What Do You Want…Really? 3 Important Truths for Desperate Leaders
“Get the ball!” he shouted at the top of his lungs from the bleachers. “You’ve got to want it. REALLY want it!”
Frankly, I was pretty frustrated with this father, who had been shouting this same same mantra to his daughter throughout the entire event. And now as a tangle of seventh grade girls struggled to get the basketball from one another at the end of a very close game, the intensity of his “encouragement” elevated to a whole new level.
However, even in my frustration, I understood the power of his statement. It is true: our human desires do impact outcomes.
The Blind Man’s Desire
Bartimaeus was a man with a great desire. Told in Mark 10:46-52, his story is one of a blind man who absolutely knew what he really wanted—and He believed with all his heart that Jesus could help him.
Think of all the noise of the crowds following Jesus along the road! It must have seemed impossible for a blind man to get anyone’s attention – much less Jesus, the highly sought out Miracle Worker. But his desire was so great!
Bartimaeus cried out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” People told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more. You see, Bartimaeus had something he really wanted.
His cries paid off! Jesus heard him and said, “Call him.” The disciples called to the blind man and said, “Cheer up; On your feet! He’s calling you.”
The blind man immediately threw off his cloak and ran to meet Jesus.
Then right there on the road, in the middle of all the crowds and chaos, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Without hesitation, Bartimaeus revealed the deepest desire of his heart. “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”
Face-to-Face with Jesus
Can you imagine what it must have felt like for Bartimaeus to stand face-to-face with Jesus as He asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”
What would it would feel like if He asked you that same question today?
The truth is, Jesus knows the desires of your heart, as surely as He knew that Bartimaeus wanted to see. And the Scriptures tell us that as we align our desires with His, He is willing and able to bring us complete and total satisfaction.
In Psalm 37:4, we read, “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart’s desires.”
From Bartimaeus, we learn three important lessons about bringing our desires to Jesus. We must:
1. Throw off anything that hinders us.
Some believe that the cloak may have been all that Bartimaeus had. Perhaps there were pockets in the cloak where he had all the money that he had collected, but he threw it off and ran to Jesus.
Oh to be like Bartimaeus! So often we are tempted to hold onto our own dreams, possessions, accomplishments or even our hurts and fears – but the reality is these only serve to weigh us down. If we want to get off the side of the road, we’ve got to be willing throw off anything that’s holding us back from meeting Jesus face-to-face.
Questions to ponder:
- What’s getting in the way of you meeting Jesus face-to-face?
- What fears, pride-filled attitudes, hurts or selfish ambitions do you need to let go of today so that you can run full-speed to Him
2. Recognize and articulate the deepest desires of our hearts.
I love that Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted. Wasn’t the answer obvious?!
And yet, sometimes we are so focused on our immediate physical and emotional needs that we squelch the underlying desires buried deep down inside of our hearts. I believe Bartimaeus’ answer communicated far more than a wish to view the world around Him. He wanted to see – and to be seen. He wanted to look in the face of the Messiah, and for his eyes to be opened to new possibilities and the adventure awaiting him.
I don’t know about you, but there are so many things I want. I want to spend more time with my kids, and with my grandkids. I want Lead Like Jesus to thrive and my team to feel loved and appreciated. I want to feel settled in my new home.
But deep down, what I really, really want is to see more of Jesus. I want to know Him more intimately and to become more like Him. I want to see the world as He sees it, to love others as He loves them.
Questions to ponder:
- What do you want for Jesus to do for you today…? really?
- What do you need to make you the most effective, impactful leader that you were created to be?
- What would it take to nourish your soul and to bring you true, lasting joy?
3. Follow the One Who gives us sight.
Once Bartimaeus was healed, he wasn’t about to go back to living as a poor, begging blind man. Instead, he immediately walked away from his past, following in the footsteps of the One Who gave him sight.
Like Bartimaeus, I don’t want to settle for sitting by the road, stymied by my inadequacies while trying to do things on my own. I have been healed! I have been set free! I am eagerly following in Jesus’ footsteps, anxious to see where He leads me.
Questions to ponder:
- Who is taking the lead in your life? Are you following in Jesus’ footsteps, or are you still sitting by the side of the road?
- Where is Jesus leading you? What steps can you take today to walk down that road?
A Desire That Can’t Be Squelched
As abrasive as that basketball dad might have been, his message rings true for all of us. Do you want to see meaningful change in your life and leadership? You’ve got to want it. REALLY want it!
Bartimaeus had a strong desire; it was strong enough to go against the crowd to see if Jesus would help him attain it. It was strong enough to throw off everything he had to have the opportunity to have his desire met. It was strong enough to stand face-to-face with Jesus so he could tell Him what he wanted most. He had a desire that could not be squelched.
Have you ever found yourself in this place in your leadership roles? You have a desire for your family to thrive spiritually and emotionally. You have a desire for your ministry, business, or church to grow, and impact the world. But you find yourself getting nowhere fast.
Like Bartimaeus, we all come to a personal crossroad. As we throw off everything else and get honest, we can come to Jesus and hear His question.
“What would you like for me to do for you?”
Lord, help me to see…truly see. Help me to know you more, and to see the world as You see it. I want to follow Your lead today. Amen.
Written by: Phyllis Hennecy Hendry
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