I’ve wanted A LOT of stuff during my lifetime. When I was a little kid it was the newest Lego or Play Mobil set. As a pre-teen it switched to the hottest video games (usually of the sports variety). By the time I was a teenager it was the newest clothing trends and cash to keep gas in my car. I could go on and on, and I’m guessing can you too. There are so many things we want in life. But, what should we really want? What does God desire for us to really be seeking after each and every day?
See, here is a problem I believe we have far too often. We decide what we want, and then we try to twist and bend God to somehow fit that want. We desire to buy a new car, so we reason that we don’t always have to tithe. The weather is perfect for golf today, and God created nature, so certainly He wouldn’t mind if I played 18 holes in His creation rather than attend worship. I know my church needs more Sunday School teachers, but Jesus was a social animal, so He would totally understand why it’s ok that I hangout at the coffee shop instead of teaching. Time and time again we decide what we want, instead of focusing on what God wants.
I have recently become fixated on a specific section of the Lord’s Prayer: And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:7-10.
Look at that underlined part (verse ten). When Jesus taught others to pray he didn’t say “ok, think about what you want, then ask for it.” Nope. Instead, He teaches us to think about what God wants, and to pray for that. We shouldn’t enter our relationship with God focused on our wants, but rather focused on His. Our greatest want should be that everything in our life, and indeed everything in our world, is aligned with God, just as it is in His perfect heaven.
My challenge for us this week is to stop trying to bend God’s Word and will to our personal wants. Instead, let’s have the courage to pray for what God wants. Let us pray that His will may come to shape every aspect of our life. May we boldly pray that His will comes to dominate our world, making it Heaven on earth. If God’s will is good enough for a perfect Heaven, don’t you think it’s good enough for us? Lord, this week, help me to stop focusing on what I want, and instead focus on what you want for me and the world around me.