Verse: 1 John 3:21-22 (ESV)
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.

In the two prior verses (and in Christian’s devotion from yesterday), the discussion is regarding when our hearts condemn us. Here, John flips the script to discuss what happens when we maintain the confidence that “God is greater than our hearts” (v 20). When our hearts do not condemn us, that gives us confidence. And what can we do with that confidence? Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we can “with confidence, draw near to the throne of grace”.

When we are able to approach God’s throne with confidence, John tells us that we will receive what we ask for. But does that mean that God becomes our personal genie, ready to grant our every wish? Of course not! As the conclusion of verse 22 points out, the reason we are able to ask and receive is “because we keep his commands and do what pleases him”.

Part of doing what pleases him is to ask for in prayer the things that will please him as well. When we ask for: the salvation of unbelievers; healing for ourselves and others; more of the Holy Spirit to indwell us; greater boldness to spread the gospel; patience and grace in our dealings with others…these things (and others like them) please God and he is happy to provide them.

God, help me to keep your commands, so that I may have confidence to approach your throne and ask for things that it will please you to provide. Amen.

Author: Dave MacDonald