Wednesday, January 2, 2013

“I Must” Versus “I Need” by Martin Wiles

My father-in-law and I tracked our prey, watching as they picked up various items and gently nestled them in their shopping carts. Periodically we’d amble off-leaving them alone, only to meander back a few minutes later and observe that their items had multiplied. Again-tired of watching, we left. Upon our second return, we were greeted by empty shopping carts. Everything discarded-but not necessarily in the place they were selected from (My wife calls this employee job security). Nevertheless, my mother-in-law and wife had successfully untangled the difficult distinction between the “I Musts” and the “I Needs.”

God ties the solution of this often knotty problem to giving. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse…. “If you do…I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in!” (Malachi 3:10 NLT) Jesus later connects it to seeking the things of God first-giving among them. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he (God) will give you everything you need (Matthew 6:33 NLT).

Putting first things first…having my priorities in order…is the key to unraveling the difference between wants and needs-between things I think I must have and items I actually need. Seeking God’s Kingdom involves loving him with my entire self and others as myself. Giving to God with a willing heart (which includes giving to others) naturally plunges into the mix. God obligates himself to meet my musts when he is first. Occasionally I question his faithfulness, but then I stop and realize that I’ve never lacked what I needed to survive and do his will. Nor will you. God owns and controls everything. Trust him for the musts and thank him when he throws in a few wants.

Prayer: Merciful Lord, giver of all good and perfect gifts, we acknowledge that our lives-and every detail of them, are under Your control. We trust You to give us everything we need to survive, flourish and accomplish Your Kingdom’s work on this earth.