ASKING: whatever you wish
“If you abide in Me and My words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish
and it will be done for you.”
John 15:7 NASB
Whatever you wish.
I like that. A lot.
If that isn’t a reason to pray, I don’t know what is. Whatever I wish…
Well I wish for lots and lots of things. Health, wealth, and happiness to start with. A better body, a beautiful house in the country, a new oven, a vacation in Switzerland, and all my family happy and healthy and wealthy too.
I do the whole wishing thing really well.
But hold on... wait a minute. What is that I learned in Hermeneutics? Something about words in context? Okay, okay, I’ll find it… oh, here it is,
Rule #12 : Interpret a word in relation to its sentence and context.
And another one,
Rule #22: A doctrine cannot be considered biblical unless it sums up and includes all that the Scriptures say about it.
Oh darn. Does that mean I may not be able to wish my will on God?
Spanning out to the verses before and after, I see words about abiding and bearing fruit and glorifying God and keeping His commandments.
Uh oh, where did wishing go?
When I read this seemingly cross-stitchable verse again, I see what it really says.
I get hung up on the if.
You abide in Me.
There are, it would seem, conditions for all my wishing and wanting and getting what I want.
I’m beginning to think this might not be so easy after all.
What, for example, is this thing called abiding?
I looked it up...
To remain or dwell. To be united with him, one with him in heart, mind and will. Steadfast.
It means to remain in His perfect will at all cost.
At all cost?
With all my heart, mind, will?
Sounds a little like when Jesus prayed, “…not as I will, but Thou wilt” (Mt 26:39) or “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…” (Mt 6:10)
What about my wish?
I go back to my less and less favorite verse and find another if…
My words abide in you…
He wants His words to abide in me, to penetrate my will and my intellect.
To change the way I think, the way I feel, the way I wish.
Then, He says, go ahead and ask.
Anything that comes to mind while you are united in Him, yielded to Him at all cost; so fully absorbed in Him that your heart and mind and will are all mixed up in His.
That’s the way to wish.
And when we do that, my dear wishing sisters, He promises that,
It will be done for you.
From a heart full of wishing,
 A fancy term for How to Study Your Bible
 Studying, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible, by Walter Hendrichsen and Gayle Jackson. They articulate 24 “rules” for the correct interpretation of the Scriptures- really good!
 ibid (which, of course, as everyone knows, means same as above)
 The Complete WordStudy Dictionary, New Testament, Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.
 The Open Bible, pg. 1032 notes