Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him:
Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
because your prayer has been heard.
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
and you will name him John
It was about 3 am and I was sitting on the couch in my living room with a laptop in my hands. I was sweating. The e-bay “buy it now” button seemed to call my name as the bid clock continue to wind down. I knew that if I waited to the last minute, the bid amounts would begin to jump and I might be out of the race. So I did what any crazed Jeep-loving guy would do. I clicked the “buy it now” button. It was a mid-1970’s CJ soft top with round head lights and a fold-down windshield. It’s what I always wanted.
But have you noticed, getting what you want is never like getting what gives purpose?
Consider the disconnect between want and purpose. Paul wrote, “I speak not from want for I’ve learned to be content in all circumstances.” He had learned that his superficial wants were purposeless in advancing God’s kingdom. Yet, we know that God plants desires in our heart for some things (that we then want) and it prompts us to then pray, to ask Him for them. What happens then?
It seems to me there are three outcomes when we want something. We go get it. We never get it. Or God gives it. The things we want and then go out and get usually bear no greater purpose in life than the superficial desire that led us to go get them. Yeah. My Jeep was certainly one of those. Those “gets” don’t fulfill any deeper purpose. But when we can’t get them (or restrain ourselves from doing so) and then God gives it to us, we should look for and consider that there’s a greater purpose than some shallow want that led us to pray for it.
God doesn’t give things to us because we want them. He gives them to us because He wants them.
He always has purpose in His giving.
Elizabeth was barren and she and John had prayed for a child. Did they want one? Certainly. And like any person or couple who prays for something they want, there’s a decision to be made when they get it. Simply, be grateful and go on or seek God for purpose in the gift.
The angel told Zechariah that his prayer had been heard, but Elizabeth’s pregnancy wasn’t just an answer to a desirous prayer. It was also the purpose of God. He was preparing the way for the coming of His Son and John would be integral to the process.
The next time you want something, just stop. Pray and let God in on the decision. Then, if you get it, consider that it’s not just something you wanted. It’s something He wanted and that He wanted it for a purpose.