"For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." -Matthew 7:8
Often times, we get distracted with what we want and forget about the things that we need. There is an undying list of things that we all want. I don't know how many of you are readers, but I am, and one thing that I have noticed is that I am never satisfied with the amount of books I have read. I am always wanting to read more and more and my reading list just keeps getting longer and longer. This is just an example of how the things that we want can become such an overwhelming number that we forget about the things that we genuinely need.
What do we need? What are the bare necessities of life? The ultimate thing that we need, as I am sure you have guessed by now, is God. Without God we would have no life, no salvation, nothing. We need these things in order for our souls to live. In fact, the entire Bible is about helping us get to eternal life. If God, the creator of the universe, wrote a book and gave it to everyone He created and told them to tell everyone they could, do you think that book would probably be necessary? Most definitely. That is why it is important for us to study His word daily and make sure we understand not only God and what He has done for us, but our spiritual needs as well. Our primary need is God and the salvation that He brings through His son which we find in baptism as we see in Mark 16:16 and so many other passages.
Our secondary need is our life here on earth. We need things like food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. We should seek out these things but not as much as our spirituality. Is a job more important than Sunday morning services? Is eating so important that you need to skip church so you can prepare a meal for people coming over after worship? Philippians 4:6 says, "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God." This reminds me of Mary and Martha, who were both presented with the opportunity to learn more about Christ our savior, and while one did, the other found it more important to be a home maker. While both of these things are important, it is far more important to serve our Lord than our house.
Our third needs aren't really needs at all, but are more like wants. These are things like those really cute shoes you want SO MUCH, or Ben & Jerry's brand ice-cream (that stuff is the bomb) or anything that we could really live without. These things, if not treated properly, can be distractions for what our main priority should be.
So what does any of this have to do with asking God for what we need? Well, often times we can be dishonest with ourselves and we ask for things that can harm our faith rather than increase it. Sometimes we can become selfish and instead of asking for forgiveness we ask for that cute guy to notice us. There's nothing wrong with asking for things other than salvation, but we have to look at where our priorities lie before we ask. But we shouldn't forget to ask for these things daily. God wants us to ask him for things. We just need to be asking the right questions.
What are your priorities? What do you ask for when you pray? Are you asking for the right things? Are you knocking at the door? Today I'd like to encourage you all to ask yourself these questions and maybe rethink what your goals are. Are they to increase your faith? Or increase the things of this earth?