We all have them, and they are as varied as we are.
Some of these longings are legitimate, some are not. We each were created with the core needs of love, acceptance, significance, security, companionship, and hope. However, some of our needs are really just wants. And some of our desires don’t align with God’s.
I have a confession to make. Although discontentment often arises when my needs aren’t met, I think my greatest times of dissatisfaction occur when…
I don’t have what I want or I have what I don’t want.
It’s not wrong to want something unless it is outright sin. It’s not wrong to want our pain to stop. However, God wants to satisfy, not gratify.
“Many of us are looking for an escape from our situation—that’s gratification, momentary relief—but God wants to satisfy us.” ~Tony Evans
God’s not asking us to like our circumstances. The Apostle Paul certainly didn’t like being imprisoned, flogged…! But he “learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil 4:11) by trusting God for his needs and aligning his desires with God’s.
So how do we satisfy our unmet needs and desires?
By looking to God, our Source, not the world.
Delight yourself in the LORD and [then] he will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps 37:4)
The world was not designed to fulfill these God-given longings—only God can.
Now, God may use circumstances and others to meet our needs and wants, but He is the Orchestrator. If we look to the world, we will be disappointed—guaranteed. Consider this diagram:
The person in Figure #1 relies on people and things, rather than the Lord, to meet her needs and wants. Not only will her needs be incompletely and/or inconsistently met, she will have less ability to fulfill the needs of others. The result? Insecurity, discontentment; God is not pleased.
But if we look to our Provider for satisfaction (Figure #2), we will feel secure. He alone is able to always come through.
The stronger our bond and dependence upon God…
- The greater our contentment.
- The less we’ll rely on things or others to fill those holes.
- The greater will be our ability to fulfill the needs of others.
With God as our anchor rather than people, things, or circumstances (which are always changing), we will be steady.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…. (Heb 6:19)
Our soul can be at rest; not desperately chasing to become complete without God.
God promises to meet all our needs (2 Pet 1:3-4).
We need to come to the place where we truly believe that.
Typically, that belief comes from experiencing hardship. Think about it. How can you know God will meet your need unless you are in need?
We also need to come to the place where we believe that God is all we need.
I mentioned this in Part 2 (What is the True Meaning of Contentment). When I lost my husband to cancer a huge hole was left in my soul. As I looked back a year later, I discovered Jesus was enough, really more than enough. I was not only able to survive but thrive.
So my friend, accept God’s invitation to be fully and overflowingly satisfied in Him. Let Jesus prove to you that He can fill you with whatever you need—and that it’ll be more than enough. Then you’ll be able to praise God along with David in Psalm 63.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. (Ps 63:5)
Next in this series, we’ll begin to cover the 7 keys in learning how to be content. Meanwhile listen to this wonderful song by Fernando Ortega – Give me Jesus
Portions adapted from: From the Vertical to the Horizontal (He’s So Worth It Ministries, 2014), 15-16.
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