"Give in to the craving..." was the logo I saw on a sign today as I drove past a fast food restaurant. I immediately began to think about how these words seem to define the time we live in. There is so much focus on self-indulgence...on getting what WE want in order to be happy. The question is this; is what we WANT actually what we NEED? And furthermore, is what we want what God wants us to have?
We live in a culture of "Give me what I want, and I should have had it five minutes ago..." What we want is not always bad, but we have to evaluate our wants and desires to see if they are good for us and are things that will please God. This is a bit of a simple example, but we'll just start here: The sign I saw today was for some type of new food on the menu at this restaurant. Would it have been delicious? Probably. Would it have been satisfying? Most likely. So what would be the harm in it? I had not eaten anything all day so I did need food. But, this is where evaluation comes in. First of all, could I wait to eat until I went home? Yes. Secondly, was this in my budget? No. Thirdly, was I willing to sacrifice most of my weight watchers points for the day on this item? No. In the case of something like this, the decision is easily made using common sense and conventional wisdom.
But what about when it's not an item on a menu? What if it's something much less trivial than a fast food order? I won't give examples here because there are just too many, but we all have different desires, and you can fill in the blank with your own. In all cases of what we want, we must evaluate the cost, the end result, and sometimes the consequence. But most importantly, we must seek the Lord and hear His voice and His heart on every decision in our lives.
I've heard for most of my life to "Listen to your heart..." in order to find the answers. Well, here is the cold, hard truth - the heart can be deceived. Our heart is the seat of our emotions, and basing our decisions on "listening to the heart" can lead us down very wrong paths and cause us to make extremely wrong decisions. Our feelings can be very wrong at times, and it's imperative that we make sure that what we feel and what we think are lining up with the Word of God and with HIS heart. Feelings are often based on circumstance, and God can quickly change the circumstances we find ourselves in. You may have wanted something for years, and feel entitled to it, feel that you deserve it, feel that you can't live without it; but what will be the end result of getting that desire fulfilled? Will it bring peace and contentment, or will it just make you want more?
Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." The key phrase here is "Delight yourself in the Lord..." If we are truly delighting ourselves in Him we will find that our desires become very different. The focus shifts from "What do I need?" to "What can I do for others in need?" and "What do I want?" to "What do You want for me, Lord?" and from "This is something I deserve!" to "What can I do to serve?"
We will find the most happiness, contentment, peace and fulfillment when we are chasing after the heart of God, when our desires line up with His desires for us, and when pleasing Him becomes more important than pleasing ourselves.
10 hours ago