Journey to Rediscover Jesus Day 34: Two Wrestling Questions

If you ask my kids what they want for Christmas, for dinner, or even what they want to do for the day, they will present a long list of ideas to you. Like most kids they have ideas of what will make them happy. Of course some of what they think they want is based simply on what they’ve seen on television, online, or because one of their friends have it. While there are many “things” they want, I’m always amazed at their attitudes towards what they actually get versus what they’ve said they wanted. They have a great outlook and simply are thankful for what they’ve receive, what we are going to eat, or what we are going to do for the day. It’s not to say they never complain or whine, but overall they have the most amazing attitudes when it comes down to being thankful for what they have.

Chapter 34: Two Wrestling Questions

“Life is not about getting what you want.” Wow, what an opening line! This chapter challenges us to take a very hard look at what we really want in life and to see how that compares to what God wants for us. For many of us, it’s a difficult task to have to complete.

Matthew Kelly pointed out that our motives can teach us much about ourselves; I would venture to say that they also lead us into the problems {sin} that we encounter within our lives. When our motives aren’t holy, when we simply want because we want, well, often that leads us to doing things that perhaps aren’t as good for us as we may hope. Our wants don’t always equal goodness in our lives. And getting everything we “want” is not necessarily a good thing either.

In previous posts we have talked about uniting our wills to God’s will. This is imperative when we think about what we want in life. It’s a difficult prayer to pray and even harder to live out, but asking God what he wants for us instead of demanding we get our own way will always result in a joy-filled life. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when we want something so badly and God says no and we then feel terrible- not joy-filled. But when we tell God that we trust him and we know that his plan is always going to be better than our own, we can experience peace and joy even though we may have initially felt disappointment, anger, or sadness.

Point to Ponder: The wrong questions always lead to the wrong answers.

Have you ever wanted something so much that when you finally got it, it was a complete let-down? The experience or the feeling of getting what you want didn’t match up to what you had hoped you would feel. What about a time when you got what you wanted and felt utter happiness only to be bored with it shortly after? Why does that happen? Why do we get bored or disappointed with what we knew would make us the happiest person in the world?

I think this happens because instead of asking God what he wants for our lives we assume we know better than he does and we pursue things that aren’t in our best interest or that will bring us lasting happiness or joy. Of course there are times that what we want and what God wants does intersect. Those times are amazing, aren’t they? It feels like God has listened to us and has answered our prayers. How much better would our lives be, how much happier, if we simply prayed for God’s will in our lives and we made the decision to pray that God would bring us the joy that he knows we need? I imagine we would experience joy in a way we can’t even fathom! If our prayer was that God’s will be done then every day would feel like an answered prayer!

Verse to Live: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace.” Romans 15:13

It is only by uniting our will to God’s that we will ever experience true joy and peace. We may be able to experience happiness without God in our lives but it isn’t lasting happiness. There is always something “missing”. When we turn over our lives and our wills to him, we can find joy in every event in our lives- even the ones that are difficult.

Question to Consider: Does getting what you want bring you lasting happiness?

I think getting what I want can bring me happiness, but it is never a lasting happiness. I always want more… what I have is never enough when I simply put my own desires above God’s. However, when I pray “Thy will be done” what God brings into my life always brings me lasting happiness and joy. You would think it would be easy to always unite my will to his because I know the joy that will follow, however, it definitely can be hard to do when I get tunnel-vision about something I want and think I need.

Your Turn: Are you satisfied with what you have or do you always want more? Is it difficult to put God’s needs and wants above your own? Do you think that God wants what is best for you? If no, why? If yes, why do you struggle to unite your will to his when you know that he desires only good for you?

Prayer: Jesus, please remind me when I forget that your will is what I really want deep down too.

Help me to unite my will to yours and to desire only what you place upon my heart. Amen.

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