“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” – 1 John 3:22
It seems too good to be true to be able to ask for whatever you desire (that which is in accordance with God’s will) and receive it. The mind can run wild with the boundless possibilities and potentials that wait for us through prayer.
But, though we want to receive gifts, don’t we also feel a pressure to reciprocate when a gift is given to us? I think this can be especially understood with the Christmas season upon us. Receiving gifts is wonderful, but is a guilt associated with receiving. What if I can’t reciprocate appropriately and return the relationship back to balance through an appropriate response?
This may have merit in human exchanges, but it is impossible when regarding our relationship to God. From the beginning, the relationship was unbalanced: “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). There is nothing we can give back to God to ever even the score – but, this is not an issue; it is the shining example of God’s beautiful and boundless love and grace!
“In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled, only plenteousness that desires to give.” – C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves.
God wants to give to his children. He wants to love us, not just a little bit, but love in abundance because abundance of love is all that God knows. The gifts he graces us with our beyond even our wildest imaginings. As Matthew 7:9-11 states, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
Therefore, our jobs become to accept God’s grace, love and abundance and accept that we deserve none of it, but He, nevertheless, showers us with it. Then, we can begin to walk in perfect love without fear, guilt or doubt and share this pure love with one another. But, “let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action” (1 John 3:18).