“At that day you shall ask in My name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” John 16:26,27
Here we are, Lord, still thinking in some ways about the same things. And as I read today’s Word I see some things that question things that came up yesterday. Because as I read “and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you…” it brought me back to a statement yesterday. “According to a study on these words at http://www.godspeak.org, “erotao” [ask, pray] is never used in relation to prayer. ” Which brought me back to this statement, “Even when I study Your Word and see a new insight from You, my insight may not be complete yet and I will continually need Your revelation until You make it complete that day I am fully with You.” How true.
Well, I searched and found two instances where “erotao” was used like pray. Only I found out that both times, it was in a negative context as in the people would not be praying or should not pray. This is one of those “negative” verses. Jesus is saying, “I am not telling you that I will pray to the Father for you. I won’t be asking Him to answer your desire because…” (and I’ll get to this next exciting part later!) And the other instance is in 1 John 5:16 where John says, “Do not pray for someone who has chosen the sin unto death.” Actually, in both verses, the preceding positive statement uses the verb “”aiteo”- “ask.”
I think I’m going to hop back one verse to 1 John 5:15 and look at one more Greek verb. “And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask (aiteo- beg, crave, desire, require), we know that we have the petitions that we desired (aiteo- beg, crave, desire, require) of Him.” O.k., Lord, right now, I am like dancing in my seat because of what You just showed me! I am soooooo encouraged. Because I know that You hear me. I know it. I’ve been looking over again and again to the wall hanging over my piano, the one from Ifugao that daily reminds me “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) And then I put these verses all together with it. And is this re-affirmation or what?!
Get this. “Whatsoever” is expressed by “hos” and “an” in Greek. Looking at the meaning of these words together it expresses to me whatever that thing is that you wish, whatever that is that you are uncertain about, whatever that is that you see as a possibility, whatever that is that is on your heart as a supposition, whatever that is that You crave of Me and request of Me; I know, yes, I KNOW, that I will come to possess this desire that I crave in You. I am requiring it of You because it is of You and You placed it in me for that purpose…so that Your will, Your desires will come to pass in me.
“Delight yourself in the Lord…” I have to go back there. I wanted to look at the Hebrew heart of “delight” here. The word is “anag.” And in speaking of this word and this verse specifically, Skip Moen put it this way, “The first word in this verse is a word that expresses the sheer enjoyment of the person of God.” When my sheer enjoyment is in You, Lord, You transform me to desire, to crave You and everything that is of You. I want Your will because I want You with all my heart and all my being. I can’t live without You, therefore, I can’t live outside of Your will. You are my fulfilment. And You give me Your desires so they become my desires.
Listen to what these desires of my heart are. “In Hebrew, mish’ala (plural mish’alot) means a personal plea for something. This word occurs only twice in the entire Old Testament. But its root word (sha’al) is used over one hundred times for asking God for guidance or for some possession.” But this asking takes me back to the craving and pleading and begging. But craving and pleading and begging for what? For You, Lord, for everything that is in You and of You and from You, to possess all the riches that are in You.
Skip Moen gave the New Testament equivalent as “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” And the point isn’t about being physically provided for. The point is, that’s all the Gentiles seek after. But believers, we’re different. See, my Heavenly Father already knows everything I need. He’s already got it all under control. I don’t have to worry about any of it. Every good situation, every bad situation, is divinely ordained and My God is in control for my good because I am His.
Do I believe this? Sometimes I struggle. I get frustrated. I know part of Your future plan for me but then things seem to get in the way. But are they really? Or are You just using every situation You place into my life to mold me and my thinking until I am absolutely pliable in Your hands, until I look and act just like You in each situation, until nothing frustrates me because I know it’s all in Your hands? Skip Moen struggled too. He offers “But in our world, it seems like utter foolishness to place all of my confidence in God. The world tells me that the best investment strategy is diversification. ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’ Why do David and Yeshua tell us just the opposite? Because they know that only God is really reliable. Everything and everyone else will fail.”
Funny how my husband and I were just discussing this yesterday. And still, here it is again for both of our benefit. And with that in mind, I can’t help sharing what Skip was so honest in saying, “I know that God can do anything He chooses but the question plaguing me is will He rescue me. I need this verse more than ever. I need to see that God is my life; that no one else and nothing else can come between us and that my true joy will be found only in Him. I have spent many hours on my knees asking God to intervene in the trauma before me. Both David and Yeshua tell me that He will. God’s faithfulness is the most important fact of life. But my crisis of faith is not knowing what He says. It is stepping forward on the basis of what He says. My doubt is Hebrew hesitation, not Greek lack of information. I want His desires in my heart but I struggle to let go and walk with Him into a future that I cannot see. My need for security is fixed on the visible but God comes to me with audio assurance. I must trust what I hear, not what I see. And in Hebraic thinking, what I hear I do. That is faith.”
And I think this is the heart of the verses where we started today. “When that day comes, that you are surrendered to Me and filled with the Holy Spirit, You will crave Me. I will be Your Desire. My desires, my requests, will become your requests. What’s on My heart will be on your heart. I won’t have to ask the Father things for you. He will love you as much as He loves Me because You will be of Me, we will be united in Me. You have entrusted yourself to Me and in Me. He already knows everything You need and You know what He wants for You. Now You know His heart and how much His heart is for You. The One who loves you most will take care of you entirely. And you know that and you live like it. This is faith.”
Last night, I was pretty disheartened. So I decided to fill my mind with Your Truth. I went to bed listening to Psalm after Psalm. And in everyone it was as though my heart cried out along with David. It was as though we were kindred spirits yet ages apart. And as he cried out and my heart cried out with him, I heard the same answer reverberating over and over again. “Yes.” “Yes.” “I am doing what I have started in you. It will come to pass. Everything is according to my plan. My plan for you is sure.” Which brings me to 2 Corinthians 1:20-22. “For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
Alright, Lord, I get just as discouraged as Skip. And I want to be just as honest. But I also want to repent just as easily and turn my heart and eyes back on You as I should. Every desire, every request and longing, that You have placed in my heart that comes from Your own heart, it will come to pass because nothing can stand in the way of Your plan, Your will. Keep me from forgetting that You are Absolutely in Control over EVERY situation, good or bad. So, even the things in my life right now that appear to stand in the face of You, it’s all there for a reason and by Your hand and my prayer is that You would be glorified in the midst of it all and that some day (hopefully soon) it will all be part of my glorious testimony of You. But in the meantime, mold me and shape me and squeeze me and press me until I truly am fully pliable in Your hands no matter what goes on around me. This is my true desire, Lord,- You.