Is It a Need or a Desire?

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It’s imperative that we understand the difference between needs and desires. God promises to supply all of our needs, not desires. But it is important to make both a regular part of your prayer life.

Romans 8:32

In the fourth chapter of Philippians, Paul declares that God will “supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (v. 19). When we read that passage and apply it to our daily lives, we must be careful to interpret it correctly.

For that to happen, it’s imperative that we understand the difference between needs and desires. A need is something that is essential in order for you and me to each become the person God desires us to be or to accomplish the things He’s called us to do. On the other hand, a desire is something we believe will bring enjoyment to our lives. The key word here is enjoyment, which describes a temporary pleasure; we tend to desire things that will bring us happiness for a season but then fades away.

It’s important to note that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a desire, as long as it’s within God’s will and is an outflow of a Spirit-filled life. God is a wonderful, loving heavenly Father who loves to shower His grace upon us (Matt. 7:11). However—and this is critical—we must remember that God never promises to supply all of our desires. He surely provides many of them, but only at His discretion and for His own glory. Therefore, your inability to acquire a large-screen television, for example, is not indication that God is unfaithful.

What do you need in order to become the person God has called you to be? What do you desire that will help you gain more enjoyment in life? Keep a list of these things, and make both categories a regular part of your prayer life.

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