If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. (John 15:7-11 HCSB)
“Ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.” What an awesome promise Jesus gives! But notice the key to having our prayers answered: “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you.”
We first have to be in Jesus. That means we must confess Him as Lord and align our minds with God, choosing to forsake our sins and follow His ways. But then we must remain in Christ and in His word. That simply means we continue following Him, learning His commands and being obedient to them. For however many years God allows you to walk on this earth, once you commit your life to Him, He wants you to be His forever. This is the true test of the Christian: will we endure? Will we continue to follow Jesus no matter what happens to us in our short time here? If we do, there are tons of benefits.
Now if you’re truly remaining in Christ, naturally, you will produce much “fruit,” thus proving you really are His. Fruit is Christ-likeness; love, peace, patience, joy, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control, wisdom, and making not just converts, but disciples. Remember, the great commission wasn’t: go into the world and make converts, but rather, go and make disciples—people who likewise follow Jesus, learn His ways and remain in Him.
Jesus also says something interesting here: “Remain in My love,” by keeping His commands. He basically implies that if you don’t keep His commands, you won’t remain in His love. But He promises if we do remain in His love, our joy will be complete.
There’s a lot of unhappy Christians. They say, “Yeah, Jesus loves me,” but they are not content, let alone completely joyful. Perhaps this is because they are not keeping Christ’s commands. They’re sinning and not really repenting of those sins, and it’s only leading them into deeper and deeper darkness and despair. They are lonely so they sin by compromising with unbelievers or being sexually active. They’re tired or busy so they sin by neglecting spending time in prayer and the Word. They hang out with bad company; gossips, sexually immoral, proud people, liars, and thus they start sinning by acting like their worldly friends and yet they wonder why they aren’t joyful. What’s missing? Is it career, is it a man, is it family? Nope. It’s Jesus. He is missing. Since you aren’t keeping His commands, His love has left you, and you’re seeking it in all the wrong places. Instead of coming back to the Source of love and joy, you continue to sin by looking elsewhere. Instead of remaining in Christ, you’re remaining in sin.
When the joy isn’t there, it’s very simple: make a choice. Choose to leave behind your sin, your ideas, your opinions, your desires, and just trust Christ. Trust that He knows better than you, trust that He is good and wants to help you not harm you. Without faith it is impossible to please God. If you cannot come to Him believing He rewards those who diligently seek Him, do not expect to have a joyful life. He doesn’t respond well to doubt. He blesses faith.
If Him dying on the cross in your place isn’t enough to muster faith in you of His goodness and love, then nothing will ever be good enough.
Choose this day whom you will serve: self or Christ.
The choice is yours.