Welcome back again to part three of our series on powerful belief. In part one, we looked at the prophetic report of Isaiah about what Jesus’ sacrifice accomplished for us. We also saw some of the common stumbling blocks that people struggle with when it comes to believing.
In part two, we continued along that theme, and also saw how the words that we speak are connected with what we believe in our heart.
Today, we put all of the pieces from the previous two weeks together, so if you haven’t yet read the last two studies, it might be helpful. By the end of this study today, you will understand how to have truly powerful belief in Christ Jesus. Let’s get started.
Where’s Your Focus?
When speaking of belief, our natural tendency is to focus on ourselves. It sounds silly when analyzed this way, but tis what many of us do. We become very introspective and self-focused on our own ability to believe for whatever we want.
We think that by us “believing strongly enough” we will then impress God, and get His attention long enough for Him to grant our request. I know this thought process well, because I lived it for many years, as I was desperately struggling to receive things that I need.
And while I truly do understand this mindset, and it can sound right in some way, it is a very pernicious trap to fall into. By focusing on our own ability to believe stronger, we our still looking at ourselves! And along with that, we are aiming at a faulty foundation. Rather than focusing on ourselves, or even the things that we want, I would encourage us to shift our perspective onto the proper foundation of unity with Christ.
Consider our first scripture today which is 1st John 5:14-15:
“ 14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us:
15 And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
Our Confidence in Christ
Notice what these verses are plainly saying: this is the confidence that we have in Him… In Jesus Christ, we can and should have confidence! Even that simple statement alone has already begin to open some eyes and minds. There is a confidence in Christ that we can be sure of; and what precisely is this confidence?
If we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, we know that we have whatever we ask.
Now that’s quite a statement! And there are many people that honestly don’t believe it. A lot of times you will hear people say “God’s not a genie or a Santa Claus”
I agree, God isn’t a genie or Santa. God is God, and as such, when He makes a promise, we should believe it and have confidence in what He has said.
We can plainly see here that we can be completely confident that our Father God will hear any request that we ask of Him according to His will. That alone, is a controversial statement that many Christians do not truly believe.
Many people actually think that God will sometimes hear them, and sometimes not, depending on their current performance or behavior — but that is simply not true according to what we can plainly see here. We are supposed to have absolute confidence in our Father hearing us, as His beloved children in Christ Jesus!
Furthermore, notice that our confidence doesn’t stop with simply knowing that God hears us, but that also knowing that we have whatever we ask of Him!
Again, this is an area that many believers genuinely struggle with. In fact, it is safe to say that most Christians struggle with believing that God will give them whatever they ask for.
What is the Will of God?
All of this hinges on that one phrase: according to His will. We can be absolutely confident that He hears us, and we have whatever we ask according to His will. So then, we must know what His will is.
It’s easy to look at this from a legalistic, performance-minded perspective, and then become doubtful and dismissive. If you are confused about the will of God, you never stand against any resistance or contend for anything. If you don’t see any immediate results, then you will just say “Oh, I guess God didn’t hear my prayer because it wasn’t His will.” Then, you will roll-over and give up. I’ve seen it happen countless times.
This is why it’s crucial to be certain of God’s will, so that you will not succumb to doubt, confusion, or fear regarding what you ask from God.
Rather than going on some grand legalistic hunt regarding what His will is, the scriptures tell us precisely what His will is. Check out Hebrews 10:6-10:
“ 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure.
7 Then said I, See, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do your will, O God.
8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin you would not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9 Then said he, See, I come to do your will, O God. He takes away the first, that he may establish the second.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
These verses here cut through all of the mud and get right to the point. God does not take pleasure in the sacrifices of the Law, or the works therein, but rather that Jesus came to do the will of God.
What is the will of God that Jesus came to do? Look at verse 9: See, I come to do your will, O God. He takes away the first, that he may establish the second.
This is referring to the Old and New Covenants, respectively.The will of God was to remove the Law of sin and death that we were held captive by, and to usher in the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ — and that is exactly what Jesus Christ did.
Jesus said in John 6:38-40, that He came to do the will of God, and that is exactly what He did. And furthermore, in these last days, God spoke through Him in Hebrews 1:2, and this is also key to understanding God’s will.
Jesus is the Revealed Will of God
As you may have heard me mention in passing during other studies previously, if you ever want to know the will of God, you needn’t look any further than Jesus. Jesus literally performed, and did, and spoke the absolute will of God in all things.
When He went around teaching, that’s the will of God.
When He healed, that’s the will of God.
When He provided for the people in all things, that’s the will of God.
And isn’t it fascinating that two of those three things (healing and provision) are two of the biggest areas where people tend to doubt. But they don’t understand that the reason why He did all of these things were completely predicated upon Himself; His mission, His sacrifice, and ultimately His love.
This is why everything must begin and end with Jesus Christ. As we discussed last week, Jesus is both the author and the finisher of our faith. He begins our faith, and He completes our faith. And when we can truly grasp that Christ is the foundation upon which everything is laid, then our doubt can be created and we can have true confidence in Him.
God Get’s the Glory
So at the end of the day, people may wonder what the end result of this is… why would God grant us anything we ask? The answer from scripture is that it honors the finished work of Christ and gives God glory. Think about it, the fact that we can ask God for things, and actually be confident and sure that He hears us and grants our request, is one-hundred-percent a testimony to the marvelous finished work of Jesus Christ!
Read with me John 14:12-14:
“ 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father.
13 And whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
Jesus plainly tells us some things here that we should truly accept. Some people try to disregard this as Jesus referring only to the apostles, but He clearly says in verse 12 that He that believes on me is the target. If you believe on Christ, you are included in Jesus’ words here in these verses
The reason why we have such assurance and power in Christ today is precisely because Jesus went to His Father (meaning He finished the work, completed the sacrifice, and redeemed us)
Notice what He says in verses 13: Whatever you ask in my name, that I will do. Remember that asking something in Jesus’ name is not just appending the words “in Jesus’ name” to the end of a prayer. These are not magic words — but it is speaking about the position that we are in as being reborn new creations, children of God. It is all wrapped-up in the finished work of Christ. If you are in Christ, then you ask in His name.
And the result? That the Father may be glorified in the Son.
God ultimately gets the glory for the answered request, because the very act of granting the request testifies to the finished work of Christ.
Amusingly enough, Jesus reiterates His previous statement in verse 14, that if we ask anything in His name, He will do it. Personally I think He repeats Himself because He knew that so few people would actually believe such a wonderful truth.
He put no other limitations on this promise, so we shouldn’t either, it simply comes down to our own willingness to accept it… and most people sadly are not honestly willing.
Christ is Your Power and Strength
My friend, today, I encourage you to accept the finished work of Christ and everything that it means for you. Build upon Him, and your foundation will be solid and secure. Your power comes from Him, and every assurance that you have is safely wrapped in His finished work for you.