The basic needs of a human being are food, water, shelter, air, clothing and companionship. If we ask for anything more are we being selfish, greedy or ungrateful?
People with serious problems often explain that they don’t have faith to ask for a miracle because "God has so many other people in the world with worse problems" than themselves. So with that kind of logic, a miserable life in Texas lands you at the back of the line, while starving Ethiopian children make it to the front. God is turned into an understaffed Red Cross center that can only deal with a limited amount of needy people. Maybe if you were a miserable, starving victim of a tsunami you could get bumped up a few spaces…
But God’s definition of what we need is far more generous that our own. He makes it very clear that continual want and loss is evil, while He desires our lives to be full of all that is good.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” John 10:10.
God makes another sweeping promise in the same book: “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it,” John 14:13. Anything.
Most of our religious upbringing causes us to reason that if it were God’s will for our lives to be extremely happy, He would have made them so already. We factor out the very important point that we have an obligation to fight evil and injustice, and daily use our faith, talents and skills to overcome our problems. In other words, God wants to give us a happy, meaningful life, but only when we put our faith into action. A full life is promised, but is not to be dropped into our laps.
All the heroes of faith in the Bible had an intense belief, some to the point of being confrontational with God, but never disrespectful. Jacob got into a wrestling match with God, Abraham and Gideon spoke harshly, King Hezekiah refused to accept God’s prophecy, and many more can be found who had fiery spirits regarding God’s promises. These people felt they could not go on living unless God helped them to change their lives… If we don’t have a similar attitude in the 40-Day Project we risk seeing no change. We need to view our change as a need that God has to fulfill.
Look at God’s definition of needs:
His children need to experience His supernatural power on a regular basis.
His children need to be actively repelling the evil and injustice of this world.
His children need to be an example for their own children and the world around them.
His children need to reflect the power of God so others can believe in Him.
If your life is lacking in these areas, then you not only have the right to insist that they be fulfilled, you have an obligation to.
On the other hand, man-made traditions have created false ideas of our needs. We are told we need to always "be there for family" – even if they mistreat us or hold us back in our faith. They are “blood,” and true Christians always please their families no matter what. Wrong. Jesus taught that there are times we have to go against our families (Luke 14:26).
We are told by society, by Hollywood, and by our own easily deceived and very emotional hearts, that we need to be in a romantic relationship, otherwise we will never be happy. Both men and women will allow themselves to fall into a deep infatuation with someone that later turns into an obsession, which they then call love. They cohabitate, mistreat each other, hurt each other, but can’t let go of each other. Their lives are a virtual hell, but when challenged with the thought of ending the relationship, they insist that they "need" each other. God describes our hearts as deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).
We sacrifice time that ought to be spent with God in church, just to make relatives happy, to go out with that romantic prospect, to get overtime pay, because we are convinced that our wants are non-negotiable. But when it’s time to put effort into fighting for our need to have life to the full and be free from the devil’s oppression, we become weak and even complain about how hard it is to fight. Some of us want God to drop the fulfillment of our needs into our laps, complain when He doesn’t, but then spend vast amounts of time and effort chasing after our wants.
Have you been hesitant to believe that what you want to change by the New Year is really God’s will? Does it fit into His description of a need? Then cut off all doubts and everything that holds you back and be determined that God wants this for you even more than you do.
Have you been convinced that your wants are really needs? Are they actually selfish wants or things that you feel pressured into because of family expectations? Choose now what you will pursue and what you need to leave behind as a hindrance to change.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17