The word for this week is 'WANT'.
Not need based 'want' BUT rather greed based 'want'.
The 'want' that I speak of is simply defined as 'the incessant desire for more'. The drive to have more than one may store. The desire to tear down in order to build larger. This lust affects more than just the rich and famous. It affects the poor and infamous, as well. In fact, no one in society is immune from this infectious desire that in every case disregards the daily provision of God and His faithfulness.
God's word says in 1 Timothy 6:10--"the love of money is the root of all evil..." In the 21st century, I believe it has become the 'love of more' in the hearts of many, if not most in America. This type of 'want' covets or envies what others appear to possess. The 'stuff' that more truthfully possesses them. This 'want' consistently ignores and soon conveniently disregards the will of God altogether. The 'love of more' is driven by discontent. Therefore, the money that makes possible this soon fading pleasure is loved more, as a result. The best definition of materialism I've ever read says in part--'materialism is purchasing things you don't need with money you don't have to impress people you don't like.'
The incessant desire for more that flows out of greed based 'want' is not a recent problem for humanity. Human beings throughout the history of mankind have struggled with this lustful desire. It is the consequence of living in a world system that directs a person's spirit and soul away from depending on God. It is the offspring of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life combined. (1 John 2:15-17) Without spiritual discipline, it's a delinquent in development!
God's people have struggled throughout the centuries with 'the incessant desire for more'.
Read for yourself or listen to Psalm 106:6 and following where the Psalmist writes--
"We have sinned with our fathers. *(s
ubsequent generations often pick up the practices of their parents) We have committed iniquity. We have done wickedly. Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; they did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, but rebelled by the sea--the Red Sea. NEVERTHELESS, He saved them for His name's sake. That He might make His mighty power known. He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up. So He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. He saved them from the hand of him who hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. The waters covered their enemies; there was not one of them left. Thenthey believed His words; they sang His praise.
* (If only the story stopped there; if only.)
They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. And He (God) gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul."
Because they soon forgot His works, God provided what His people 'wanted' and permitted something they didn't ask for--'leanness of soul'. Getting what you 'want' often means forfeiting what you 'need more'. As Tom Eliff, former pastor of First Southern, Del City said, "The object of our desire often becomes the instrument for our discipline."
If you desire to see a biblical picture of what it means to experience 'leanness of soul', all you have to do is look at the prodigal in Luke 15. Verse 14, "when he had spent all ...and began to be in 'want'." Ultimately, the 'wasteful life' is seen in verse 16 competing with the pigs for their kind of food. This kind of food; 'carob pod' (cp.-pig slop) would never satisfy his hunger. It would never nourish his body and soul. It wasn't designed to, yet he came to desire it. And the same is true in much of what the world sells and says is absolutely necessary for us!
It was the prodigal's 'incessant desire for 'more'' that led him away. But it was leanness of soul that caused him to stand up and start home with the attitude of being content under the shelter of his father's provision. The prodigal wasted everything he was given on the 'want' that never satisfies. The 'want' of the world system that designs to put distance between God and His own.
Praise Jesus there is an alternative and it's nothing like what the world system of Satan offers.
The Hebrew writer sums it up well when He says in Hebrews 13:5--"Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU," NASB
All of us identify on some level. All of us have forgotten His works and the worth of it. All of us have run headlong without waiting for His counsel and found ourselves 'wasting away' in the land of leanness.
I don't know where you are in the journey. (hope you're not on the 'hog pen trail'), as Pastor E.V. Hill once described the journey to the far country.
I pray you are not desiring to go off 'on your own' in search of 'more' than what your Father offers. Competing with the 'worldly minded' over 'things' that don't satisfy or nourish the soul is compared to chasing the wind. It's a soap bubble that draws our attention away from the truth that God's grace provides exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. That is a promise from God for those who learn to be content with 'less' of what this present world offers.
So what is it that you 'want'? And what are you willing to give up to have it?
Learn to be content in Christ. (Philippians 4:11) You'll enjoy 'the present' more!
Blessings in Christ,
1 Corinthians 15:58