here is a real struggle to differentiate between our wants and our needs. In the western world, our culture makes it difficult to prioritize needs and desires. Billions of dollars are spent convincing us that we need what we desire. I have stated before that Jesus will never be all we want, but He will always be all we need. If we are honest, we must admit that God will have no part in some of what we want. While Father has a keen interest in what we need, He will oppose every desire that we prioritize above Him and His purposes.
Let me give you some examples of this struggle. I want carrot cake, but I need exercise. I want it now, but I need patience. I might want five million dollars, but I need to learn money is a tool, and God is my only security. I may want recognition that I feel I deserve, but I may need to learn humility to gain a servant's heart. I may be sick and want to be well, but I may need to be an instrument of suffering to remind others this is not my final home. I may want to be happy with my current situation, but I may need to give up my rights for the benefit of others. I may want more, but I may need less so that I can grow a more grateful heart for what I have.
We need air to breathe, but we want air conditioning. We need water to drink, but we want beer. We need bread to eat, but we want tenderloin. We need shelter, but we want a mansion. We want control of our life, but we need God's control to live life abundantly.
Is it possible to get all we want and miss all we need? Jesus said, "If a man gains everything the world has to offer, but loses his eternal soul; what has he profited?" (Matthew 16:26). Unfortunately, the western culture is producing throngs who sink into darkness weighed down by bags of gold, learning all manner of pleasures while dying with an unfillable hole in their heart and hunger in their soul that can't be satisfied.
If we are the instruments of God's good news, we cannot get caught up in what we want. We need Jesus; He is life, joy, peace, love, and self-control. He is the all powerful instrument of hope and change. In Him we live, and move, and have our being (significance). He is more precious than silver; more costly than gold; more beautiful than diamonds - and nothing, no nothing, we can ever desire compares to Him.
I may want to give a piece of my mind to someone in an angry tone, but I need to use a soft answer in order to be an instrument of God's peace. Jesus, provide me all I need to live today.
I may want to walk on by that drunken panhandler with a nasty odor, but I need to be an instrument of God's generosity. Jesus, provide me all I need to live today.
I may want to use a beautiful woman to satisfy the lust of my vain imaginations, but I need to be an instrument of God's redemption and wholeness in her life. Jesus, provide me all I need to live today.
I may want discretion, but I need discipline. I may want freedom, but I need boundaries. I may want power, but I need to worship. Jesus, provide me all I need to live today.