Tuesday, November 17, 2009

James 4 -- You Can't Always Get What You Want

Very few are the people who do not have a running list of things they want. The list is complete with both material and non material things. On this list there are hopes and dreams, plans and desires. For the follower of Christ there is an appropriate tendency to bring these things to God in prayer. We pray fervently, with great hope of what God will offer to us. What do we receive? Nothing, or at least not what we have desired.

I know it seems simple and has been said before, but believe it or not what we want is not always in our own best interest. Have you ever had the experience of getting exactly what you were looking for, only to find out it caused more trouble that did good? The reality is we should take all of who we are to God and offer it up. This means our list, hopes, dreams and desires, however, we must remember that it is God who is in control not us.

Especially in the Western world we think we are in charge. What we do, where we go, all the details of life seem to indicate we are in charge of our lives. This is a false perception. Ultimately God is in charge of everything, and allows us choices, but we do not always make the best choices. When it comes to our list, it is not bad to have a list, we must remember that it is up to God if the list becomes a reality. We might have a three year plan to see the list come to reality, but we have no way of knowing what life will be like tomorrow, much less three years from now.

So, what are to do, give up? Yes and no. We should never stop striving or having a list. At the same time we should remember who is in charge of the list. Life does not always play out as we want, some would say rarely does it. If we submit ourselves to the author of life, God, than we might not get what we want, we will get what we need. Hey that is catchy, I think someone should out that in a song, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need." too late it is already there.

Let us thank God that we do not always get what we want, and that God offers to us what we need more. May we have the faithfulness and courage to choose what is being offered to us by the great God of the universe, and see it is what we need.

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