The Big “IF”
I love when I see “ifs’” in the Bible. “If” always seems to bring something extravagant should we choose to take God at His word and take Him up on what follows the “if“. We read in 1 John 5:14-15 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us whatever we ask, we know we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
Look at these verses very carefully. They tell us He hears us! This is a statement of truth about God: He hears us! Then we get the big “if” – “If” we know He hears us whatever we ask. His “hearing us” is not dependent on whether or not we “know” He hears us. However, our knowing creates confidence in Him. We do not have the petitions unless we ask according to His will, unless we know He hears us, and unless we know we have the petitions we ask. We then “receive” with a knowing heart based on truth not facts. We must know His Word so that we ask according to His will. I’m not talking about memorizing the Word or being a theologian of the Word. Memorizing and studying the Word of God are certainly necessary in order to know God’s Word. But we must do more than memorize and study. We must move it from our brains to our hearts. We must KNOW in the depth of our heart in order to have confidence in Him. When we KNOW His Word, we will KNOW His will, we will KNOW His power, we will KNOW He hears us, and we will KNOW we have victory.
Victory in Jesus
Jesus has already won the victory for all people. Our victory in this world is not found in simply acknowledging this victory but in doing something with it and allowing His power to flow THROUGH us. We know His power resides within us for we are temples of the Holy Spirit. The power to demonstrate God’s will flows through people who know Him, His Word, and His Power. If we do not allow His power to flow through us by faith in Jesus Christ the world around us will not change and His will is not done on earth as it is in heaven. We simply cannot be content to know He lives and reigns in us, but we must know His need and desire for us to demonstrate His will and His power in our lives.
There is a difference in what and how we know about the heavenly realm compared to the natural realm. Here on earth we “know” something exists because we see it. In the Kingdom of God we know something exists without seeing it. This puzzled me for years because though I appreciated the concept I was unable to grasp the working of “knowing” something exists when we cannot see it. Hebrews 11:1 is a familiar verse which says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Add to that Romans 8:24-25 “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But, if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
How to Hope and How to See
How do we hope for something we cannot see? How do we “see” unseen things?
- We do it by reading the Word of God and learning His will, then fully attuning our minds and spirits to the spiritual kingdom, discovering mysteries in God. Sometimes we live our lives merely coping and enduring trials on earth rather than overcoming them. In faith however we will not settle for possessing coping skills. We will instead see impossibilities become possible because through Christ all things are possible.
- We do it by having confidence in God, knowing how to ask for things according to His will, knowing He hears us and we will receive what we have asked.
- We do it by setting our minds on heavenly things. Colossians 3:1-2 says “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” When our minds are set on things above, those are the things which will form the substance of our faith. Our faith then rests in heavenly things and we can proclaim and declare boldly, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
- We do it by meditating on the Word of God and basing our faith on Truth rather than facts. Facts will always exist but when we seek those things above where Christ is we will not be bound by mere facts.
Facts are facts but Truth is truth!
We have a saying in our family, “Facts are facts, but Truth is Truth.“ There are many facts in the world which shape our belief system and most do not line up with the Truth of God’s Word. Remember: Truth outweighs and overrides facts every time. All of God’s will is truth, whether we see it established at this time or not. All truth “exists” or it would not be truth. Even when we cannot see God’s will in the natural, His will is still truth and truth exists, whether it is observable or not, else it would cease to be truth. Thus when we know God’s will and ask for something to be done according to His will, truth is activated to produce the evidence of God’s will on the earth. Remember: Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We need faith in Jesus Christ to reveal truth in order to know God, know His will, know how to ask according to His will, and know how to live in true hope.