The one thing that really matters? Honestly, I don’t know. I have a thousand and one things in mind, probably even a million and one things, and I can’t decide which one I’d ask God if I get to meet him face-to-face. Probably be much less busy or have lots of money? Some may ask, why not ask something for your ministry since you’re a minister? Why money? Well, ministry needs lots of money.
To be sure, we can ask all we want from God when we’re face-to-face with him, and we are always “face-to-face” with God in Christ. In short, we can always go directly to him, face-to-face, as it were, in spirit. And God will answer us directly if Christ is in us.
But what if you actually come face-to-face physically with God and he lets you one instantly answered prayer—just one. What would you ask?
Job Wanted His Case Settled
Remember Job? The righteous guy in the bible who innocently suffered a lot of pain because Satan tested him? Well, he said if he knew where God resided, he’d go there and “state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments,” [Job 23]. That was his urgent concern—know what’s exactly happening, why he was being punished unjustly.
Perhaps, we too are suffering unjustly in someone’s hands and we’re wondering why God just allows it. Doesn’t he rescue the oppressed? If we come face-to-face with God we’d probably try to get to the bottom of it, too, as Job did. We won’t ask for blessings or for the salvation of other people. We’d ask why we’re getting this treatment.
But you know what happened when he finally faced God? He was dumbfounded.
“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer—twice, but I will say no more…Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know...[40 and 42].
We think we have all the reasons in the world to complain, but it’s different when God confronts you about them. So, what’s the one thing you’d ask or tell God if you face him physically?
Jeremiah was More Upfront
One time when he had the chance to talk with God, Jeremiah the prophet had two urgent requests among others:
- Remember me and care for me.
- Avenge me on my persecutors.
The first one was rather selfish. The second one was too vengeful. You can hardly say these requests were spiritual. We’d have expected something selfless, altruistic and godly from a guy like Jeremiah.
Not only that. Later he had the temerity to tell God frankly what he felt about him: “Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? You are to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails,” [Jeremiah 15]. Imagine saying that to God, and you’re his prophet.
If I have a chance to talk to God like that I’d probably say nothing but good things about him, not something like “you are a deceptive brook, a spring that fails.” But then, we must understand that Jeremiah went through terrible tests and persecutions, and his hardships were such that he even blamed his mother about him being born in this world. Reading this passage, I realized how it’s possible to stay bitter even if you were face-to-face with a holy, compassionate and loving God.
Would you tell God the same things Jeremiah said if you also suffered terrible bitterness?
Moses Had a One-Track Mind
But Moses was different. After his rich experiences and encounters with God (God always talked with him face-to-face), you’d think he’d ask God for something else other than seeing him face-to-face. I’d probably ask God to simply zap our enemies to instantly eliminate them all. No need to fight against them. Or, ask God to teleport us to the Promise Land pronto so we wouldn’t have to walk all those distances on a hot desert land.
But nope. Moses had one request—“Now, show me your glory,” [Exodus 33.18]. Unbelievable. Had he not seen all God’s glory when they talked face-to-face on Mt Sinai and in the Tent of Meeting? Had he not seen the pillar of cloud and fire? What was he talking about God showing his glory? What more did he want?
Moses had only one thing in his heart—to see more of God, in ever-increasing glory. Period. No matter what the pressing needs of the day were—especially while he led a nation of stiff-necked people and all around them were strong enemies who wanted them demolished—he still wanted to see God more. He didn’t ask for leadership skills, more tamed or submissive people, more supportive leaders, a bigger ministry, a huge ministry building, more powers, more weapons, “air support” from angels, more money, promotion, higher salary or more inheritance in the Promise Land. He simply wanted more of God.
However, notwithstanding his ardent desire for God, he was barred by God from entering the Promise Land in the end. God only allowed him to see it from a distance.
Perhaps you are like Moses—all you want is God. But then God throws you out in the end. When you’re face-to-face with God, it’s not your desire that matters. It’s your obedience.
David Wanted Only One Thing
David and Moses were somewhat similar. They both wanted only God. David’s desire is summed up in this passage:
One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
The result? David became the ancestor of Jesus. Imagine having the Messiah as your descendant. It was all by God’s grace, for sure, but being “a man after God’s own heart” [Acts 13.22] and backing that up with obedience (“he will do everything I want him to do”) would no doubt result to favor.
What One Thing Does God Want from Us Today?
You’ve probably figured out what one thing to ask God if you were to face him physically today. But how about God? What one thing does he want from us today? Have you thought about this?
The answer is closely related to the one thing that matters to God in this century, or in 2017 and the years ahead. Do you know what God is actually busy with these days? (Well, God has been resting since creation was finished. He’s just fixing some things here and there for a final grand act. To be sure, he is less busy these days 😀 ).
To see the one thing that God is doing these days, my e-book, “The Last Move of God in These End Times” will help you get a glimpse through bible principles and Scriptural precedents. It’s definitely a good way of spending time when you are less busy with life.