WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 01, 2022
TOPIC: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then the king said to me, ‘What do you want?’” (Nehemiah 2:4a New Century Version).
Everybody wants one thing or the other but not everybody is clear about what he wants. Some are ignorant or confused about what they want. This becomes evident when someone who can address their want asks them about what they want. Sometimes, we all could find ourselves in such a situation. Some people eventually ask for the wrong things.
If I may ask you, what do you want in your current situation? Some people think they know what they want and go ahead to make the request. But what they say they want may not be what they need. When an occasion presents itself, I pray that what you want shall be what you need.
The man at the Beautiful Gate was lame and he had resigned to fate. What he wanted from everybody was alms like others in his condition. When he saw Peter and John, he expected from them alms as usual. He wanted money but what he needed was the healing power in the name of Jesus. He never knew that through Peter and John, his life could be changed forever so he wanted the wrong thing from them.
Acts 3:4-7 says, “And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’ So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’ And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength” (New King James Version).
Do you know what you want? Is what you want what you need? Blind Bartimaeus knew what he wanted, and what he wanted was what he needed. He didn’t ask for alms from Jesus even if he had been asking others for alms before then. He must have heard about the miracles of Jesus and acknowledged that he wasn’t born to beg for alms. It was an affliction that turned him into a beggar!
So when he heard that Jesus was passing through where he was seated, he began to cry out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:48). Although many people warned him to be quiet; he shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus sent for him and when he came, He asked him a straightforward question: What do you want Me to do for you? (Verse 51). As if Bartimaeus had been expecting the question, he answered clearly, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” He knew what he wanted, and it was what he needed. He didn’t make a wrong request. Not everyone would have made the right request.
Verse 52 says, “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road” (New King James Version). There is a similar story in Luke 18:35-43. You won’t miss a great opportunity to make the right request in Jesus’ name.
What do you want? In Nehemiah 2, the terrible condition of Jerusalem was a burden to Nehemiah. The wall of the city had been torn down and the gates burnt. He desired to go and fix the problem but that would only be possible with the approval of the king, his boss. When he had the opportunity to open up to the king at his (king’s) request about why he looked sad, he made the right requests. “Then the king said to me, ‘What do you want?’” (Nehemiah 2:4a New Century Version). The New King James Version says, “Then the king said to me, ‘What do you request?’”
Probably this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. What did Nehemiah do? Nehemiah 2:4b says, “So I prayed to the God of heaven” New King James Version). He couldn’t afford to mess up the opportunity. You, too, need to pray so that you won’t make a wrong request or make the right request in the wrong way. Don’t be wise in your eyes. Proverbs 3:5-7 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil” (New King James Version).
Because Nehemiah prayed to God, he made specific requests, and the king granted them (Nehemiah 2:5-8). And his requests centred on what would help him to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, which was the cause of his sadness that the king noticed. Nehemiah said in verse 8b that because the gracious hand of his God was upon him, the king granted his requests. When you have an opportunity to make a request, make sure that you pray to God. It may not be a long prayer. Don’t assume you know what you want; you may know it but it may not be what you need. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).
In 1 Kings 3:5-15, the LORD told Solomon, in a dream by night at Gibeon, to ask for whatever he wanted Him to give him (verse 5). Solomon was clear about what he wanted, which was what he needed. He asked God to give him an understanding heart to judge His people so that he might discern between good and evil (verse 9). Not everyone would have asked what Solomon asked from God.
God was pleased that he made the right request and He gave him more than what he asked for. “Then God said to him: Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days” (verses 11-14 New King James Version).
What do you want? In your relationship with God, especially in your prayers, you need to make the right requests. Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (New King James Version). But the Bible also says in James 4:3 that some people ask and do not receive, because they ask amiss or ask with wrong motives, that they may spend it on their pleasures.
What do you want? In your interactions with people, you will sometimes be faced with this question. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to make the right requests in the right way. Some people mess up such opportunities, which they later regret. That won’t be your story in Jesus’ name. What do you want?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to make the best use of every opportunity before you and man to make the right requests in the right way. Let me not mess up or waste my opportunities and be regretting later. Help me not to ask amiss in prayer. Guide me always to answer correctly the question “What do you want?” Let what I want, be what I need in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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