I want a lot of things.
Today, as I look out my window to the puddles of water collecting in my yard, I want a new pair of rain boots. The weather won’t stop, and I’m tired of my shoes getting wet.
But it doesn’t stop there. I want to eat whatever I want and not gain weight. I want world peace. I want to be able to protect my children from everything painful, and sometimes the fact I can’t makes me want to curl up in a fetal position in my closet.
I want friends who keep their promises, a good marriage, and a nice tan year round. (Some of these things are possible, thank Jesus.)
But if I’m honest, I’m tired of all the wanting – the rat race that comes this time of year: the wanting, the getting, the still feeling empty in the end. I spend too much time thinking about the earthly things I want. I don’t spend near as much time thinking about just wanting God. Yet, this is the want that will save my life.
Because wanting God more than anything else is the game changer. It is the only thing in this world that makes sense. Wanting God the most is really the heart cry of the sick of me life. It’s saying, God I need you to consume my life more than my life currently is. Daily, we are being consumed by something.
And now I think of Jesus.
He wanted God the most. He wanted God so much He said yes to death. I can’t understand this kind of obedience because mostly, I say yes to me.
Jesus wanted God more than comfort – abandoned a safe life to endure one that was hard. I can’t seem to get up off the couch.
He wanted God more than logic and reason – forgoing understanding of why perfection had to take on sin. If God doesn’t make sense to me, I tend to tune Him out.
He wanted God more than He wanted to be popular – to be crucified, He had to let His flesh die first, which is, perhaps, the harder death. But He knew being popular with the crowd would conflict with the purposes of God. It’s consuming and bottomless – the mad scratch and scramble for human worth.
And yet, in my flesh and yours, Jesus accepts us. He sees us limping along. He knows that wanting Him the very most is the answer to our wandering life…so He waits for us to realize it.
2015 is gone and so are all its wants. But for 2016, the year upon us, I wonder: what if all that happened this year was that we wanted God more than anything else? What if that was our only resolution, our only goal? What if we want God like Jesus wanted God?
- It will change the way we handle life. When we want all the human things, we constantly wind up disappointed. But when we want God the most, we get the entire package: the emotional stability, the right perspective, the ability to handle the hard stuff with an eternal focus.
- It will help us fulfill our dreams. We can spend our whole lives striving and yes, even achieving some earthly success. But what is it all worth if the deepest dream in our hearts, for God to use our life, never becomes realized? It’s the dream He planted, so it’s the one that will never go away. When we want God the most, we stop asking Him to make sense all the time and start saying yes to the plans He has for us.
- It will create soul revival. Most Jesus followers are tired of the roller coaster Christianity we so often experience: being on fire for God one minute and running far away when He calls, the next. Wanting God the most changes our relationship with God, forever. It is a purposeful and ongoing seeking. And in that space, our bond with our Creator becomes sweet and strong.
2016 is here. We are free to want whatever we want.
But maybe this year we raise our standards a bit – from rain boots and good friends and a year-round tan – a safe, comfortable life that never yields us the powerful year we want…to the steady, fulfilling life of wanting God the very most.
This is my prayer for me, and for you.
God, help us to want you like Jesus.
An author and sought-after communicator, Lisa Whittle, loves the Church and has a heart for us to be better. She’s the author of 4 books including her latest, I Want God, has done master’s work in marriage and family counseling, and advocates for Compassion, International. You’ll find her ministering in rehab facilities, on college campuses, in churches and in places around the world, speaking the message of wanting God the most – helping lead people in a more passionate pursuit of God. She’s a wife and mom of 3 who lives in North Carolina.
Find Lisa on Facebook [Author Lisa Whittle], follow her on Twitter [@LisaRWhittle], hang out with her on Instagram [Lisa Whittle] and visit her ministry community at www.lisawhittle.com, where she blogs regularly.