“So, what do you want?” It’s the question we get asked as Christmas approaches, as we pull up to the drive-through order microphone, and in many other life contexts. It gains new importance as we read Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:7-8: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Knowing that God wants us to share with Him our greatest needs and desires, I ask again: “what do you want?” Many possibilities come to mind, including healing for health problems, provision for financial challenges, blessings for family members, and effectiveness for our local church ministries, just to name a few.
As we ponder what our request might be, consider the psalmist’s answer to that question in Psalm 27:4. The writer begins with, “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek….” I’m drawn to his next words; will he ask for power, or influence, or a miracle, or effectiveness in ministry? Will he ask for peace or faith or hope or answers to his deepest questions?
But no—the whole request is this: “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” His request is not about “getting” as much as about “knowing,” not about ministry activity but about relational connecting.
I think the psalmist is on to something. As Jesus followers, all the processing of our “life stuff” flows from and is dependent upon our relational connection with God. The more we know Him, the more everything else falls into place. The more we seek His presence and contemplate His character, glory, love and grace, the more the other details move into their proper order.
As Jesus puts it in John 15:4 and 7, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” It’s the point behind Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:17: “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” Our hope, our provision, and our power flow from that relational “being in His presence and knowing Him more” (see Ephesians 1:18).
So, what do you want? What are you asking from the Lord? I encourage you to join me in the prayer reflected in a well-known worship song: “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord—open the eyes of my heart; I want to see you!”