It looked like a little country church picnic. I saw them on the far side of a park and kept my distance. But then I heard them singing,.. Tight, exquisite, a cappella harmony, carried along by infectious, syncopated hand percussion… “Jesus on the mainline, tell Him what you want. Call Him up and tell Him what you want…” I snuck over to listen, transfixed. I’ve looked hard but never found a recording of that song that even comes close to what I heard that day.
But the lyrics might pose a question: Is that really true? Is “Jesus on the mainline?” Can you just “call Him up” and “tell Him what you want?” More to the point, will He give you what you want?
Possibly. Check this out:
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15)
Aha! You found the fine print. “…if we ask anything according to His will…” Maybe that sounds like a clause, buried in the text of your insurance, that says the company really won’t pay on most of your claims. But John is encouraging people who have begun a relationship of love with God through faith in Jesus. He’s talking to people who are “approaching” God, getting close.
Who is your hero? is there someone you really look up to? Let’s suppose you got to meet him and, because you hit it off, you got to be close personal friends. Can you imagine asking him to give you something that would hurt him or insult him? Of course not. It wouldn’t fit with your relationship.
John says, in our close and loving relationship with God, as we commune with Him and are transformed by His Spirit in us, we can be confident when we ask Him for anything that fits into His will. It’s as good as done.
What’s the point of asking, you may wonder? If it’s God’s will, what difference will it make for me to ask? I’m not sure I know all the answers to that, but I do know one: asking and receiving deepens our relationship with God on a daily basis.
Next time you have drawn close to God in prayer, next time you are enjoying His company, let Him show you what to ask. Go ahead and ask. Then watch, with anticipation – no, expectation. And when He provides whatever it is you need, make sure to turn back to Him with a hug and a high five! Like so many other things in life, the more you practice this, the better it gets. And every time is hair-raising, amazing.
You might just find yourself singing that song… “Jesus on the mainline… ”