Summary: This is a passage that is filled with promise. It promises the things that people want most in life: long life, peace of mind, favor with God and man, direction for life, health and strength, and fulness of provisions.
This is a passage that is filled with promise. It promises the things that people want most in life: long life, peace of mind, favor with God and man, direction for life, health and strength, and fulness of provisions.
In John 5:6, Jesus asked the man at the pool of Bethesda if he wanted to made whole? In Luke 18:41, He asked Bartemaeus what he wanted Him to do for Him? Eight times, Jesus said to people that their faith had either healed them or made them whole.
It is proper conclusion that two major factors in receiving the deliverance that Jesus can give, is: 1) What do you really want? 2) What will you choose to believe? Think about your present situation, and you will realize that those two factors, what you have wanted, and the way you have believed, have been major contributors of your success or failure to this point.
We have a tendency to see God as being way up yonder, and us as being way down here, and a whole lot of space in between. We often talk in terms of “someday, we will be with God.” But the teaching of the Bible is that God is with us now, and we who are saved are not only with Him now, but we are in Him. We will never be in the presence of God, spiritually, more than we are right now, if we are saved. If He is in us, and we are in Him, we could not get in His presence any more than that without being in His physical presence.
If what I want, and what I believe, are two major factors in receiving from the Lord, I need to know what I should want, and I need to know what I should believe. In other words, I don’t want to want what God doesn’t want me to want. I want to learn to want what He wants for me. So, what are the boundaries of proper wanting? Am I out of line to want a promotion on my job, a better house and car, a boat, or a camper? Is the Lord concerned about those kinds of things in my life? If I can answer the question of what I am to want, I will have gone a long way in answering the question concerning what I am to believe.
First, we would do well to understand that God is far more interested in our eternal holiness, than He is in our temporal happiness. We exist for His glory, and not the other way around. However, God loves us, and He has called us His children. In the gospels, Jesus was called, “The Only Begotten Son Of God,” but after the resurrection, He was not called that anymore, but rather, “The Firstborn Among Many Brethren.” First John 3:2 says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God...” Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” Being God’s children gives us some special family privileges. We are told in Matthew 7:11 that God certainly knows how to give good things to His children, and in Hebrews 11:6, we are told that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. The operative phrase in Hebrews 11:6 is to “seek Him.” God is not fooled when we only want to use Him for our temporal pleasure, but as Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight thyself in the Lord, and He will give thee the desires of thine heart.” He certainly knows if you are seeking “first” the kingdom of God and His righteousness in your life, or if you are just trying to get your toys.
So, what about the promotion, the house, the car, the boat, and the camper we spoke about earlier? It depends on a couple of things: first, it depends on our motive. Will these things be used as a means to honor and glorify God, or will they serve to separate us from our closeness and dependancy upon Him? I’ve seen it work both ways in people. I was recently in the home of some friends, and the place was magnificent. After being shown through the house, we walked out on an upper balcony and looked at the beautiful view, and the man was nodding his head as his wife said, “The Lord has allowed us to have this, and we have committed it to Him, and we are looking for ways that we can use it for Him.” On the other hand, I’ve seen people who used the “things” of their life as an excuse to seemingly forget about God. I’ve seen people, who when they got something as insignificant as a boat or camper, act like those items were gods to whom they owed their devotion, instead of the Christ who died for them.