"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus," Ephesians 2:6
"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God." Colossians 3:1
So yesterday I talked about how it's simply not sinful to ask God for blessings and promises, and I realized later in the day that maybe that post didn't go quite far enough. I don't want anyone to think that life and seeking God is all about our Heavenly Father being a giant gumball machine or a giant slot machine, where you ask for what you want and then wait for Him to spit it out. God's definitely not like that. And I also wasn't talking about asking God for...well, material posessions, though there are places for that, and the Bible does say that God wants to give us the desires of our hearts.
"Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 47:4
But here's the thing. The more we spend time with God, the more we spend time seeking His face and His goodness, the more the desires of our heart shift into being the desires of God's heart for us. It just happens. I have long had a desire in my heart to live out in the country, to have the ability to homestead and try to do as much as we can on our own. God knows me, He knows my heart, and yet a few years ago when it was time to relocate, God didn't take us to a country property where we could do whatever we want. He brought us smack dab into a city that needs Him. He put us right in the heart of a neighborhood that needs Jesus. This past winter when we were having troubles meeting our rent obligations, I wondered if maybe we were done here already. And then I instantly thought of all our neighbors and thought that we haven't had enough time yet to make that eternal impact. God put us here for a reason, and my heart's desire is not for the homesteading property in the country- it's a hearts desire to stay right where God planted us until we have accomplished His goals for this neighborhood.
That change of heart comes from spending time with Him. When I look at the verse above from Ephesians, it blows my mind to really read it and digest it. Because according to that verse, when I committed to serving Christ with all my heart, I was raised up to sit with Jesus. And then we go further and look at this verse from Colossians. So there we are, saved and raised with Christ, so our focus should be where we are- on the things above. Our focus should be on the heart of the Father and what He would have for us. It's absolutely amazing to think of that.
The heart of the Father is for us, His sons and daughters, to realize that all His promises in the Bible really are for us. The "things" that I spoke of yesterday. God isn't a giant slot machine, where we put our time in and out pops something that we want. God is about relationship. When we spend time with Him- by digging into our Bibles, by praying, by spending that quiet time- we draw closer to Him. We get to know Him better, and then we give Him opportunity to take that closeness further. And it is then that we see the desires of our heart realized. Because the desires of our heart become His desires for our heart.
It's all about relationship. I'm not going to sit here for days and hours and pray for God to send me a camper, or a boat, or a million dollars. Would those things be nice? Sure thing! And while I am certainly believing that God always knows what bills need to be paid and the provision will be there for that very thing, I want what God wants for us. Maybe someday He will bless us with a million dollars. We've certainly made enough dreams and plans for the future that those funds could go far in realizing. But you know, if those dreams and ideas never come to fruition in this lifetime, that's perfectly okay, because I have something better. I have a relationship with my Heavenly Father, who sees me sitting right there next to my brother Jesus, and has also given me a wonderful relationship with the Holy Spirit, who will help keep me out of trouble and keep me on the right path.
And I want what God wants.