One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in Psalm 23. Only last week I took some time to read it again yet this time unlike other times I noticed something completely different.
Before I go into this new revelation, a bit of background for you so you can understand why I noticed. In the last 6 months, I began to become aware of how every time Yeshua met someone he never asked them what they needed. Instead, he asked them what did they want. I realized that I had stumbled into a nugget of wisdom and insight when I came across the word want once again within Psalm 23 where it says that because God is the Shepherd David does not want.
I don't know about you but for the majority of my life, I have always been led by need. For example, I worked because I needed to as I saw it as a way to have my needs met. My spiritual journey was no different. Here I expressed this approach by taking part in many weekly meetings because down deep I was told that as a believer I needed to and was supposed to do this. All along I never took the time to understand what I wanted as I was too busy chasing what I needed.
Furthermore, my prayers became filled with what I needed as I petitioned God to join me in my quest to meet my needs. So six months ago I began to wonder that if so much of our lives is really about what we need then why would Yeshua focus on what we wanted?
Well, consider with me the possibility that God doesn't use the fulfillment of what we need to direct nor guide our lives the way that we do. Consider also that the reason Yeshua asked to address our wants is that the way God chooses to guide us is through the desires he gives us within our hearts. Perhaps he does this because when we make our journey about meeting needs all we end up building is a tower. Where we place one fulfilled need after another without realizing that living this way will only mean that we will never stop needing.
In Psalm 37 we see how we are invited to delight ourselves in the Lord and he will give us, not our needs, but the desires of our hearts. Back in the Garden of Eden the basic needs that Adam and Eve had were readily available and met, unlike today where the fulfillment of these same needs has become what life is all about for so many of us. We need to understand that God still looks at life the same way he always has. While he is not unaware of what presses us he nevertheless continues to guides us according to the reality he created where life begins within our hearts. Unlike the one we created outside the Garden where our ego derives its value from how well it can provide for itself - Hence why I believe the questions and scriptures are directed at our hearts and not our circumstantial needs.
God IS Interested in Our Wants
The majority of us have a hard time believing that God is interested in our wants just because we don't have time to address them. A closer look at our needs will show that often what drives us to focus on these is not what is outside as much as the great unawareness and need we have within.
Once again like in the Garden the way this was all along meant to work was that the underlying premises we need to live a fulfilled, peaceful, and healthy life was supposed to be met by God. Not by what we did or how well we managed to do it. This is because within Eden's reality life was lived within a secure space from where it was a joy to live instead of a struggle and strive.
In case we are struggling with what I am sharing here let me ease this sentiment by reminding all of us through the words of Yeshua in Matthew 6 where he clearly shows us that need is not meant to be what dictates the stillness, direction, nor the reason for our lives -
"Therefore do not be anxious or say, 'What will we eat? Or what will we drink? Or what will we wear?' For all these things the peoples of the world require, and your Father who is in heaven also knows that you require all these things. But first, seek the Kingdom of Elohim (Gods reality not the worlds) and His Righteousness (your right standing in this reality through Christ) and all these things will be added to you"
We need to grasp the fact that when our lives are primarily about our needs our relationship with God can only ever be a transaction as it is becomes nothing more than a well rehearsed formula of how to get God, to help us multiply what we falsely believe will give meaning, value, and satisfy our lives. On the other hand, may we also see that when we are led by desire our lives are transformed as we begin to let go of the mindsets and illusions that support a life that is based on what it needs. Here we are led into an adventure where we access the abundant life Yeshua said he came to bring away from the one that is dependent on a self-driven routine.
Our experience with God is meant to lead us in time into a spacious space where our needs will not be as important as the desires of our hearts. In this place, our hearts will be healed and freed so we can see that the desires that we have are actually God showing us through them what he desires for our lives.
Today we have an exceptionally great opportunity to begin to experience this reality as we spend our days locked down. If we are doubting this can happen at a restricted time like this, then allow me to gently remind all of us that two out of the three events that caused a major spiritual shift in the lives of the disciples after the resurrection - happened while they too were in a lockdown.
Remember - If having our needs met is what satisfies us then let us consider the possibility that our circumstances have successfully taken the place of Yeshua as the Shepherd of our lives.