I have wanted a lot of things in my life. Most of them are like many things that most of us want. For example: money to pay my bills, healthy children, a healthy body of my own, job security, someone to love me, friends, a roof over my head, go on vacations, spend time with my kids, etc. Because I love to decorate, I have also wanted my home to look cute and stylish. I like for my yard to reflect a curb appeal as well. But, sometimes my wants and desires have a tendency to control me. I have found that my wants can easily become my obsessions. I can become a bit extreme over my desire for things to look a certain way.
You know how you have your to do list every day. You need to get certain things done. But, when you look at that list you think to yourself, “I just really don’t want to do that today. I would much rather not do it.” So you procrastinate and forget about doing it. Another example is: You know that you need to exercise and lose weight. You look in the mirror and you see someone who needs to take care of herself. But deep down inside you don’t want to change your eating habits. You don’t want to walk or run or lift weights. Same goes for needing to quit smoking, spending too much money, etc. “The fact is, we don’t always do what we need to do. And here is the primary reason: because we don’t want to.” Moore
We won’t accomplish a lasting change by needing to—it only happens when we want to. In my experience, it has also taken desperation for me to change in certain areas of my life. Beth Moore points out in her book Audacious,“ We will never love Him just because we need to. We will only love Him audaciously because we want to.” My wanting to know God is what has gotten me to this point in my life. For me the difference is: needing is a feeling but wanting is an action. It’s like I need to do something and in order for me to do it I have to want to. Are you tracking with me? To be honest, knowing the difference between the two is really helping me understand myself better.
So, Beth asks this question in her book, “What do you want?” (World Peace? I had to say that because of the movie Miss Congeniality! Ha Ha! I am digressing. Sorry!) But, seriously what do I want? What do I want deep down inside to the core of my very being? Of course, I would love to be really spiritual and say JESUS! But, if I am honest, there were a few things that popped up before Him when I asked myself that question. I was so embarrassed because I thought for sure I would put Him down first. But, there are some issues that I would like resolved that came up first. (I am human.)
So, then I had to have a heart to heart with the Lord and say I was sorry because I put those issues before Him. God’s desire is for us to want Him—to want to put Him first. There’s a verse in Matthew that really magnifies that point. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 So, I had to look at my heart and be honest with God and talk to Him about where I was placing my treasure. I wasn’t happy with my answer but God wants us to be authentic with Him. He knows the truth anyway, so there is no escaping. “Lord, my every desire is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you.” Psalm 38:9
The fact is, the issues that I have that I want to be resolved might not happen while I am living on this planet. So, if I am letting them be my treasures instead of the Lord, then I am going to be very disappointed! I just need to let them go and place them in my Savior’s hands, and trust Him to deal with them. My focus needs to be on Him instead of answers to my problems. Oh how I yearn for answers, but that isn’t what is going to bring me joy. My focus needs to be on my relationship with the Lord. Knowing Him better. Listening to Him. Loving HIm. Walking with Him. Talking with Him. Philippians 3:10 “I want to know Christ.”
Psalm 73:25-26 “Who do I have in heaven but you? And I desire nothing on earth but you. My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.”
Here’s the deal. Our flesh—our desires—when placed on the wrong things can get us into trouble. “My whole life was a bloody fight for wanting things that can’t coexist. The long and the short of it is, our wants can be really messed up. We can want things desperately, clawing and clamoring, that we know have the capacity to destroy us. The gratification of desire is so strong that we, with our eyes wide open, are willing to satisfy it today even if we dearly pay for ten thousand tomorrows.” Moore
I can relate to every word Beth says. Sometimes I can’t believe her feelings are so close to mine. Now—when I look back at those things I wanted that weren’t good for me—I could kick myself in the butt a billion times. Some of those things the Lord didn’t let me have because He knew they were bad for me. I have had to deal with the consequences of wanting things that weren’t good for me. A lot of the things I wanted, I thought would be good for me. But I found out later, they weren’t. One of the biggest desires I had was to have a healthy relationship with my Dad. I really thought it was possible, but my heart was deceiving me. I clamored and I clawed—just like Beth Moore mentioned—to stay in a relationship with him. Now I see why people stay in abusive relationships. I honestly thought I could change him or that he would see the light and change. I am not saying that people can’t change because they can, but it takes a heavy dose of the Holy Spirit and a person wanting to change.
Our hearts can lie to us. Jeremiah 17:9 My heart has lied to me so many times. It has told me to do things that really weren’t what I was supposed to do. My desires have been for other things than what the Lord would want for me. I am not saying all our desires can be bad. But, if they are more important than the Lord, then we need to figure out why. I am in the process of doing that right now. There are certain things that I desire that are really good. They aren’t sinful or bad for me. But, if I place more importance on them than the Lord, then they can be an idol in my life and I simply can’t allow that.
This verse really speaks to me. “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desire.” Psalm 37:4 I am learning that I need to find my delight in the Lord, not in anything else. There are certain things in my life that I would love to see changed. They deeply affect me. I deeply want them to change. But, when I focus on them and they become more important than my relationship with God, I feel hopeless. And that is exactly what Satan wants. He wants me to feel that way because he knows that I will get discouraged and defeated.
So, I am going to be honest and talk to God again about the things that are really bothering me. I am going to ask Him to change my wants and desires if they are wrong for me. “Freedom is telling God what we desperately want. Trust is asking Him to change our want if gaining it would poison us.” Moore
I am going to leave you with a prayer that I am praying for myself. I know that God’s truth is what I need to live my life in victory. The same goes for all of us. May we focus more on Him and His truth than anything else in life. “The mindset of the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6
“Increase my delight in You so that my desires start sifting and shifting until they align with the ones You hold tightly in Your hand for me. Your desire is to profusely bless me, not withhold from me. You are trustworthy. You will never respond to my full surrender by starving my soul and leaving me empty. Give me the wants You want because anything less will rob me.” Moore
Amen! Until next time dear friends……
(I got to meet Beth Moore last year! It was a dream come true for me! God blessed my socks off! Her teaching has really helped me heal in so many ways. Thank you Lord!)