If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
When I was a teenager, I became aware of something that was sometimes referred to as "Name It And Claim It". As near as I could tell, the idea was if you "claimed" something in Jesus' name, God would do it. Scriptures, such as John 15:7 were used to substantiate this practice.
As you can imagine, things started to snowball. I would even hear it suggested that if you wanted a new car or a new house, you should find a picture of what you wanted, tape it on your fridge, mirror or wherever else you could easily see it and stand in front of it daily, claiming it in Jesus' name. If you did this faithfully, people were assured it would happen because... the Bible said so. Really? Is that really what it says?
Though I did not personally know any ministers who endorsed this practice, I did meet people who did. I am also aware that this sort of message is preached in pulpits across America today. It would not surprise me in the least if this message is preached in other areas of the world as well. It is a rather attractive sort of message isn't it. You think of something you want, ask God for it and POOF! There it is. It sort of sounds like a genie (jinn) and a magic lamp and... uh-oh. I uh... I think we may have some sort of problem here. Are you aware that in Arabian folklore jinn are demons? We need to be very careful. Things are not always as innocent as they may seem.
So what exactly is Jesus saying in John 15:7? I think a keyword we need to look at is "abide". The word translated as "abide" in the KJV, is menó and it means: to stay, abide, remain (Strong's 3306). Now in English, generally when you think of the word abide, the word "stay" comes to mind. So far so good but wanting to dig a bit further, I discovered that abide also means: to accept or act in accordance with something such as a rule, decision, or recommendation. For example, while I might want to go 70 mph, the speed limit says 35 mph. I could go 70 mph but if I do, I may have to face consequences that I do not like. I also might consider that I might cause an accident so I make a conscious decision to abide by the law.
When you think about it, one cannot be forced to obey the law. We must choose to obey or abide by the law if we do not wish to suffer the consequences of breaking the law or even if we agree with the law. In this same manner, we must make a conscious decision to abide (accept or act in accordance with) the commandments of Christ. Then after making that decision, we must continue to abide (stay) in Christ.
So what does all this have to do with John 15:7? It means that when we abide in Christ, His Word abides in us. It means we accept or act in accordance with what He says, not the other way around. It means that our will becomes conformed to His will; His will does not become conformed to our will. Do you see the difference? When we meet this criteria, when we truly abide in Christ and His Word abides in us; we can ask what we will and it will be done. Why? Because the cry of our heart is, "Not my will but thine!"
Great blog and very truthful. The vine dresser parable gives a great illustration of the abiding truth. We are abiding if He is our source, If He is our mind, if He is the roots of our life. It is the roots that gather the nutrients from the soil. the vine is just a conduit and a place the vine hangs it fruit. Cut the vine off and the roots will cause a new one to grow, but remove the roots and the vine dies. I reallly love the farming example of our relationship to God and Christ. They are rich for those that ears to hear and eyes to see. Thanks for writing this it made me think of my Father and His works, which is the greatest thing we can do for a person.
Why? Because our prayer is the prayer of Christ praying through us to his Father and God does not refuse his Sons requests. Why? Because we are so at oneness with God that we understand in part His mind.
Excellent blog but so hard to live up to, hence we need to be baptised in the Spirit so that we have supernatural power to be perfect.
[quote]It means that our will becomes conformed to His will; His will does not become conformed to our will.[/quote] Herein lies the problem me thinks. We would at times rather God bow to what we want rather than the other way round.
I know friends who would rather be the potter than the clay. They say today " I'm claiming that I have wholeness, wellness, prosperity,joy and a new BMW3 series" ( ok, maybe not that last one) . But here is the sad part. If they are in Christ they already have all of these things they claim, maybe not in body but certainly in Spirit, they just don't know it. Maybe a little more abiding and a little less claiming may be the answer.
[quote]So what does all this have to do with John 15:7? It means that when we abide in Christ, His Word abides in us. It means we accept or act in accordance with what He says, not the other way around. It means that our will becomes conformed to His will; His will does not become conformed to our will. Do you see the difference? When we meet this criteria, when we truly abide in Christ and His Word abides in us; we can ask what we will and it will be done. Why? Because the cry of our heart is, "Not my will but thine!"[/quote]
An excellent blog, K ! So well-written, and I especially like the quote above that so aptly summarizes your message.
Very good, excellent, great exegesis of this particular text of scripture. God bless, Phil.
A key word in the verse is what He started with, 'if'. And has bearing regarding the rest. Like several other verses.
This is a key conversation to have. The bible is written for all those that the IF is true, not for those that do not have the Spirit. It takes the Spirit to tell man of Spiritual things. We know that to be true IF we live by the Spirit, which is the Spirit of God.
Romans 8 tell about this IF and it is not as you said about claiming anything, It is the Gift.
9You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives lifed because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because ofe his Spirit who lives in you.
12Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation-but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.f
Aah! "Abide" ... so easy to say, so difficult to do!