God’s Will Is Better than Our Wants
“And in their heart they put God to the test By asking food according to their desire.” – Psalm 78:17-39
My 6-year-old son makes some bold requests. He asks for meals consisting solely of candy, for thousands of dollars worth of Lego sets, and to stay home to play rather than go to school.
The worst part of telling him, “No,” is that he thinks I’m holding out on him. His understanding is limited so he doesn’t know what he needs, only what he wants. He doesn’t understand the adverse health effects of candy, the importance of education, or that food and rent are more important than Legos. He just thinks Daddy isn’t giving him what he wants.
That’s where all of us are really just overgrown 6-year-olds. We know only what we want, not what we need.
When the Israelites were in the wilderness, God provided abundantly for their needs, sending manna six days a week—enough so that no one ever went hungry—but instead of being grateful for that which God had provided, the people asked for “food according to their desire” or cravings. They thought God must have been holding out on them. When they finally got what they wanted, however, it led not to happiness, but to death, with their desire still unsatisfied (Ps. 78:30-31).
Similarly, we pray for God to give us our daily bread, and when he does, we complain that we’d rather have meat. God provides us with blessings to meet our every need, but we fail to recognize them and instead seek that which conforms to our own desires. Because we are greedy rather than grateful, we reject God’s will in favor of our wants.
In The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis wrote that “whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want.” That’s what good fathers do. Psalm 78 speaks of God’s compassion and faithfulness even in the face of Israel’s doubt and disobedience. My conversations with my son at these moments often end with a reminder of our relationship and my character:
“Does Daddy love you?”
“Does Daddy want what’s best for you?”
“Can you trust Daddy to give you everything you need?”
Our challenge is to nip that ‘but’ in the bud. Our Father loves us. He wants what’s best for us. We can trust Him to give us everything we need. Let us not ask for food according to our own desires, but for our daily bread, knowing that His will is better than our wants. – Noah Lang is the Pastor of Community Bible Church in Dunellen, NJ. Noah’s brother Jim is our Director of Guest Services
Think About This: A wise person truly said, “It ought to be as impossible to forget that there is a Christian in the house as it is to forget that there is a ten-year-old boy in it.” Roger J Squire
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 23:17-18