“If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Wow! That sounds like a divine blank cheque, doesn’t it?
How’s this: “Father, I could do with a few million bucks, please, in Jesus Name, amen!”
“Father, may Richo kick the winning goal at the Big Game, amen! …er.. I mean, in Jesus Name, amen.”
Can you imagine all the weird stuff that could happen if all our weirdest prayers (with His Name tacked on the end, of course) were answered? Did Jesus really mean what He said?
Most of us who have a reasonably wide knowledge of the scriptures will understand that this verse has to be balanced with other scriptures to get what Jesus was saying. Even the context of John 14:14 is all about Jesus handing over His task and His power and authority to His disciples and glorifying the Father.
(Also, I’m not sure that winning Tattslotto or divine intervention on behalf of Richmond FC will necessarily glorify the Father – but I may be wrong! 😊)
There is also John 15:7.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
That certainly sobers me up a bit. I need to get the power of God’s truth working on me a bit more, purifying my motives, before I start filling out that divine blank cheque!
But still, the idea that Jesus is giving us His authority and power is rather mind-blowing when you think about it.
It occurred to me this morning that the authority of His Name that He has given us is similar to the enforcement of the Law.
There was a time when soldiers were pursuing a fugitive of the law, and they would cry “Surrender, in the King’s name!”
When the police come to make an arrest, they often cry out “Open, in the name of the Law!” Though today, it’s sufficient just to say “Police!”
Why does it strike fear in the heart of the bad guys? It’s just a word!
One officer can stand in the middle of busy traffic with big trucks coming through, and hold up their hand. Even the big trucks have to stop. Why? The officer has their uniform and their badge on denoting their civil authority.
But that officer, before they get their uniform and badge, and start holding up traffic, has to be:
- Fit enough and committed enough to be accepted into the Force,
- properly and constantly trained,
- sent out on assignment – often with a more senior officer until they have sufficient experience
- Make reports on every incident or assignment they are given.
It can be very frustrating for a good cop, I’d imagine. There is still so much injustice and crime out there. So many bad guys get away with it, while so many good guys suffer. But even if they made an arrest or tried to right any wrongs from an honest zeal for justice, without being specifically authorised to do so, they would be disciplined! Often they would also get hurt in the process.
Same thing in an army sent to defend their country or support their allies. A soldier can only be effective according to orders from above, even if he bears the uniform of his country.
We are God’s Enforcers!
He has given us authority to go forth and arrest the powers of darkness, to destroy the works of the evil one, to rescue those who are oppressed by the enemy – all in the Name of the King!
Like the Police Force, or an Army of Liberation, we have to be disciplined officers. We can’t just race in without a specific assignment from Jesus our Commander.
Yes, there is so much evil in the world, because the hearts of people are rebellious and self-centred. It can be frustrating. But aren’t we rebellious and self-centred at times?
But no matter how sincere and zealous we are, if we race ahead of His timing, we will do untold damage, and usually get ourselves hurt.
Unlike the civil and military forces, we have:
- A much wider, less restrictive mandate.
We are called to spread the light, not just arrest and drive back the darkness.
- A Commander Who has the best perspective on each situation (i.e. reality!)
- A far more efficient communication system – the Holy Spirit within us.
- Unlimited resources!
- The power of God, with signs and wonders following the Word we proclaim.
- The confidence that ultimately, God’s Kingdom will triumph and will rule.
Justice and truth will prevail!
It’s all part of the responsibility and tremendous privilege of bearing His Name.
So much more could be said about this.