By this, love has been perfected with us, so that we may have CONFIDENCE in the day of judgment, because as He is, so also are we in this world. (1 John 4:17 LSB)
This is the CONFIDENCE which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will (i.e. commands/precepts), He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. ( 5:14-15)
What does , the “will of God” mean in this passage? In the Scripture this means one of two things, (1) God’s causality/decrees or (2) God’s commandments/precepts. What does John mean? In the context of the immediate chapter John keeps bringing up, loving God by obeying His commands. And then for extra context, in the Gospel of John chapter 15, where John records Jesus saying something similar (if my words abide in you, and you abide in Me), the context is Jesus’ words abiding in us. That is, Jesus reveals who He is and who we are in Him, and he commands we “believe” His revelation. Jesus command in the gospel of John, that John keeps recording is to “believe in the Son of God,” and to obey His commands. Thus, the context for “will of God” for John is about His commands and percent and believing and obeying them.
A quick note about promises being commandments.
When Jesus gives the promise in John 14, “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these,” it is a truth claim about YOU in JESUS. Promises like this are at the same time a truth claim about you in Christ, and a command for you to obey. If you believe this, then this obedience is you “abiding” in Christ. You just qualified yourself to ask and get what you ask for.
In fact, this is exactly what John says in chapter 3:23
“And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”
Thus, if we obey God’s command to believe in the Son of God, and love our Christian brothers, then we have every confidence to ask and get the exact thing we ask for. John is making answers to prayers easy for those born from above. He is not making perfection of your life the requirement; rather, John is making the requirements for answered prayers rest on what God causes us to BE when are born from above. John putting answers to prayers rest on God metaphysics of our new creation, rather than a list of what we do. John says in chapter 4 that those who are born of God, listen to God. They listen and believe in Jesus as the Son of God, by their very nature of being born for God. Also, John also says if you are born from God, then by the newly created nature in you, you love your brother. John’s teaching is if GOD has indeed birthed you, then out of your new creation, you will believe and you will love, just as much as a tree will produce leaves to soak up sunlight.
John, is being like Jesus, as John recorded Jesus in his gospel in chapters 14-16. Jesus kept taking the limiters off of prayer, and making it easy to ask for anything and get this anything in faith from God. John is doing the same here. He is not limiting, but expanding our hope of answers to prayer and making the requirements so easy to get.
Those who see such passages and think, “Oh well, I guess I have little confidence to ask for healing or monetary help form God and actually get it, because of “God’s will,”” have spiritually perverted its meaning and direction.
Here is the big idea! John used and meant the phrase “God’s Will,” to give you CONFIDENCE to get what you ask for, not the opposite. Think about it. Most have this completely flipped on its head. Most preach the opposite of Jesus and John; they teach a doctrine of demons. If you think “God’s will” and it gives you the smallest hesitation to get that healing or help you are asking for, then you have a perverted doctrine not taught by Jesus or the apostles. You need to rebuke and correct yourself.
Let us be instructed by Jesus and John. Let us believe in the Son of God, love our brother, and by this take off every limiter to prayers by getting what we ask for and 7 times more.