Whatsoever we ask - In such a spirit, we receive of him, for he delights to bless the humble, upright, and sincere soul.
Because we keep his commandments - Viz., by loving him and loving our neighbor. These are the great commandments both of the old covenant and the new. And whoever is filled with this love to God and man will do those things which are pleasing to him; for love is the very soul and principle of obedience.
The word heart is used in the preceding verses for conscience; and so the Greek fathers interpret it, particularly Origen, Nicephorus, and Ecumenius; but this is not an unfrequent meaning of the word in the sacred writings.
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him - If we are truly his children, and ask in a proper manner. See the notes at Matthew 7:7. Compare Mark 11:24; Luke 11:9; Luke 18:1 ff; John 14:13; John 15:7; 1 John 5:14. The declaration here made must be understood with these limitations:
(1)that we ask in a proper manner, James 4:3; and,
(2)that the thing asked shall be such as will be consistent for God to give; that is, such as he shall see to be best for us, 1 John 5:14. See the notes at this latter passage.
Because we keep his commandments - Not that this is the meritorious ground of our being heard, but that it furnishes evidence that we are his children, and he hears his children as such.
And do those things that are pleasing in his sight - As a parent is disposed to bestow favors on obedient, affectionate, and dutiful children, so God is on those who please him by their obedience and submission to his will. We can have no hope that he will hear us unless we do so live as to please him.
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23. OHC 11.1
The road through Knight's Canyon, always perilous to the inexperienced traveler, is often impassable in the rainy season. [Account of a journey from Healdsburg to St. Helena, California, made by Mrs. White and a friend, in December, 1881. Friends drove ahead to guide them through a dangerous pass.] We were very thankful for a pilot in this part of our journey. I dared not look either to the right or left to view the scenery, but, holding the lines firmly, and guiding my horse in the narrow passage, I followed our leader. Carelessness here would have been fatal. Had our horse turned out of the right path, we should have plunged down a steep precipice, into the ravine below. OHC 11.2Read in context »
Not only did Christ give explicit rules showing how we may become obedient children, but He showed us in His own life and character just how to do those things which are right and acceptable with God, so there is no excuse why we should not do those things which are pleasing in His sight.... RC 340.5Read in context »
Not only did Christ give explicit rules showing how we may become obedient children but He showed us in His own life and character just how to do those things which are right and acceptable with God, so there is no excuse why we should not do those things which are pleasing in His sight. 3SM 139.1Read in context »
As inquiries are frequently made as to my state in vision, and after I come out, I would say that when the Lord sees fit to give a vision, I am taken into the presence of Jesus and angels, and am entirely lost to earthly things. I can see no farther than the angel directs me. My attention is often directed to scenes transpiring upon earth. 2SG 292.1
At times I am carried far ahead into the future and shown what is to take place. Then again I am shown things as they have occurred in the past. After I come out of vision I do not at once remember all that I have seen, and the matter is not so clear before me until I write, then the scene rises before me as was presented in vision, and I can write with freedom. Sometimes the things which I have seen are hid from me after I come out of vision, and I cannot call them to mind until I am brought before a company where that vision applies, then the things which I have seen come to my mind with force. I am just as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in relating or writing a vision, as in having the vision. It is impossible for me to call up things which have been shown me unless the Lord brings them before me at the time that he is pleased to have me relate or write them. 2SG 292.2
It has been a matter of great perplexity to me to know what course to pursue with messages given me for individuals. I have often written messages of reproof for different ones, and given them to these persons, and they have laid them away, and have said nothing about them. Their course has shown in many instances that they were not affected by the messages, and they have continued to have a bad influence in the church, who were ignorant of the reproof given. 2SG 293.1Read in context »