The Truest Desire
For those who have seen the movie Aladdin, we always dreamed of finding a magic lamp with a genie inside with the voice of Robin Williams who would give us three wishes. Whatever we wanted, it was ours. It might be traveling the world or endless money or world peace. Personally, I would ask for an infinite number of wishes (some might consider this cheating the system; you would not be wrong). Whatever you would ask for, the idea of asking and receiving your heart’s desire on the spot is exhilarating. It is the epitome of our culture’s obsession with instant gratification. One might think that this scenario is too good to be true and you would be half right. Since magic lamps and genies don’t exist, this whole scenario is false. But there is a superior alternative that is very much true, but it comes with a catch. And it’s not even really a catch, but an infinite enhancement.
Jesus says to his disciples in John 15:7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” We have a tendency to ignore the first half of the verse and focus on the second half. Our eyes light up and our brains start short circuiting with the thought of “ask whatever you wish, and it will be done”. It’s as if Jesus is the greater Robin Williams-era genie! No longer are we limited to just three wishes; we can ask to our heart’s desire. That means more money, bigger houses, unlimited travel, and a lifetime supply of Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks! Not quite though. It’s a dangerous thing to take biblical passages out of context. Just because part of a text sounds enticing doesn’t mean it means what you want it to mean. You know what I mean? You can’t have the second part of this passage without the first part.
God knows the temptations of the world; Jesus experienced them first hand. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest (Jesus), who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” We need help in knowing what to ask for. Sure wealth and riches seem great but are they really what’s best for us? God knows what’s best for us and when we are in union with him, our hearts become transformed to his desires and not our own. No longer do we seek the things of the world, but the treasures of heaven. Our hearts turn outward instead of inward. Remember what Aladdin’s wishes were? Spoiler alert: He wanted to become a prince to impress the girl of his dreams. That royally backfired (pun intended). Then he needed saving from drowning. After coming to his senses, he realizes that his inward desires brought nothing but a fake reality. His last wish turns outward, towards others, and he sets the genie free. There are a lot of things we want, but few of those things we actually require. What we really need is to remain in Jesus and from there, our wants and desires will reach their truest form.