My desire is to have a horse, but how do I know if it is God's will for me? Leigha Cross, Barton, Utah
Some people might want a new Sony PlayStation. Other people may want a very rare Pokémon card. And some of us (like me) just want a shiny new shovel that will dig faster than our old one. But every one of us wants something. How do we know if it is God's will for us to get what we want?
The first thing we should do is ask God for the things we want. In Matthew 7:7, Jesus said: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door shall be opened to you." If we truly desire something, the first thing we must do is ask God for it.
However, you and I both know that we do not always get everything we ask for. Why not? One reason is that sometimes we do not put God first in our lives. Jesus told us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). We must put God first in our lives if we expect Him to answer our prayers.
Another reason we don't always get what we request is because we sometimes ask out of selfish reasons. In James 4:3 we read: "You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures." Before we ask God for anything, we should ask ourselves what we are going to do with the things God gives us. Will we share with others, or will we be stingy and keep them to ourselves?
Finally, sometimes we put God first, and we ask intending to share with others, but we still do not receive what we want, because God knows what is best for us. The apostle Paul had a serious physical problem of some kind. He asked God three times to fix his problem, but God never did (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). God said it was best for Paul not to be healed. God knew what was best, even though Paul may not have understood it at the time.
So if you want something from God, put Him first in your life, put others' needs before your own, and keep asking Him. If it is best for you, then God will give you what you desire.