This is a crucial question which Jesus asked the disciples, to get their attention, despite the fact he knew what they were thinking. It is a question God asks every one of us, because he cares about all of us. According to the Bible, (John 10:10) God wants us to live life in abundance, e.g. to enjoy the environment, food, making good decisions etc. Let’s face it, bad decisions messes us up (sin). And it is good to live life with hope and no fear, knowing that God has promised us that there is more to come, which is even better than what we have now. (Living forever happily).
God knows it is in our human nature to think, plan, set targets and accomplish our dreams. Many of us think about what we want every day. Our ideas are more or less the same, and start from an early age. Children normally want to play and yearn to have a good relationship with their parents. I remember there was time in my childhood, when my sisters and I, desperately wanted a dolly. It was very rare in those days, for a child to have a dolly, let alone buy one. Our parents didn’t have much money to spend on toys. Guess who provided? God! One day I was walking along a road, and to my greatest surprise, I found a small dolly covered in dust. It became one of my happiest days as a child. Thus, I thanked God.
So, children have their own list. However, as you know, our list becomes bigger as we get older, and gets less as years go by. God normally blesses us with what we need, even though he is aware of all our wants.
We store our want list in our minds, and God sees each and everybody’s list. There are so many doors which are connected to our wants and desires. The moment you put something on your want list, a process begins which in a way you’re knocking on that door. God helps us with the process especially when he knows the door you’re knocking on is good for you, in terms of your personal development. But the negative scenario is things fall apart when we knock on the wrong door of which the devil is hiding in, for example, when someone desires a wrong thing. Every action begins with a thought, for we are as good as our thoughts. There are times when Jesus says, you don’t know what you’re asking’. For it is so easy for us, to be consumed by what we want, and forget to look at things in all angles.
Our want list as humans is more or less the same. One thing we all have in common though, is the desire to be happy, and we put that happiness in various areas of our lives, i.e. marriage, children, education, work, etc. There is nothing wrong with that, so long as God approves. So it is our responsibility to be careful about what we desire. Much of our want list has been dominated by money. But let’s face it, even though money solves some things, it’ll never surpass the bigger things in life like love, peace, faith, etc. Once a rich man said,’ it does bring material things but it doesn’t bring real happiness.’ It is good to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
Most of our wants requires good reasoning, which we do in our minds and in most cases we are not even aware that when we give a reason it is laid bare before God. For example, we give a reason why we want that job, or why we want to marry the person, or why we want to travel to another country. Our reasoning can be so bad sometimes, that we end up in a confusion. When our reasoning is not good an alarm will go off subconsciously in our minds. For example, when a young teen and is just starting out in life, they think about careers and most important of all – love. The question they have to ask themselves is why that particular person? For this is a situation God requires someone to give a good reason.
Many of us pursue love, because it is in our human nature. We want to love someone else, marry them, and have children. Ok, to God that’s a good reason. The moment you put that on your list, the (love) people start coming into your life. Some of them are destined by God and others are sent by the devil. Before you make a step, you have to examine their intentions because some will come to take advantage of you and don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s why it is always good to pray about things, and take God’s guidance when it comes to relationships. The best guidance we have, is not give yourself to someone until they commit to a marriage. And when you’re a serious Christian you have to get someone who shares that conviction to be on the safe side.
Some times God has a way of opening doors to show us his kindness and generosity. When I compare my list before and the list I have now, I realise now, that things I wanted at one time and didn’t get, I didn’t need them. And all things I’ve managed to get have been for my own learning experience. So nowadays, I’ve managed to cross out things on my want list to appreciate what I have.
The truth is God doesn’t want us to be lazy and undisciplined, and expect things to drop on our laps. He wants us to be wise about the way we make decisions. He presents opportunities but it’s up to us to make it work.
When Jesus asks, ‘what is it you want? This is a serious question and is supposed to open our mind to things which are even bigger, and more important than anything else. The Holy Spirit says, He even asks, ‘do you want to be saved, or be forgiven for your sins on the judgement day?’ This is where you have to examine yourself deeper, and think about salvation. Another question Jesus asks, do you understand what I have done for you? – His sacrifice to get us saved. When some people heard about Jesus, they asked a serious question; what do we need to do to get saved? Acts 2:38
Jesus said, ‘knock and the door will be opened’. In this case he means a door to salvation. When a person puts on their want list, I want to be saved, or to be forgiven for my sins; this opens a way to salvation. This is a way of reaching out to God.