Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity). 19 By this we shall come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we are of the Truth, and can reassure (quiet, conciliate, and pacify) our hearts in His presence, 20 Whenever our hearts in [tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For we are in God’s hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him]. 21 And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God, 22 And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him. 23 And this is His order (His command, His injunction): that we should believe in (put our faith and trust in and adhere to and rely on) the name of His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and that we should love one another, just as He has commanded us. 24 All who keep His commandments [who obey His orders and follow His plan, live and continue to live, to stay and] abide in Him, and He in them. [They let Christ be a home to them and they are the home of Christ.] And by this we know and understand and have the proof that He [really] lives and makes His home in us: by the [Holy] Spirit Whom He has given us. 1 John 3:18-24 AMP
We receive from the Lord whatever we ask, because:
We watchfully obey His orders and observe His suggestions and injunctions.
We follow His plan for us.
We habitually practice what is pleasing to Him.
By this we come to know (recognize and understand) that we love the children of God: when we love God and obey His commands (orders, charges) — [when we keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and His teaching]. 3 For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). 1 John 5:2-3 AMP
The true love of God is this:
That we do His commands
That we keep His ordinances
That we are mindful of His precepts and teaching
This is the Lord’s order – His command; His injunction:
That we should believe in – put our faith and trust in and adhere to and rely on – the name of His Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
That we should love one another, just as He has commanded us.
The Lord’s commands are not irksome, burdensome, oppressive, or grievous. He asks us to believe in Him and to love people – all people – not just the ones you like. If you call yourself a child of God; if you say that you love Him; then it should not be a hardship for you to obey His commands and to follow His plans for you. It’s not like He is asking you to do some impossible thing. His commands are a hardship to the carnal mind and the flesh, but if you are truly a child of God and the Holy Spirit lives in you, then the love of God has already been shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). He makes it easier; He makes it second nature to you.
How do we know that we are on the right track? We listen to the Holy Spirit, who speaks to us through our own spirit, or conscience. From the moment you are born again, the Holy Spirit will begin to direct you into the Truth, if you will listen and obey. Follow the peace in your heart. Only do what the peace in your heart tells you to do. If you feel “scratchy” – change course. If you feel peace, keep going in that direction. Obey the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Stop, repent, turn around, and follow the path laid out for you by the Word of God. The more you train yourself to obey God, rather than your carnal mind and will, the more you come to truly know Him and the more you realize that His path is the path of peace, joy, righteousness, and blessing.
Do not serve God merely in theory or in speech (lip-service), but in deed and in truth – in reality, in practice, and in sincerity. When we keep His commandments, we make our home in Him and He makes His home in us. Some believers only “visit” Him, and He can only “visit” with them. Jesus does not only want to visit you occasionally, He wants to live in you permanently.
And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. 15 And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him. 1 John 5:14-15 AMP
If we expect an answer when we ask anything, or make any request of Him, it needs to be made according to His will, and in agreement with His own plan. Many prayers are not answered, because they are not prayed in line with God’s word, or because the person praying is living in disobedience to God’s commands. This is disrespectful to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You cannot serve the devil and your own carnality, and expect God’s blessing.
Line up with His plan for you, and He will be able to move on your behalf and grant your requests.