John 15:7-11 – “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
Have you ever noticed that there are a lot of “if…then” statements in the Bible? Now, these in particular don’t have the “then” but it is implied. I think God put these statements in the Bible so that we understand and appreciate that we do have a responsibility. God is not a genie who supplies our ever whim. But rather, He is a loving Father who expects us to be obedient and listen.
In these few verses, Jesus lays out the perfect plan for my life (and yours, by the way). If we choose to stay in Him (in His Word), then when we ask something, He listens and follows through with whatever we ask, as long as it is in His will. To some, that may sound controlling and domineering and just down right mean. But let’s think about this a moment. As a child, when you went to the grocery store, did your mom promise you a goodie if you would just behave while she was grocery shopping? I can’t tell you how many times I pulled that one out of the hat! Mom says to do what I ask and follow my rules and I will listen to your plea for that piece of candy. God says to do what He asks and follow His rules and He will listen to your pleas. Hmmm…and God calls Himself our Father….see the similarity?
And Jesus gives us the reason for these guidelines – that His joy would be in us and that our joy would be full. If His joy is in us, how could our joy not be full? You see, joy isn’t necessarily happy. Joy is contentment. Joy is a satisfaction in all situations. Joy is knowing that God’s got this and it will all work out according to His will. Joy is releasing your worry and fear and frustrations.
So today, let me encourage you to to be in His joy. Follow His rules. Listen to His voice and do what He says. Don’t let the Devil cause you undue stress and fear. Just rest in Him and trust that God’s got this.