me. And I don’t want to miss a single one of them. Keep me so close to you, Lord that nothing can stand between us. I realize no joy exists any way outside of your will for me, outside of the desires you’ve placed in me for following hard after you. I know I’ll never reach the bottom of your goodness and compassion towards me, and this truth makes me love you from the bottom of my heart.