“Creative writing is communication through revelation – it is the Self escaping into the open.” –E.B. White
I’m hooked on John fifteen.
It’s so important that we understand the context of verses we hear and read. Sometimes just a verse or two can be taken out to teach us a truth or principle. This is helpful as we gain glimpses of understanding of who God is and how He works.
John 15:7 is quoted a lot…, “ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”
There are several implications. For example, 1) we need to voice what we want, expressing it verbally to our heavenly Father. It’s not enough to just think our needs or ask silently. Jesus doesn’t say here, “ask aloud” but based on lots of other things He says in other places I think He means ask in prayer and say it out loud.
Second, what we “will” will be done for us! I don’t know if the word “will” here (I’m using the Amplified Bible) means want or need, but either way it’s good news that what we need/want will be provided.
I have heard this verse used to encourage believers to ask of the Lord ~ and so it should be used. However, these same people who learn this principle about the Lord and how things work within His kingdom should also be taught the abiding principle. There are six and a half verses leading up to the end of verse seven.
Read John 15: 1-6. Jesus explains a process. Vine dresser; vine; branches; fruit. There are many truths within this chapter! As time permits I’ll go into more.
As I crawl through Brennan Manning’s book, The Ragamuffin Gospel this hits:
“It remains a startling story to those who never understand that the men and women who are truly filled with light are those who have gazed deeply into the darkness of their imperfect existence.”
I own a book by John Wright Follette called Broken Bread. The poem in the beginning titled “Trouble Is A Servant” is so fantastic I’ve not yet found reason to read any further. I hope you’re encouraged.
Trouble is a servant, but known as such to few.
We are taught to shun her and, if she comes too near,
Seldom do we face her but run away in fear.
Good and bad must meet her, the universe around–
Sinners, saints, kings and knaves — she comes where man is found.
Always make her serve you, for she can serve you well;
Just HOW you may use her your life will always tell.
Trouble is but passive — it’s by our power to will
We make her either bless us or do the soul some ill.
How do you translate her from phrases filled with pain
To messages of strength — from loss to endless gain?
By faith we see behind the outer frightful mask
A servant in disguise, to do a gracious task.
Hearts may feel her wounding and life may suffer loss;
Faith translates her working, as freeing gold from dross.
Trouble will discover to any yielded heart
Hidden depths of power it only knew in part;
Sympathizing power, and love that understands;
Strength to help another with trouble-tested hands.
Trouble will release you from self and make you kind,
Adding new dimensions to heart and soul and mind.
Do not shun this servant, but look beyond her task
To beauty she will work — for which you daily ask.
Always see in trouble a chance to grow in grace,
Not a stroke of evil to hinder in your race.
Live the life triumphant above her fiery darts;
Rich fruitage will be yours to share with needy hearts.”
I like this quote by Roy Hession’s book, “The Calvary Road”:
“We want to be very simple in this matter of revival. Revival is just the life of the Lord Jesus poured into human hearts.”