Friday, August 5, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Why we should ask God for what we want

What Do You Want?
A devotional by Chaplain Paul Anderson

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” 
–Psalm 27:4 (ESV)

One of the salient questions of life is, “What do you want?”

The fulfillment of that question elicits dialogue and occasionally, negotiations. The question implies explicit trust in the relationship between the one asking and the one being asked.

For birthdays, Christmas and rites of passage, the question is always asked, “What do you want?” The answer considers expectations and future realities. The answer is also an assessment of the ability and willingness of the benefactor.

When my children were young the answer was usually a doll, roller skates, video games and/or a bicycle. When they began to drive, they envisioned and tested my ability to provide them with cars that would enhance and not detract from their self-image. When they got married, they had very concrete expectations about their wedding and reception.

When her parents balked at getting her a dog, one of my granddaughters asked my wife and I to provide her with a dog that she could visit, at our house. We asked, “What kind of dog do you want?” She is still thinking about it. Maybe she has forgotten.

Psalm 27 is a song of David that expresses confidence in the power, presence and compassionate interference of Divinity on behalf of the shepherd who became king. The audacity of the psalmist, in this verse, is based upon former assurances of God’s covering when he had slain a lion, a bear and a giant. In this verse, he pronounces his sole desire to dwell in the house of the Lord. This phrase is a familiar refrain from Psalm 23.

The house of the Lord, here mentioned, is not a place in space as much as it is an attitude of worship. It is a state of being, a construction of the soul rather than an external monument. Psalm 22:3 declares that God inhabits, occupies, abides in and relishes the worshipful praises of His people, who are Israel. This declaration includes the genetic descendants of Israel as well as those who are engrafted by Christian faith.

So, the answer to the salient question, “What do you want?” is to be gifted with a perpetual attitude of gratitude. An attitude of gratitude will always elevate the person praising God from danger to deliverance, from insufficiency to more than enough. An attitude of gratitude always delivers us from evil and out of temptation, to the table of grace and beneficence.

The psalmist, knowing this spiritual hack, shares the key code to the attitude of gratitude, the house of the Lord. It is in the next phrase in Psalm 27:4: “…to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”

Romans 1:20 suggests that the character of God is made evident and visible in the things that He created. Nature is a photograph of the presence of God and it inspires praise and worship, which constructs His temple.

So, the sole desire of the psalmist was to worship God by focusing on nature, divine interventions and epiphanies of God’s presence. Out of that awareness and devotion to destiny flowed all of the blessings that David experienced. Long life, opulence, security and legacy encompass all of the things that we average humans might want.

As you think about your answer to that salient question, “What do you want?”, consider basing your ask on appreciative reflections upon what God has already done for you. Then, cast your sanctified vision upon the Lord, believing that He who made the rose, the eagle, the lion and the wonders of the world, believes in you and can engineer your dreams. See it! Believe it! Sing it! Do your part to live faithfully in pursuit of it.

A friend and mentor once told me, “The hand of God never points where His hand has not already made a way.” Celebrate the hand of God as it becomes apparent in giving you the desires of your heart.

Let’s Pray: Greetings, dear God. Please bless the reader of this page today. Hear and receive their praise reports. Direct their attention to something beautiful or awesome in nature. Then, dear God, usher them into your wondrous presence as You fulfill your plan for their lives. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Psalm 27” by Donnie McClurkin. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Chaplain Anderson served for 20 years as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. Over 26 years of active duty, he was promoted through the ranks from Seaman Apprentice (E2) to his final rank as Commander (O5) in the Chaplain’s Corps. 

Prior to his Naval career, Chaplain Anderson pastored in the Allegheny East and Potomac Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. His undergraduate preparation for ministry was completed at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md.

He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in Michigan, a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland and a Masters of Sacred Theology in Religion and Culture from Boston University. His Doctor of Ministry degree was conferred by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Chaplain Anderson also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds certifications in Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Civil Mediation, Alternative Workplace Dispute Resolution, Temperament Analysis, Marriage Enrichment, Workforce Diversity, and is a certified Life Coach.

You may connect with Chaplain Anderson via email at this address,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.