What is ‘the thing you want the most?’


            And he said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; ‘for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?  I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.  So I say to you ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11: 5-10.)



            During the days of our Lord, there were no phones, no text messages, and no emails; there weren’t even telegraph machines.  Scary, isn’t it?  This made it impossible to prepare for someone’s arrival from a distant place.  There was no way to call your family or friends in a different town to let them know you would be dropping by.  Many guests and visitors simply showed up unannounced.  First century Middle Eastern culture was one of extreme hospitality.  There were very few ‘hotels’ because it was desirable to take guests and strangers in to one’s home.  Commonly, travelers would simply go to a public place, and wait until someone invited them in to their home for the evening.  If you were lucky enough to have a guest in your home, you were required to take care of them like they were your own family.  A visitor was the responsibility of those who were hosting them; they provided food, shelter, and protection.  To be without food to set before a guest was a very serious dishonor.

            The average first century Jew was not wealthy.  A Jewish home consisted of one main room, in which everyone in the household slept.  Fathers, children, in-laws, and even important livestock were gathered together in this room, and the door was locked until morning.  To knock at a man’s door at midnight would rouse an entire household from a previously settled state of sleep.  This was no minor inconvenience, which is why the man refused the initial request for bread.  The one knocking received the bread he asked for, simply because he refused to take ‘no for an answer.’  Jesus is using this illustration to bring to light the necessity for persistence in prayer, and diligence in tirelessly seeking God.  The Lord is also drawing a parallel between Godly desires and worldly desires.  A man sought after bread with such fervor he was willing to forgo manners and etiquette and wake up an entire household to get it; he ‘refused to take no for an answer.’  This is paralleled with the hunger to satisfy the need for God’s Spirit in the lives of those who desire it.  How many people seek after God Zealously?  How many people would put the need to satisfy their hearts with God above the need to satisfy their stomachs with food?  Those who seek God are seeking what is most important. 

            In the movie, ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean,’ there is an interesting Pirate named ‘Captain Jack Sparrow;’ this captain possesses what appears to be a broken compass.  The compass doesn’t point North, South, East or West, but instead point’s to the thing the person holding it wants the most.  For instance, a pirate holding the compass might be lead toward some buried treasure, if that is what they desired the most.  A person who desired property might be lead to a new home.  A person who desired beauty might be lead to a beautiful man or woman to marry.  The number of things to desire and seek after is seemingly endless.  How many though, would hold the compass and be pointed toward God?  How many would find that in their hearts God was ‘the thing they wanted most’?

            Today, the majority of people in this world are not seeking God first; most don’t even have God on their ‘top ten list of things to chase after.’  If they were holding ‘Jack’s magic compass’ it would point them to a woman or man; a job; a car; a drug; a home; a family; the list could go on forever.  What is God’s greatest desire?  God desires to be the number one thing in each person’s heart.  He wants to be ‘the thing you want the most.’  He gave His only Son on a cross to make that possible.  Commonly, many people profess to be seeking God, but are more concerned with a job, or a relationship, or a lifestyle.  Many start off seeking God, but after the road becomes difficult, they replace their want for Him with a want for something fleshly.  The question is, to what length are you willing to go?  Are you a person who would knock on your neighbor’s door, but who has stopped knocking on God’s door?  Are worldly things more important to you than Godly things, or are you willing to make God ‘the thing you want the most’?  Today, you have the chance to search your heart, and to make sure that your compass is leading you toward eternal life with Christ.  May the Lord help you in your search?     

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we ask and pray that You would open Your door to us and give us Your Holy Spirit.  Father we’re standing at the door and we’re not walking away, not until You give us what we ask for.  Give us patience, endurance, and persistence to follow Your Son, and to finish the race that we have started.  Help us to not be divided, and help us to search our hearts, so that we may see and know what we are truly seeking.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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