Whatsoever Magazine

Needs vs. Wants

Posted on: October 10, 2006

“If only I had a shirt that better matches this skirt!” “I really need some new writing paper” “I’ve got hardly any money and I need to buy so many things.”

These are thoughts I often find myself thinking—too often actually— and God is showing me that He has a problem with me thinking those things!

Over the last year God has been teaching me many things, all based around a verse in the Bible, which is well known to many of us:

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus [1].

Up until June of last year our family owned a patchwork shop that I worked in and for. I earned regular money, and it was plenty to give me all the little pleasures that money buys, and that I wanted.
We closed the shop, after it had been open for five and a half years, and I had no regular income.
Then started what I think will be a life-long lesson of learning to trust God to supply all my needs—and of learning what real needs are!

There are many things that I love to buy—writing paper to write to dear friends, music both to listen to and to learn, instruments to play, gifts to buy for people, sweets to enjoy, and the list goes on… but are any of these needs? I often think they are. “Well, it is a ministry to write to friends and share the love of God” But… do I really need fancy paper? “God wants us to praise Him with music” But… if I have a voice why not use that? “It’s their birthday—I have to buy a gift” But… why not use the skills and the supplies God has given me and make a gift?

Wanting these things, and complaining when I don’t have them, is basically saying that I don’t believe that God provides for me, nor am I trusting Him.
Don’t get me wrong. All of these ‘wants’ are perfectly fine. In fact, God loves to bless us —For the Lord takes pleasure in His people [2]—but do we really need all these things?

God has blessed me to overflowing, and has given me all I need, and heaps more! He has blessed me with pleasurable things, such as instruments to play, but He has also blessed me in showing me that I don’t need these things to live a life that blesses Him. And that is the main reason we live, isn’t it?

So what do I need in order to serve God? All that I need spiritually is a heart to believe, God’s Word, and God’s people so that I can learn more about Him, don’t I?

To survive physically I need a home for protection, food for sustenance, and clothing for warmth—-all of which I have in abundance, thanks to God!

But I don’t even need to worry about having these things because of God’s promises to us: Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.[3]

God has promised to supply all our needs, by (or through) Christ Jesus: If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. [4]

God is faithful in giving us all we need, and we need to trust Him entirely to perform His will—not take things into our own hands… or minds!
God loves His children, and He loves to bless them in providing their needs. And He goes even further…
Over this last year, when I’ve had all that I really needed, God has opened up more opportunities for me to earn money so that I may enjoy little pleasures!
I’m so thankful to God for showing me His truth, giving me the grace and strength to trust Him, and blessing me by providing all my needs and more! I pray that He blesses you too!

Lauren Carey
reprinted from Whatsoever Magazine, Volume 8 #1
Notes: 1. .Phil. 4:19, 2. Psalm 149:4, 3. Matt. 6:25-29, 4. John 14:14.
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