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In line?

And we are sure of this, that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we really know he is listening when we talk to him and make our requests, then we can be sure that he will answer us. (I John 5:14-15)

Yesterday we looked at taking our worries to Christ and allowing him to intervene (taking the weight of those worries as his own). One of the key components of actually allowing this 'transfer of weight' is talking with Jesus about what it is that has us all muddled up on the inside. We have to be open with him in prayer, letting him know specifically what it is that burdens us, and then allow him the opportunity to settle our spirits, minds, and souls. Today, we continue with the thought that he actually listens when we ask him to take on those burdens. Unlike humans, he can shut out the distractions all around him, focusing solely on what it is we are bringing to him in our times of prayerful conversation.

Things in line with his will seems a bit restrictive, doesn't it? I have heard people pray, "If it be your will, then..." I don't actually see anything wrong with asking for God's will, but I do see something wrong with putting everything we want to happen out there with a blanket, "If it be your will..." at the end of it. To ask God to reveal his will to us is to ask him to do more than just do what we asked. It is a prayer to begin to be open to what he wants us to do or have in this life. We may want a new car, knowing that our older model is giving us troubles and we are putting good money after bad into it. We may ask God to help us find the solution to our car issue - either with a trustworthy mechanic who will do honest and much needed repairs or show us where to obtain a new vehicle. 

Talking with him about the need for a reliable form of transportation is great, but to think it will be in line with his will for us to purchase a sports car that carries a payment two or three times greater than what our budget will allow is not 'in line with his will' for our lives. We might be led to believe we can ask for anything in his name and receive it, but truth be told, God expects us to exercise wisdom and use our common sense. We must be sensitive to the will of God - the principles he teaches us in scripture. If we want to have peace in our lives, we must live within the boundaries of his teachings - for living outside of those boundaries is certain to bring upset, chaos, and worries greater than we can handle. 

We aren't going to go to God with a bucket list of requests, far outside of what we actually know his will to be. We can go to him for clarity, asking him to reveal his will when we have absolutely no idea what it might be. We must be open to hearing his will, trusting him to show us how we should act in particular circumstances, what doors should remain totally closed to us, and when it is we should just stop what we are doing. If we want to live within his safety and protection, we ask, listen, then take steps to obey. If we want to know his will, we need only ask - but there will be times when we already know his will and we are just asking because we don't like what we have heard! Just sayin!


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