As a girl, when I would go shopping with my momma, I'd inevitably find myself asking for one more thing to be added to our basket already filled with items intended for me Sometimes my mom would give in, and sometimes she would hold firmly to our planned purchases but almost always she would say, "There's nothing wrong with your "wanter"! Obviously, I'm one of those folks who tend to want lots and lots of things......
All through my life, I've found that as much as I like doing all the things that I do, and as much as I seemingly appreciate all that I have been blessed with, I don't have any trouble at all finding multiple things I'd like to do, and things I'd like to have.
Here is the short list of things I'd like to do:
1. I'd like to write more music
2. I'd like to go to graduate school
3. I'd like to be debt free
3. I'd like to get married
4. I'd like to have children
5. I'd like to lose some weight
6. I'd like to travel....pretty much anywhere comfortable :)
and those are just the things I'd REALLY like to do..... the things that keep me prayerful, hopeful and busy......although not always in that order..... None of them bad, some of them noble, all of them thought consuming and effort-ful.
Here is the short list of the things I'd like to have:
1. A new car
2. my own really cool website
3. A full time teaching partner - (half time isn't enough)
4. I'd like to have my own family..... see above
5. new books
6. new clothes
7. new stuff for my classroom
Some of these might be considered necessities, (just ask my dad about my 12 year old car) some may even be reasonable, but generally they are just a list of things that my heart dwells on instead of focusing on the Lord.
The thing is, as a follower of Christ what I should want and what I actually want do not always line up. If my attention is not focused on Christ, how am I to know what I'm to be about? How am I to discern which endeavors are led by the Holy Spirit, and which are imagined by my "wanter".....
How else am I to find the wisdom and self control to confront my own pride and greed?
I'm so glad that the Lord is not a distant god who leaves his followers alone to figure out how they will live. Instead He is our Emmanuel. He is with us. He guides us faithfully and when we seek Him, He is found.
My prayer today is that I will be able to evaluate ALL of the things that I think I want to do and things I believe I need in light of His plan. He tells us exactly how we are to live. My pastor is currently leading our church through a daily devotion . He has started with the "Sermon on the Mount" in Matthew Chapter 6. It's always a good place to start when you need practical advice because it's all in red, meaning that Jesus himself said it!
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying ad a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you - you of little faith? So do not worry saying, 'What shall we eat' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
All I know is that these scriptures have encouraged me today. Knowing these things, how shall I live?