We say, “That you would,” much more than we say, “That I would.”
We have a stray cat or two that comes around our house occasionally, they are friendly enough, we leave water out for them, and when they arrive while we are outside, we offer them some food. They don’t stay long, but they are not there for our company and companionship, they’re just hungry. “That you would” is what we say to the Lord more often than not, because we want, if we are indeed fulfilling Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” then all of our needs are being met, the sustenance our bodies, even our emotional state is well maintained by the Lord for His service, in whatever way He best sees fit.
The “That you would” is a request that we make to Him, and many times it is used by far too many without regard to what they already have, we don’t like the circumstances we currently find ourselves in, we want more, we are not satisfied with what we already have, and so we pray “That you would.” We can be quite often as those who have food that is convenient for them on a plate right in front of them, (Prov. 30:8) but want that fine delicacy over there. It is not so much covetousness as it is a lack of contentment.
Here is where the “That I would” falls out of focus, so to speak. Those cats that come around only do so occasionally, they have, as far as we can tell, no desire to come inside and live out their lives with us, they do not want to sit on our laps, they do not want to be our constant companions. We want from the Lord, but we are not always desirous to offer the sacrifice of obedience. The Lord Jesus understood this perfectly, “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:39) “That I would” is the statement of desiring to be obedient, to the will and Word of God, no matter the circumstances, no matter the consequences to ourselves, they are the words of a slave that wants to be pleasing to his Master, who wants to be obedient for His glory, but does not have the strength to do so without the blessings of his Master. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
To be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord, to be a profitable servant, one must be obedient, and to be obedient, one must be desirous to be so. The one who does so grudgingly, or without any joy in his heart can be compared to those spoken of in Luke 17:10, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” “That I would” is a cry for strength to serve well, it is a desire that our minds would be transformed, (Romans 12:2) it is a heartfelt cry to be pleasing in His eyes.
What we want should be what God wants for us, what we have already been blessed with should be satisfactory and satisfying to us, but in one sense we should want more, we should never be satisfied, there is far too much of the Lord to “ever be satisfied.” “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:12) In other words my friends, you have to want to, you can never be truly satisfied until you arrive in the presence of the Lord, you can find no long lasting contentment in this life, and your sole desire is to do the will of the Lord, until that moment when that part of Psalm 16:11 is fulfilled in us, “In thy presence is fulness of joy.”