Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 1 John 3:21
Are you familiar with the saying, “Until your heart’s content?
This phrase is usually relating to performing an action until our heart is content, satisfied and had enough.
The passage we are looking at today in 1 John is one of my favorites, talking about the hope, freedom and confidence we have in Christ!
Like we’ve been doing, we can’t just pick out a single verse, we are going to need some context verses to give a greater understanding, so let’s zero in on 1 John 3:19-22
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.
John is talking about our hearts, and the evidence we have of the Holy Spirit within us.
I want to pull out the words, “presence” , “condemn”, and “confidence” for the greek word comparisons.
presence– emprosthen, which refers to “in front” or “before the face of”
condemn– kataginóskó, which refers to “blame”
confidence– parrésia , which refers to “freedom or boldness in speech”
Taking these meanings into consideration, John is telling us that when our heart is full and heavy to not be discouraged, because God is greater than what our hearts are telling us.
I’ve always though it interesting the dichotomy of our hearts, on one hand we are told that they are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), and on the other hand we are told that God will give the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4)
So which is it? Do we trust our hearts, or will they lead us astray?
The answer is: God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.
You see when we choose to explore the trustworthiness of our heart, we are focusing on the wrong thing.
We are asking ourselves the wrong question.
Instead of, “Can I trust my heart?” We can ask ourselves, “Can I trust my God?”
God is greater than our hearts. He knows everything.
Our confidence is not in our heart condition, but in our Holy God.
“If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God”
In school or at your work has someone ever asked a question that maybe you had the answer for, or had an opinion on, but instead of speaking up, you didn’t say anything?
Perhaps something as simple as someone asking if anyone has any questions, and you did but didn’t want to be judged or everyone to think you’re stupid for asking a question?
Our hearts condemning us can be a big thing like when we focus on blaming ourselves, or others which keeps us stuck in a shame cycle.
It can also look like stifled speech and editing our words not wanting to say something because we don’t want to be wrong, judged or even offend anyone (it seems as everything we do or say nowadays can be turned in a personal offense).
I won’t go too far into this, but the truth is we are called to be bold in speech and action. Period.
Comfort Zones won’t cut it if you want an authentic Christian life.
Translate that same hesitancy into prayer, do you hesitate to ask God for certain things or pray to God a certain way?
Thinking maybe you are praying the wrong way.
Asking the wrong thing
Asking for a miracle when you don’t see how it is possible
We are called to be bold and to step out in faith, and pray outside of the box.
The idea is when we ask God for anything according to His will, He hears us and responds, but John goes a step further into this and says that we will receive from Him anything we ask.
Here is where it gets tricky. We know that not every thing we ask for from God we get.
His will trumps our wants, wishes and even our happiness.
I don’t know who said it, but it’s worth quoting, “God doesn’t care about your happiness, He cares about your holiness.”
Verse 22 for today, holds an important truth to remember as we seek to be confident and bold before God.
“and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.”
We keep His commands and do what pleases Him. We show love to others by the love He showed us.
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Because His Spirit is in us, we are called to be bold and put our confidence in Him and Him alone.