SPOTLIGHT - You Don't Actually Want This
by Jillian Mann
Have you ever wondered why God wouldn’t give you something that you were SO SURE would be great? Have you spent time begging God to give you something you really wanted -- like a new job you applied for or a date from a kind man you talk to sometimes? Did you hear a no, did the job never call for an interview and the man never followed through for a date? Or did you just hear a solid and heavy no from the Lord?
Yesterday I was making a healthy homemade chicken salad and my parents’ cat came running in the kitchen and plopped down next to me. He just looked at me, waiting for me to give him some. He just assumed he would like it and that if he was there I surely would share. I told him he wouldn’t like it and it wouldn’t be good for him, but he just meowed in response, still waiting. It’s obvious to me that it would not be something he’d even try if I put it in front of him, so I let him sniff it and he turned his head because once it was close, he realized it wasn’t really something he wanted. What was great for me, would not be good for him.
Do you do this? Do you see something or part of something someone else has and assume it would be good for you?
Have you sat there asking God to give you a house like your friend has or wishing you could eat all the fast food in the world and look like your husband does?
Maybe you get drawn into wishing you could speak to others like another woman from your church does or had a big group of friends to get together with every weekend like someone on social media does.
Why do we do this? I think we get so caught up in wanting a part of another person’s story and purpose, we forget what God has given us or how that would not even fit well in our lives. If I could eat fast food and not gain weight, my bank account couldn’t handle it and my acne would be 10x worse. If I had a group of friends that encouraged a big get-together every weekend, I would be too stressed without that weekend time to catch up on laundry and spend extra time with the Lord. If I had a house like someone else did, I wouldn’t be able to afford it, I’ve never used a lawn mower, and I would have to get up early to shovel the driveway before I left the house all winter. But we don’t think about these things, we focus on what we don’t have or what we want to have instead of the abundance of blessings currently in our life.
Baxter had an overflowing food bowl, right on the ground that he can have access to at any time. It’s not going to make him sick, and it is always full. God has given you all you need. He’s given you what is actually good for you in abundance. He made you, so He knows what you would like and how to put it where you can best access it. Instead of asking God why you don’t have ________, ask Him to open your eyes to what He’s already placed in front of you.
The next thing the cat did was jump up on the dinning room table while I was eating. He figured out pretty fast that I was not going to give him any of my chicken salad, so he sat down close to me, but turned away. It’s like he was saying, “I’m right here waiting in case you change your mind, but I’m mad I don’t have some already so I’m not even going to look at you.” Do we do this? Do we move out of position to be in close proximity to what we want and then sit there mad that it’s not ours? Stop spending time looking at houses on Pinterest if it’s causing you to be discontent with what God has given you. Stop dwelling on the pictures of cute couples on Instagram if they cause you to continue to put yourself in positions to be asked out when God told you to be single and work on your relationship with Him in this season. Doing these things actually position you away from God. They take your focus off of Him and onto the “lack” that isn’t really there.
1 Peter 2:3 “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”
So rest in that. Rest in the fact that God has given you all things! Before you start up on the list of the things you do not have, read what comes after that. That pertain to life and godliness.
Therefore, if you don’t have it right now, it is because it would not give you life or push you towards Jesus. Why do you want it then? Dig deep down and find the root of your wants that are not within God’s purpose for you or outside of His timing.
Do you want the husband, so you’re invited to couple’s date nights or so you’re not lonely or to feel like you’re worth something or feel like you’re wanted? Or do you want a husband because you know he will lead you closer to Jesus and that God has a specific plan for your unity to make His Name known in your community?
Do you want the new, big house to be more comfortable or really impress your friends when they come over or to decorate it like you see on HGTV? Or do you want the new house because of your desire to raise more kids that love Jesus and to be able to have space to invite someone in need to stay with you when they cannot afford to keep their apartment, or they need to escape a bad situation? Figure out today and over this next week what the roots are of your wants. Take time to pause and be honest with yourself. Don’t slap an “acceptable” reason on something you want but search out really why you want it.
When you start to find a list of things you wanted becoming a list of things you are letting go of because God did call you to them, don’t be afraid. If you let Him, God will start to reveal to you what He wants you to yearn for. Like the verse said, through the knowledge of Jesus is how you start to have your eyes opened to what things bring life and godliness. Make your Pinterest boards about these things, dwell your thoughts and passion around what God has for you. It’s much easier to step into the next season of your life when your desires line up with what God is doing. When the next season of life is not what you wanted or thought it would look like, you can alleviate some grief and pain by asking God:
show me what You have for me that pertains to life and godliness.
About the Spotlight Author
Hello, I’m Jillian Mann and I have my masters in Occupational Therapy! A better description of me is that I absolutely love Jesus and I strive to live my life with Him at the center of everything. I’m blessed that this includes loving the friends and kids in my life with all I have!! You can find me on Facebook or instagram (instagram.com/jmann255). I have a new blog site coming, so check out my old one in my Instagram bio and stay tuned for what’s next!