Pray & Obedience 1 John 3:22 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Our text, from 1 Jn 3:22, says, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
We see here a great combination of prayer and obedience that people, who want to see God answer prayer, often overlook. They pray but they don’t obey. You expect God to do what you ask; then why don’t you do what God asks!
The text says keep God’s commandments. So, first you need to look at your life from the Bible’s perspective and see if there are any areas of disobedience against God’s commandments. They are more obvious than you might think because they are clearly stated in the Bible. You can simply pick up the book and read it and there are his commands. If you are in disobedience, you might try denial or you might try shifting the blame, but you are still disobeying him. And deep down you know it. There’s no getting around that! Practically speaking, the solution is simple. Repent and start obeying him. You can do that tonight.
The text also says do those things that are pleasing in his sight. These are also more obvious than you might think because God has been dealing with you about them in your reading and in preaching. However, you have been bargaining with God as to the timing and the extensiveness of your response. You’ll say things like, “Lord, you know that I’m surrendered to do ‘this or that’ and just as soon as I’m ready or the circumstances are just right I will.” That’s not doing what you know he wants you to do. That’s bargaining.
The problem with obedience and pleasing God is that we readily proclaim our areas of obedience and use them as a shield to protect our conscience so that we don’t have to change those things that we are pretty sure God doesn’t like. Look at your life right now and ask yourself before God, “Am I doing some things that are not pleasing to God?” And then ask, “Am I not doing some things that are pleasing to God?” Now what are you going to do about those?
If you come to the Lord tonight with the attitude that you will obey him in your areas of disobedience, that you will start doing those things that please him, and that you will quit doing those things that don’t please him, you are going to see a definite change in your prayer life… if you actually follow through on what you commit to change!!