As we continue on our series about “Plus One” blessings, our Scripture today says, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14 NASB 1995) It’s ok to ask God for those extra blessings. He wants us to ask Him for blessings, and He wants to bless us because He loves us. However, we need to remember one thing. When asking God for anything, we must remember to ask that His Will be done.
The Lord loves to bless us! After all, He is our loving Father! What Dad doesn’t love to give gifts to His kids? None that I know of! An earthly father who loves his children will not ignore them when they ask for something, but he will give them for what they ask if it is in his power to give it to them. God is the same way, but He won’t give us something that will ultimately bring us harm or will not bring us to something better. That’s why we must ask according to His Will.
In His commentary on 1 John, Albert Barnes states, “This is the proper and the necessary limitation in all prayer. God has not promised to grant anything that shall be contrary to his will, and it could not be right that he should do it. We ought not to wish to receive anything that should be contrary to what he judges to be best.” You ask, “Well, what is God’s Will?”
There are two aspects to His Will. First, there is His Absolute Will. These are the commands He has given us in Scripture. He wants us to be obedient to those things He has told us to do. When we read that we are to love one another (John 13:34-35) or when He says we are to follow His example (Ephesians 5:1) these are commands He has given us. When we do these things, this shows our obedience, that pleases Him, and He receives glory and honor.
The second is the Permissive Will of God. This is the intricate plan God has put together for our lives. It is His Will that everyone should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) That is His Will for all mankind. But He also has a specific plan for each of us. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV) Those plans are His Sovereign Will for our lives. He wants the best for us. When we ask for those “Plus One” blessings according to His Will for our lives, He will hear us!
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean we will get what we ask for. It could be wrong timing, or maybe He has something better for us even though we are asking according to His Will. When we ask God in prayer for something, we can be sure of one thing, there are three possible answers to our requests – Yes – No – Wait! I don’t know about you, but for me, I gladly accept the “Yes”, and somewhat grudgingly the “No.” But, when I get a “Wait,” I have a hard time with that! I am not a very patient person. When God gives us an answer of “No,” it is because it may not be good for us to have, or He has something better for us than what we are asking. When God gives us an answer of “wait” it could be because it’s the wrong time. Maybe something else must happen before we can have that thing we desire. The key is that we ask according to His Will!
Another issue we may have in not receiving our “Plus One” blessings, is that we are asking with wrong motives. James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (NASB 1995) We should always be sure our reasons for asking are in alignment with God’s Will. If we are asking with selfish motives, we can almost be guaranteed that we won’t get it. Our will must be lined up with God’s so that God receives the glory when we receive our “Plus One” blessing.
As you look for your “Plus One” take time to ask God for it. Be sure you are asking according to His Will, and He will hear your request!