God is Not a Coke Machine posted by Evangelism Explosion on Feb 28, 2017
God is not a Coke Machine
By David Todd
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing . . . If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:5, 7 (ESV)
How do you relate to a Coke machine? You put in a request and quickly receive an answer: in this case, a soft drink. How do you respond if the drink does not instantly arrive? Do you impatiently pound on the machine or speak to it in words you would not use at church? Do you use prayer in the same way?
The Creator of the universe, who spoke our universe into existence, has covenanted to be our God (Genesis 12:3) and invites us to communicate with Him through prayer. John 15 defines this for us. Prayer is asking in His name, remaining in Him, and asking that He would be magnified in the area of His people being fruitful. What more can He do for you? The Lord states that not all who claim a connection with Him will have the privilege of being fruitful – only those who “remain in Him” (v.5). The more we remain in Christ – love Christ, obey Christ – the more we will receive from Him. Prayer is very the gauge of our spiritual condition.
For those who remain in Christ, prayer comes spontaneously. They do not set aside a “time” to pray, but pray “continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer must become a necessity in our lives, just as breathing. Then let us remain so very close to Him and ask much of Him.
Jesus promised He would answer prayer in remarkable and faithful ways. Then how do we ask? The great benefits of prayer are for those who remain in Christ Jesus our Lord. Remaining in Him means that we trust Him and Him only. Temporary faith will not save us. Only a faith that remains in Him will bring us joy will transform our lives.
As we remain in Him, we trust Him. We live in Him, by Him, and for Him. We are not to come and go; we are to remain in Him. That is our way of life. It is not what we do; it is who we are. We are His, and it is our delight to remain in Him and to ask, ask, and ask. It is prayer that propels our ministry.
Christ cannot be separated from His Word. For us to remain in Him, His word(s) must remain in us. “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). That is our practice: to read and remember His Word in order to meditate of His word.
“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9). As we (1) remain in Christ, and (2) ask whatever you wish, the same love that the Father gives to the Son, the Son gives to you.
Lord lift us up to Yourself. Without you we can do nothing of value. We have no desire to be self sufficient. Our greatest desire is to be Christ sufficient, and to remain close to You, and to ask, ask, and to ask often, and for much.