Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24(NIV)
When I was a kid, I constantly bombarded my mom with questions. “Mom, can I have a piece of candy?” “Mom, will you buy me that toy?” “Mom, can I go play with my friend next door?” Sometimes when I asked my mom for things the answer was “yes,” and sometimes the answer was “no.” Of course when the answer was “yes,” I would do the happy dance and tell my mom that she was the best mom in the whole wide world. If the answer was “no,” well, you might have thought that world as we knew it had ended as I went into a total meltdown on the floor in the middle of the store.
The look on my mom’s face was total and complete embarrassment and failure. I often think that’s how we are with God. Sometimes when we ask Him for things and He says “yes,” we are overjoyed, but when the answer is “no,” we pitch an embarrassing fit of self-pity. Other times, we don’t even ask and instead take matters into our own hands. Usually this doesn’t end well and we are forced to admit that we should have asked God first.
What I’ve learned, having been on both sides, is that sometimes we think we need something that will make our lives more complete, but in reality, God is all we need. We petition God for whatever our heart’s desire is at the time, not really searching our hearts for what He wants for our lives. John 16:24 tells us that God wants us to ask Him for things. He wants to provide for our needs. Notice I said, “needs,” not “wants.” God wants us to have our heart’s desires, but He also wants us to recognize those areas of our lives where we need Him. He wants us to depend on Him to provide those things.
As a mom, I recognize those areas where wants versus needs seem to be mixed-up. We must teach our children that our “joy” comes not from our wants being fulfilled, but from the needs of our hearts being filled by the One who know us best and makes our joy complete. When we ask for things in His name we are humbly acknowledging that He is Lord over our life. When we recognize God as our provider and ask with a heart that is pure, God will answer and we will be filled with His unending joy.
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Action Item |
Are you in the habit of asking God for your wants and needs? Do you struggle with what to ask God for in your daily prayer life? Ask God to examine your heart and help you to determine those areas that need to be fulfilled.
Most Gracious Heavenly Father, please help me to establish a life that is not based on my wants but on Your needs for my life. Allow my heart to be filled with the joy that only You can provide by allowing you to fulfill those needs in my life.
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