1 John 5:14
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (NIV)
According to His will is the key phrase to our passage today. The Lord’s will joins together both mercy and justice. Usually, when we are in a situation, we will lean heavily toward one or the other. Still, to know and pray in accordance with the will of God, we must discover how God has positioned Himself between mercy and justice.
There are times when the will of God is to forgive those we want to experience justice for their deeds. Ask Jonah about this one. Other times, we want to be lenient when God’s will is to address an issue directly. Eli wanted to be lenient with his sons, but that was not God’s will.
This is our struggle. We often mistake God’s will according to our position at the moment. And usually, our positioning comes out of our own human desires. This clouds our ability to discern God’s will.
The Bible teaches us that God’s will is rooted in perfect love. To know God’s will, then, we must be transformed into the likeness of Christ in His perfect love. The more we love as Christ loves, the greater our alignment with His will.
Jesus taught us to pray that God’s will be done, but what if, like Jonah, what we know God desires is not what we desire? We have to ask ourselves why it is that we do not desire what God desires. We may not want to suffer, but we encounter seasons of tribulation in the Lord’s will. We may not want to forgive, but the Lord’s will is for us to forgive as He has forgiven us. But any time our desires conflict with His will, it is because of a lack of love due to selfish desires.
Aligning ourselves with His will requires a transformation but one that can only occur as we experience the love of Christ. And this requires meditation, prayer, community, and serving others. We will be misaligned in our hearts and prayers if we leave out any of these spiritual disciplines.
Prayer: Lord, help me to seek You deeper to know You, to love You, and experience Your Love so that my prayers will be established in Your will. Amen.