Is Getting What We Want Always Best?
“If I would have given people what they wanted I would have given them a faster horse.” – Henry Ford
I remember as a kid growing up having all these things in mind that I wanted to have or to do when I became an adult. Like most kids, I wanted to be famous and have money. In fact, I wanted to be a pro football quarterback. As I got to junior high school, I decided to try and follow that dream by playing on the junior high football team. I knew that playing football was what I really wanted to do. It would satisfy my innermost longings.
In those days, I was so skinny that I had to run around in the shower to get wet and that lack of weight and strength did not bode well for me in football. Quickly into the season I realized that I did not like to get hit that much and soon thereafter I broke an arm which ended my season. At a very young age, I began to realize that I what I wanted at times was not always best for me.
This same principle holds true for us spiritually. We all have ideas of what we want out of this life and so often we are disappointed when fulfilling our wants does not satisfy our souls. Jesus offered an alternative in Matthew 6:33 for finding satisfaction and significance for our lives when He declared:
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33
This verse reminds us that if we prioritize our relationship with God above all else and seek His desires for our lives then He will satisfy our longings and bring significance to our lives. We have this idea in our minds that if we follow God then we will lose out in life on what is best.
That type of thinking runs contrary to God’s Word. Instead, God desires according to Paul in Ephesians 3:20 “to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” God wants to do so much more than we could ever imagine with our lives if we will relinquish control. I love how the late missionary Jim Elliot described this principle when he said: “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.”
I have seen the truth of this principle in my own life. God has given me much more than I deserved or could have imagined when I have sought Him completely. He is a good, good Father who wants to do so much for us if we will just give our lives to Him. Psalm 37:4 embodies this truth: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”