My dad would sit up in bed in the middle of the night and shout out something he wanted. “I’m hungry!” he would cry out, or “I’m hot!” Since he was deaf, he couldn’t hear me answer that I was coming; so he would just repeat it over and over, louder, until I dragged myself out of bed to see to his needs.
One morning, after I had gone to bed again, I woke up laughing by a funny dream. In His gentle mercy, God made it clear to me that I behaved like that toward Him sometimes. I had gotten into the bad habit of just asking for things—good and wholesome things, mind you, but just calling out what I wanted. I too had become a “need monster.”
God desires us to lean on Him for every care, but He doesn’t want us to forget Who He is. We are to approach Him like a child, but a respectful one, a loving one. We are to enter his courts with praise, bring our petitions to Him, and trust Him absolutely to provide them. We must not forget that God has feelings too. We would feel taken for granted by a child who simply barked needs at us, and so does God. He wants us to know Him, seek Him, treat Him with courtesy, appreciate Him, and praise Him. After all, isn’t He worth it?
“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:1-5)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)