“What do you want?” This question is often modified throughout the year. It could be used in a grocery store, a restaurant, for an approaching birthday, or at Christmas. The applications seem almost endless. Even in church life we are quickly able to list the things we would like God to do and the things we would like to see happen. In our material world we are distracted by material objects and often we neglect the spiritual needs. In our prayer times, we are often focused on things in this material world and not God.
Is the desire of our heart that God would do things for us or that we would have more of God? God chose, through the redeeming power of Christ, to reveal himself to sinful humanity. The purpose of this was to restore a relationship with man that would surpass the intimacy God had with humanity in the Garden of Eden. However, though this is accomplished in Christ, it is not currently completed in our lives. We will not see the fulfillment of this until Christ returns. This process is called sanctification, the means by which we are made more like Christ.
An intimate relationship with God should be our desire and the focus of our prayer life. We should long for the most intimate relationship with God as possible, this side of Christ’s return. Augustine stated it this way, “Alas, it is easy to want things from God and not to want God himself; as though the gift could ever be preferable to the giver.” We want things from God, but do we want God? God should be the desire of our hearts. What do you want? Let’s look at this one other way.
In the closet at my house there is a rod and reel that belonged to my grandfather. I remember spending countless hours on the lake with him. We would fish from morning to evening surviving on Vienna Sausages and Dr. Pepper (though Coca-Cola was his preferred drink). Every time I look at or use that rod and reel it brings back memories. He passed away a few years ago. Though I treasure that item, I would rather be able to be with him. It was a great gift, but it is not as precious as the giver.
Are you focused on the gifts of God or God himself? Paul wrote in Philippians 3:8, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing knowledge of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” My prayer is that God would create a desire in your heart for him and him alone.
This post was published in The Monitor of Naples, Texas on 6/16/16.