Wants and Needs: The Difference

Wants and Needs: The Difference
Psalm 34:8-10

Sometimes people perceive a desire as a necessity. The heart can become so consumed with a craving that fulfilling it feels critical to well-being. Then, when God does not meet the "need," anger and frustration result.

Believers wondering why they have been neglected should honestly answer one question: "Is my petition essential to accomplishing God's purpose, or is it only for my enjoyment?" Beyond basics like food and shelter, necessities might include counseling for a troubled marriage or money for a mission trip. If we can't complete the Lord's plan without something, then it is a need, and He will answer when we pray for Him to fulfill that requirement (Phil. 4:19).

God is also pleased to satisfy desires that fit within the confines of His purpose and will (Ps. 37:4). The things we long for bring pleasure, entertainment, or a sense of joy. Many are good and worth pursuing, but they become troublesome when we deem them essential for our plans. God isn't obligated to grant wishes or fulfill any plans but His own. However, He says that those who seek Him won't lack any good thing (34:10). Pursuing the Lord above all else means making our desires subject to His will. And when we "delight in the Lord" (37:4), He'll also shape our desires to be most beneficial.

The heavenly Father wants to be His children's greatest delight—the One in whom fulfillment and satisfaction are found. When that is true in a believer's life, then he or she does not require a lot of "stuff," entertainment, or people in order to be happy. Joy is in the Lord.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit In Touch Ministries

My God Shall Provide
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

"And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Have you ever gone through a time of complete dependence on God for your material needs? Perhaps you lost a job and could not generate income on your own. Perhaps you got sick and could not work. There are circumstances in our lives that can put us in this place.

When God brought the people of Israel out of Egypt through the desolate desert, they had no ability to provide for themselves. God met their needs supernaturally each day by providing manna from Heaven. Each day they would awake to one day's portion of what they needed. This was a season in their lives to learn dependence and the faithfulness of God as provider. By and by, they entered the Promised Land. When they did, God's "supernatural provision" was no longer required. "The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan" (Josh. 5:12). In both cases God was the provider of the need.

For most of us, we derive our necessities of life through our work. Like the birds of the fields we are commanded to go out and gather what God has already provided. It is a process of participation in what God has already provided. Sometimes it appears it is all up to us; sometimes it appears it is all up to God. In either case we must realize that the Lord is our provider; the job is only an instrument of His provision. He requires our involvement in either case.

"You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today" (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

Acknowledge the Lord as the provider of every need you have today. He is a faithful provider.
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

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