How do we know what we need? I suppose that depends on how you define the word “need.”
If you’re a parent, then I have no doubt that you’ve heard a statement from your kids that begins like “Hey, Mom. I need ______________.” And maybe that “need” could be reevaluated a little. Do you really need another pair of shoes? Do you actually need a new hoodie? Do you truthfully need to stay the night at a friend’s house?
Often when my children use the word “need”, what they really mean is they “want.” As a mom, I will typically try to gently reply with that very question.
Do you need or do you want?
And then they respond with a small smile and slightly embarrassed look into my eyes. Maybe they will even be so bold as to say “Ok, you’re right! I want a new pair of shoes. But can I get some?”
Last week, I found myself praying for needs quite often. God truly does want to hear everything on our hearts and I know he wants to hear my “needs.” But this week the more I thought on what I was praying for, the more I pondered “Are these things I really need? Or do I just want them?”
To take it a step further, if I’m praying for things I don’t need, but simply want, then is it ok to tell God what I want? And the answer is yes! The psalmist says:
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8
He longs to hear from us; prayer is relationship-building. No matter the words.
But there’s a change I long to see in my own life. Something that spurs me on to pray more.
Something greater than God answering my needs, or even my wants.
Before I ever begin to pray for those needs, then I want to see my needs as God sees them. I want my desire to be what He has for me.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
I’ve heard this verse taught and preached, used to support that God is going to give you whatever your heart desires. But we have a way of missing the prerequisite to receiving our heart’s desires.
Delighting ourselves in him.
I don’t need or want anything but what Jesus wants for me.
Social events are wonderful, but they are NOT what we need.
Religious routines and liturgical to-do lists wear me out.
Another class on theological dispensationalism isn’t what I need.
I don’t want to only know more about Jesus. I want to know Jesus more.
Oh, Jesus. May our hearts be saturated with the desire for you. A soul longing that cannot be explained but only fulfilled when we are united in spirit with our Creator. May our hearts forget about what we think we need or feel we want. May we fully trust your plan for our lives.
This song has been on replay in my head for a few days. I had to share it with you.