There are some big promises in the Bible for those who seek God. Jesus even says you’ll receive “all things” you pray for if you believe (Matt. 21:22; Mark 11:24). “All things” seems quite a big promise. And at times, it seems like one God doesn’t live-up to. If He really meant we’d get “all things” we pray for, then why don’t I have the miracle cure, the new yacht, or the publishing deal I asked for?
“All things” must not cover whatever physical blessings we want, else there wouldn’t be so few wealthy Christians. It must not cover perfect health and physical safety, else there wouldn’t be so many Christians fighting illness or being killed for their faith. The problem isn’t just that we lack faith — even people in the faith chapter were sold into slavery, sawed in two, and wandered around homeless (see Hebrews 11).
Maybe “all things” means something different than we assume at first glance. And maybe it’s even better than we realized or expected.
Seeking the One Who Made All Things
God is not a vending machine that spits out blessings when you put in prayers. He wants to give us good things of course, but even more than that He wants to connect with our hearts.
This is the boldness which we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he listens to us. And if we know that he listens to us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15, WEB)
It’s okay to pray big prayers and expect results when we ask within God’s will. The part of these verses that really captures my attention, though, is that we know God listens to us when we pray. Have you ever thought about that? Listening is so important in relationships. You can’t get close to someone unless you’re both listening to each other. When we seek God, we can have confidence that He is a listener who wants to get to know us.
You shall call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You shall seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart. (Jer. 29:12-13, WEB)
When we seek God, our goal shouldn’t be to get things from Him. It should be to find Him. If you want “all things,” then seek a relationship with God the Father and with Jesus, “for whom are all things and through whom are all things” (Heb. 2:10, see also Col. 1:16-20).
Giving Us All Things
Receiving “all things” when we pray isn’t primarily about getting stuff. It’s about what happens when we connect with God. I was amazed how many verses showed up when I search for the phrase “all things” in eSword. We’ll only be able to cover a fraction of them today, but maybe it’ll be something you want to study further on your own.
What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who didn’t spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things? (Rom. 8:31-32, WEB)
These verses follow close after the famous “all things work together for good” verse in Romans 8:28. For those who love God and are “called according to his purpose,” there is a promise that He is working to give us all things. In fact, Paul talks about already “possessing all things” in spite of his physical struggles (2 Cor. 6:10). Something amazing is going on here that goes far beyond getting answers to our prayers (though it often includes that).
There’s something so incredibly valuable about the “all things” found in God that the “all things” found in this world can’t begin to compare (Phil. 3:8). Once we, like Paul, let go of caring about the physical things and seek God, we even find another “all things” promise — “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:12-13, WEB).
Accessing God’s Mind
The Father has entrusted “all things” to the Son, Jesus the Messiah (Matt. 11:27; John 3:35; 1 Cor. 8:6). Now, through His holy spirit, He gives us access to “all things” as well.
As it is written, “Things which an eye didn’t see, and an ear didn’t hear, which didn’t enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him.” But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. … But he who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is judged by no one. “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him?” But we have Christ’s mind. (1 Cor. 2:9-10, 15-16, WEB)
Jesus promised His disciples that the holy spirit “will teach you all things” (John 14:26). He also said the Father would give this spirit to those who ask, seek, and knock (Luke 11:9-13). Every one of us who enters a covenant relationship with Jesus and the Father have access to this spirit.
As for you, the anointing which you received from him remains in you, and you don’t need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in him. (1 John 2:27, WEB)
Through Their holy spirit, the Father and Son share incredible gifts with us. We get to connect with Them. We gain access to Their mind. They teach us. Those are all incredible blessings, but They don’t stop there when giving us “all things.”
Growing into All Things
As recipients of “all things,” not only do we get to connect with God Himself but that connection also carries other blessings. These blessings are ongoing, growth-related, and will carry on into the next life.
Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, seeing that his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue (2 Pet. 1:2-3, WEB)
“All things that pertain to life and godliness.” Think about that for a moment. What more could we possibly want than this? A relationship with the One who created all things, knowledge from Him about all things, and the gift of all things related to real, lasting life.
It may seem impossible that God could really give us all this, but “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). Thankfully for our sanity, God knows we can’t handle receiving all things all at once. It’s a growth process, which won’t be fully realized until we receive eternal life. In the meanwhile, God helps us and makes sure we “grow up in all things in him, who is the head, Christ” (Eph. 4:15, WEB).
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