by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
1 John 3:20-22 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
A reader asked a pointed question, "How do we claim the promises of God?" Sometimes the most difficult questions are best answered by men of faith, in this case, by a man who made a lifestyle of claiming the promises of God. I learned the answer to this question early in my walk when I read the autobiography of George Mueller.
George Mueller used a method of "Holy Argument" before the Lord. Much like a lawyer would present his case before a judge, Mueller would present his needs and his desires before the Lord.
Of course, God does not need to be convinced – arguments will not make our needs any plainer to him – but He loves when we set our needs, our cause, even our innermost desires, before Him, because it's an expression of our faith, our trust, in Him. So George Mueller would argue His case before God, not so much to convince the Lord, but rather, to convince or demonstrate to himself the absolute trust he had in God's Word, His covenants, His provision, and His perfect goodness. Thus Mueller would place His requests before the Lord, fully expecting God to answer based on who He was.
God has given us the right to ask and to claim anything according to His will, and we should expect Him to answer our pleas when we have confidence that we're asking for what He desires. Even if our heart condemns us we can trust that God is greater than our hearts and will answer prayers according to His good will. George Mueller's requests were answered because he was deeply committed to the will of God – and God cannot deny himself. We can be as bold as he was, expecting God to answer, when we are totally committed to His will and asking for what we know He desires. Sometimes this requires discernment, and so we must wait on Him and ask for His wisdom before naming and claiming what we want.
Are you committed to the will of God? Are you determined to know and to ask for the things He loves to give? If so, plead His blood over your heart and be released from condemnation; then ask according to His will! The Lord's gifts are manifold, and He wants us to ask for them, according to His own Word, fully expecting answers. He loves your faith and will respond out of His great goodness.