“…and [we] receive whatever we ask from him because we keep his commands and do what is pleasing in his sight.”
1 John 3:22
Make a Wish?
Do you recall the television show I Dream of Jeanie? It was popular from 1965-1970. Captain Tony Nelson could ask Jeannie—a real genie who resided in a bottle—for anything, and she would grant it. When some Christians read these words in today’s Scripture passage, they view God as the genie who should grant them whatever they ask. But such is not the intent of this passage. While God hears and answers our prayers, there are also conditions, and we must be aligned in our asking and actions.
Life in Obedience
Our lives must reflect an obedience to His commandments. But to which commandments does John refer? Most likely they include the Ten Commandments of the Old Covenant, along with the commandment in John 13:34 where Jesus says, “Love one another, just as I have loved you.”
For us to be in complete harmony with God, we must live above reproach, keeping the simple commandments of the Old Covenant, as well as the new commandment of the New Covenant.
The Father’s Favor
We must “do what is pleasing in His sight.” The effective parent will look with greater favor on a child who is obedient, affectionate, and dutiful. The same is true of God. He looks on the child with love who seeks to please Him through obedience and submission to His will. When we lead lives of fruitfulness, it pleases Him. And when we do, we know that He will hear us.
Christians are a people of prayer. With Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and ultimate return to the Father, we now possess the ability to come directly to the throne of grace. Keep in mind that God is not some far-off granter of wishes; rather, He is a holy God who desires to answer our prayers. Loving God and loving each other prepares us to receive His blessings. He has empowered us, through His love, to be aligned in our asking and actions.
How does your life measure up to the commandments of God? Do you live each moment in recognition of how you can please the Father through your actions and attitudes? Take time to meditate on your daily life and how you are living your life in step with His favor and faithful love for you.