Summary: We can be confident the Father handles all desires in Christ
GOD SATISFIES OUR EVERY DESIRE
Oscar Wilde, once wrote, “There are two tragedies in this life. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” In a way, Mr. Wilde recognized one of the most challenging aspects of being human. We want so much. We measure our lives by how much we get or do not get. Often we are not even sure about what we want. We are only sure of one thing: we want.
Today, our Savior addresses the issue of wants and desires in regard to our prayer life. Jesus points out that it is not wrong in and of itself to desire something. In fact, God is very gracious to us in respect to our desires. Our Savior gives us some comfort and assurance in that he reminds us that GOD SATISFIES OUR EVERY DESIRE. 1) He doesn’t offer sham substitutes, and 2) We can be confident of the best.
1) He doesn’t offer sham substitutes
The fact that God satisfies desires should not surprise us. God does take our wants and cares into serious consideration. Desire is a real thing. It is what leads us to want something and then to ask for it. Desire is often the guiding force behind our prayer life. The problem is that our sinful flesh takes desire and turns it on its head. This sinful flesh of ours is very fickle. It has definite desires and wants, but it is unable to determine the appropriate way to satisfy those needs.
Think of how we often satisfy our own physical hunger pangs. Perhaps you’re driving along the highway or sitting at home, when suddenly you feel your stomach begin to rumble. Your appetite has peaked. You have a desire for food. How we satisfy that desire is crucial. Do we pull off the highway into some fast-food place for a large fries and drink, or stroll into the kitchen for a bag of chips? Usually, that’s the case. Now, the desire for food is not wrong. How we satisfy that desire can be wrong, though. We can gorge ourselves on chips or candy and be satisfied, but its all a sham. There are greater needs that are left unmet; better foods that need to be eaten, nutrients we need to absorb.
All too often that’s just how we approach our heavenly Father in prayer. Most of our prayers just seem to skim the surface. Not only that, but we seem to ask God to satisfy our physical desires with some sham substitutes. We’re tempted to ask God to fill our desires by giving us something to gnaw on for a while just so we’re satisfied. Yet, all-the-while we are unaware of the greater things he provides.
Physical desires are very fleeting. They fall for one sham or another. And they leave us wanting for more. The businessman wants a bigger salary. The actor wants more fame. The athlete wants to break the record book. The husband wants a bigger bass boat, the wife wants a better wardrobe, and the kids want a newer family car to be seen in. Look around us and we can find example after example of people who spend their life’s energy seeking to obtain certain goals. Many of these people have dedicated their lives to one goal--maybe financial success, fame, or the mastery of some skill or sport.
The sad fact is that many people achieve their goals only to find that they are empty. They meet their aspirations only to complain that life has lost its meaning. Their desire has been spent. And once their desire is spent, they feel nothing but emptiness.
We are such people. We have a hankering, an appetite, and a desire for such things. What is your life’s aspiration? Maybe its financial security, or simply retiring with enough to live on, or you might want something more personal like more family time at home. It could be you desire a new home all together. Maybe you just want to have more fun. There’s nothing wrong with many of these desires. Many are noble aspirations. There’s nothing wrong with praying to God about these things either. God does provide physical blessings and satisfies those desires. Yet, these desires do become a problem when they get in the way and keep us from the greater spiritual blessings God would provide.
Spiritual desires matter most. And our Savior is urging us to set our hearts on these desires. The wonderful comfort is that our Lord causes our desires to conform to our needs. Just look at the model prayer Jesus has given to us. The Lord’s Prayer is full of desire.
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. So Jesus gave them a model prayer. Now the first thing that you will notice is that this model prayer is full of desire mainly for spiritual blessings. Jesus taught his disciples to ask for important things. In fact, they are even to demand these things from their heavenly Father. We pray that God’s name be hallowed. This simply means that God’s name be put above all other names. This is a real desire that needs to be met. We also pray that God’s kingdom will come. We desire our lives to be under God’s reign. Then things are good! We pray for his coming in power. We demand daily bread. We claim reconciliation with God even as we work for reconciliation with our neighbor. We ask to be spared from the conflicts between good and evil.