NO, not THAT kind of change. Although, after I put it here, that tells me maybe I need at some point, look into money and how I should consider pursuit of material things differently. BUT…..let me not distract my current thoughts.
As I continue my struggles I started listening to Christian radio stations. One song that speaks to me so very much is: More than anything by Natalie Grant. The message is very powerful to me because it shows me that my wants do need to change. My approach to Christ needs to change. As it says in the song, “help me want the savior more than the saving” Of course I want the saving, I desperately needed the saving, but as I try to study more and more of the scripture, I realize that looking for what Jesus can do for me I am missing out on the big picture and the big blessings I could receive. My struggles are so many, yes, they are of my own making to one extent or another, but they are there and Jesus wants to help me with them. But, I really need to change my mindset. I need to want Him FIRST and enjoy the blessings He gives me second. By focusing on Christ I see that not only does He give me guidance on how to live, how to incorporate His word in my life. The end result of Him helping me with my issues is simplified by this different approach. Oh, I will fail to keep my focus on Jesus as I should at times, I wish it weren’t true, but it is a fact of human existence. Shifting my gaze from Him to the problem always seems to make my problems seem much bigger than they should be for me. But, if I focus on Him, the other issues become lessened.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24
I used to read this, and have heard it preached on, with the mindset that if I pray hard enough He will give me whatever I am asking for at the time. Now, there are times I have prayed for things and gotten whatever it is for which I had prayed and other times I didn’t. Does that mean the verse isn’t true when I don’t get what the thing or things for which I prayed? No, because sometimes He tells us no. Not because the verse is not true, but because sometimes He knows better than I and knows a certain gift would not be in my best interest. Just like as a child, sometimes my parents wouldn’t give me things I wanted. And, if I had managed to save enough money that I could have paid for something myself, there were times they still wouldn’t let me get it. One example I can think of is a pet monkey. I ALWAYS wanted one, to be honest, sometimes I kind of think it would be fun to have one now. You know, the little Capuchin monkeys, cute, look like they would be fun to have around because all the movies show them doing exactly like they are supposed to do. However, they are all pretty nasty little things. Throwing excrement, tearing up things, leaving wet spots about when they urinate here or there, they often get mean at times, and many more nasty habits. Yes, I would have been happy for a while with a monkey, but sooner or later that would have been less and less joy and more of a headache and hardship. By denying me what I wanted they spared me hardships. Just like He does when He doesn’t give use everything for which we ask.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:8
Now, this also seems to be saying if we ask for something, we receive that thing. Some people pray, earnestly, that God let them win the lottery because they feel they want or need the money or promise to do only good with it if they win, but they don’t win. Those people get upset at God for not giving what they wanted. The list of things people ask for is endless. The problem is, they, and I wishing for the wrong things, like the monkey. If read in a bigger context and a more receptive mind one realizes that the intent is to have us focus on wanting, and asking for, the right thing. I need to think with a more spiritual mind, a more Christ like mind, ask for things that will bring me closer to Him and not put barriers between He and I. I need to want the Savior, not the saving.
But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Luke 12:31
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
If I seek God first, then the rest will be given to me as well? AMAZING! But, the thing I realize is that the things for which I prayed are a different now. When I prayed asking for things for me, to satisfy my wants and needs He didn’t always say yes. But, if I seek God first, sincerely seek Him, I have a change in me, in my desires, and those things, the things I want that come from a Christlike mind, those He will give.
Yeah, I need to change my wants. I need to want Him first, to be more like Christ. Then, as I grow in my walk with Jesus my desires reflect His and not mine. So, reckon time to quit praying for that new shiny four wheel drive pick up, the Cadillac, the Red Ryder BB gun, the monkey, to win the lottery, etc. I need to seek Christ, see to better know Him and His ways. Then, I will get that for which I pray. I bet, if I had, even a few days ago made a list of what I wanted, what I prayed and asked God for and if I made one now, the list would be different. And, as I continue my walk with Jesus, become better at it (because, often I still aint all that good at it) the list will be much different.
So, today, I ask you Jesus to help me change my want. Help me put my focus and desires on that which would better serve you and make me a better servant to you. Teach me to desire to have the heart of Christ, not that of a man. Thank you for the blessings You have given me, thank you for the tolerance of my ignorance, thank you for helping make me a better man and a much better Christian.
I ask you Lord to protect my family, to draw them to you, so they can have the forgiveness and peace you have given me.
The song I referenced: More than anything. carries a powerful message. If you haven’t heard it, try to find it and listen. If you have heard it and heard the same message, great, if you aren’t sure, listen to the message not the words. It really has been a great message for me.
Thank you again for bearing with me. I hope something I wrote helps someone else. As I said before, this helps me better understand Him, me, and how I can improve my walk with Christ. I hope you share if you think it will help someone else. Again, I don’t want anyone to think I consider myself more pious than anyone else, nor more righteous. I am far from that. I am just another struggling sinner He had mercy on and am trying to live better for Jesus.