I couldn't sleep much the other night after about 11 pm. I thought about Jesus asking people, "What do you want Me to do for you?" I thought about Him saying to ask anything in His Name and He would do it. I thought about how He talked about being persistent in asking, and to ask, seek, and knock. (John 14:14, Luke 18:1-8, Luke 11:5-10).
I often ask Him, "What do You want me to do for You?" But that night He was asking me what I wanted Him to do for me. Feeling there was more to the question, I asked why He was asking me that. What I realized, is that what you ask for, especially what you are persistent in, reveals a lot about your motives and your heart. When you ask for things you desire, you reveal what's in your heart. So the question is, what do you want?
Is it money, food, or clothes? Is it wisdom, guidance, or discernment? Is it to be like Him, to be patient, kind, good, or holy? Is it for loved ones or friends or co-workers or cities or nations or churches?
Who do you need Him to be?
Who do you want Him to be?
Ask anything. Ask sincerely. Because if you just ask for what you think you're "supposed" to be asking for, then you're not revealing your heart. God already knows your heart, but you need to know your heart. Asking Him for whatever it is you want Him to do for you will reveal that. It reveals it to you.
Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying it's wrong to ask for your needs to be met, or for things for yourself, but there is a growth process we go through which can be explained in three levels.
Level 1--Is when you ask for things you need like a newborn babe does. A baby cries when he needs something--when he's hungry or hurting. In the same way, we cry out to God and ask for a lot of things when we are new to His kingdom. Of course, as you mature it's not wrong to ask for things, but a newborn only thinks of himself and what he needs at the moment. It's not wrong. It's just where his level of growth is.
Level 2--Is when we grow and begin to appreciate our heavenly Father's love and goodness. We feel thankful and in response to His love want to repay Him. We begin to worship. We listen for His voice and want to obey His commands. We ask what we can do for Him. His love has so filled our heart that we begin to look for others to spread this love too. This is a good thing. But this is also a level where pride can begin to set in. As we grow we may begin to think we don't need Him as much. That we've "figured out" the Christian life and can handle things just fine. We don't want to appear "needy" we want to represent ourselves like mature men and women of God! However, if this continues, our walk with Him can become routine making our work for Him seem dull. We become busy, even busy doing things for Him, and don't spend as much time in prayer, or asking for His guidance or help. We've left our first love. To get out of this, we have to go to level three.
Level 3--Is when we want to know Him and be like Him. We want to share His heart, to hang out with Him, to get to know Him intimately. We want to love what He loves, and hate what He hates. We want our taste to be like His. We want to view and discern and judge things like He does. We want to be about the Father's business because we know and understand why.
I would also add, that at this level when the Lord asks, "What do you want Me to do for you?" We hear Him and respond with a new level of maturity. We don't ask selfishly for just our own needs from our own perspective, and we don't say, "I don't need You. I don't want to bother You with petty things, I got it from here." We ask. We don't outgrow asking. But we ask for things that are closer to His heart and desires. We ask for things from His perspective, from His heart because His heart is now ours. We are one with Him, filled with His Spirit. We're not pretending either. It's sincere. It's from the heart.
I once had a dream where someone was knocking on the front door. I went over to it and instead of opening it, I knocked back. For years I prayed about the meaning of this dream. I thought it had something to do with someone coming to me for help and instead of opening up to them, I knocked back, or asked for help from them. I thought the Lord might be telling me I was being selfish, yet I never felt that was the right interpretation. Now, I'm thinking this is the Lord knocking on my door. He is coming to ask me, "What do you want Me to do for you?" But instead of opening up and telling Him--asking Him for what I want, I knocked back which is like saying, "No, Jesus, I don't want You to do for me, I want to do for You!" This may sound commendable, but we need to admit that we need Him. That we can't live right without Him. And we need to see what has filled our heart.
Jesus gives us an example of what it is to be a servant. He said If you want to be great, then be a servant of all (Matthew 20:25-28). He gave us the greatest example by dying for us. Peter didn't want Jesus to wash his feet, but Jesus told him if you don't let Me wash your feet then you have no place with Me (John 13:5-9). Peter changed his mind quickly! He didn't like the idea of Jesus serving him, but Jesus was setting an example. We should never think of ourselves as greater than one another, and the best expression of that is to serve one another (John 13:12-17). Jesus was showing us that He too, served One greater than Himself, and when the Father asked Him to serve us, He didn't hesitate.
So when Jesus asks us the question, like He did the blind men (Mark 10:46-52), "What do you want Me to do for you?" He is acknowledging that He was sent from the Father to reconcile God and man. Even He submits to the Father, and we should too. By allowing Him to do for us, we are admitting that we are not the "Most High." We are not super-Christian who can heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons all by ourselves without His help. When we ask the Father in Jesus' Name, we are acknowledging that He is greater than us. We need something from Him. He has so much to give us. It is humbling to ask.
So when the Lord asks you what you want Him to do for you, first of all don't assume that means there is something wrong in your heart! He may just simply want to do something awesome for you today because He loves you. But still, search your heart and answer sincerely. Examine your motives, not to beat yourself up if you don't appear to be completely selfless, but to identify where you are at the moment. You just might need to clear your schedule for the day and hang out with the Lord instead, your first love!