Have you been able to differentiate between your wants and your needs, can you tell the difference between what is absolutely necessary and what is a desire. I speak not here of the flesh, for those are simple, food, water, clothing, that is what will keep your flesh alive, one can exist their entire lives through the flesh with nothing more than these three items, enough food and water for that day, the proper clothing dependent upon the weather, all else beyond this point when they are in relation to the flesh are nothing more than wants, not a subject that many enjoy discussing, because they are truth, and the flesh resists the truth.
It is the needs of the spirit, the soul of a man, the “us” that goes beyond the flesh, what do you need in this area. If the needs of the flesh, the body itself, are met we will remain alive, but what is the difference between being alive and living, or is there one. The lost, those who do not serve Christ as Lord have no place left to retreat after this statement but to wants, a structure to dwell in, perhaps something comfortable to sit and rest upon in that structure, then of course there’s no place left to turn but to the items that the world offers, and for that, most generally, money is required, or for those who think in such ways, a form of bartering for those items. This path leads always to the same conclusion, our wants are never satisfied, the new becomes old and must be replaced with something shinier, something more appealing, and so then, even though the flesh is provided for, the spirit in us can never attain any form of contentment on a permanent level. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Gal. 5:17)
How then could Paul, a man who gave up everything, say that “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11) Was the need of the flesh being fulfilled enough, did he still not desire things, did he still yet want. It is such a simple statement, one I have been commanded to write more than once, but it is much more than what many people realize, “Happiness is just the world’s cheap imitation of the joy of the Lord.” No one who has ever existed in this world, not one human being who searches for happiness has ever been content, for all things of this world pass away, at best they are fleeting, at best they are nothing but traps, meant to make us believe that all the world offers is all we need. It is this part of a man that drives him, the proof is in Adam, all was his but one small item, and that one item drew all of his attention away from everything else. Satan did not rush in the first day, the man’s attention must be drawn to that which he cannot obtain without thoughts of repercussions, that item must have enough of a draw to the very soul that the cost of obtaining it becomes irrelevant, consequences be damned.
What we want, we begin to believe we need, and that is when covetousness begins. “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” (1 Cor. 12:31) The Lord God made man in His image, the only time we can truly see what we were meant to be is when we are looking at that image, and what should be reflecting back at us is Jesus Christ. If then this statement is true, and it is, we should not just be representing Christ, we are to be like Christ, and our Savior’s one purpose in life was to deny Himself and serve the will of God. The question is then answered, what we want is to be as Christ is, what we need is to serve the will of God, they are one in the same.
Those who profess Christ as Lord and still seek the comfort and pleasures of the world, those who desire more for the flesh than what it truly needs, those who want beyond what they have already been blessed with are not Christlike, they are still of the world, and “know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
What you want for your children, a better education, a finer home, no matter what it is, if it is not teaching them to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” (Matt. 6:33) then it is the wrong thing. What you want for yourself, a better vehicle, different furniture, even just a new shirt or dress, if you do not accept first that what you have is a gift from God, no other gifts will draw you closer to Him. Many people are going to be learning this lesson sooner than what they may think, many are going to be able to finally and truly empathize with Job, but how many will be able to say honestly, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21) How many will be able to say with joy in their heart, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” (Job 13:15)
How far my friends does the Lord need to take you, how much must you lose before you come to the realization that if you have Christ, you have everything. Can you lose your home and all that is in it, can you watch all those you love and cherish suffer and die, can you end up with nothing but a bruised and broken body, with barely enough food for the day, and still say with joy in your heart, “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34:1) How much do you need, where do the true desires of your heart lay.
We cannot love the Lord our God with the measure that He loves us, but we can give all that we are to Him, there is the real question then, is Jesus Christ alone, apart from all else that there is, this world, all that is in it, even heaven itself, is Jesus Christ enough for you. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)