Thursday, June 23, 2016

Settling for Less - Martin Wiles

And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:3 NLT

We settled for less because we didn’t know we could have had more. 

My wife and I sat across the table from a couple I’d soon help renew their wedding vows. Since we hadn’t seen them in quite some time, we enjoyed catching up on each other’s lives. Most of the conversation centered on grandchildren. Then we finalized the details of the renewal ceremony. They had been together 25 years and wanted to celebrate. When the waitress stopped by, we placed our orders. My wife ordered her usual: chicken fingers. 

When our meal was over, I heard the husband whisper to the waitress, “Bring me the check.” My wife and I both protested, but to no avail. Then being the comic she is, my wife quipped, “I should have ordered ribs.” Our host replied, “You should have.” We settled for less when we could have had more. 

Obviously, we’re not the only ones who do that—and not just with a meal someone buys for us. James indicates my entire life experiences paucity simply because I don’t ask God to make it any better or because the motives with which I ask are tainted. 

Lack of faith that God can actually deliver what I want or need will result in living without those things. God wants me to ask to demonstrate my dependence on Him. He’s promised to give me those things I need to survive and do His will, but He wants me to request them nevertheless. When I bring my prayers and supplications to Him, I experience a growth spurt in my faith. He doesn’t need the info; I just need the practice. He will give me the courage to step out in faith to do whatever He instructs me to do.

Living with less also occurs when I ask for things outside God’s will. Learning the difference between wants and needs is essential if I want to receive those things I pray for. I have the ability to know God’s mind. What He wants to give me are life essentials—food, clothing, drink—and the things I’ll need to accomplish His plan for my life. All I have to do is ask. 

Don't settle for chicken when you could be enjoying ribs.

Prayer: Father, increase our faith so we won’t settle for less than You want to give us. 

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