Matthew 7:7--8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. This week our sales director Wendy and I traveled to Las Vegas to see if the market was a suitable fit for our products. I’d never been to Vegas and was admittedly a bit gun shy about entering into a place affectionately called “Sin City.” I was overwhelmed, as we stepped off the airline - all the slot machines, cruising along the ’strip’ to our vast hotel, our massive hotel with a fully outfitted casino. Wendy (my partner in crime) had been to Vegas before. She announced that we each had $100 to gamble. She started at the War table - I loved that game as a child - the highest card wins until you have the same cards, then you go to war! On a winning streak, we moved to black jack tables. Are you picturing this? The ‘angel’ artist right in the middle of the gambling scene? I learned a lot about the rules of the game. You cannot touch your cards (nor your chips for that matter). I accidentally put down the wrong amount on the chip and couldn’t take it back. Thankfully, I won that hand! And the adrenaline kicked in. I walked away after winning $800 and said ‘enough’. Of course I will be tithing that money! It was a fun experience for us, but it also brought up some interesting parallels for me when it comes to our spiritual bank accounts and wagers. Sometimes I think we’re guilty of treating the Lord like a Robin Williams-voiced cartoon genie. “And for my next desire, I would like a job making hundreds of thousands of dollars, enough money to stop worrying about it, annnnnd thanks for the other stuff you’ll give me too.” Have you ever been to the doctor for a common cold? Sniffling, sneezing, sore throat, scratchy eyes… the typical complaints, only to find out that you’re actually dealing with a more intense infection that’s giving the same symptoms? Our requests for these often extraneous and superficial wants from God, are only a symptom of a deeper spiritual need. If the desire is more money, the base need is trust in our ultimate Provider, for example. Wanting things isn’t bad. It really isn’t. But wanting them without recognizing our true need sells our faith, and our Father, short. I’ve had the privilege of working with ministries that the aid the homeless, a cause dear to my heart. What I’m always struck by is how grateful these homeless people are for the most basic needs. They are in positions of such distress and despair that their needs and their wants are one and the same. They have the unique perspective of knowing how to express the deepest needs of their hearts. My prayer is for the Holy Spirit to intercede in my heart and show me the root of my needs, not only the wants. I am so grateful for a God who wants to hear both my wants and needs and grant me immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine. What are the wants that you are praying for, and what are the needs they indicate?