Sometimes what we want and what we need are in direct conflict. Any
parent knows that a kid’s want list is a mile long but if we give them every want we wouldn’t have anything for their needs. Sure, I’ll buy you the new ”Unicorn Lolly Land” video game (not a real thing... I don’t think), but I won’t be able to pay the water bill. Dehydration and hours of rainbow unicorn fun or life? Ok... not every choice is that extreme. (Just don’t tell your kids and you can get a lot of mileage with that).
However, it is true that sometimes we want five more minutes of sleep when what we need is to grow our relationship with Jesus. Sometimes, we want to avoid conflict but we need to deal with an interpersonal issue. Sometimes, we want to be healthy and fit but watching “Stranger Things” and eating bacon wrapped jalapeño peppers is way more fun and delicious.
Often times our approach to Jesus is the same. We come to Him with a
rather long want list expecting Him to take care of it. However, often what we find is something far different.
The Bible has a simple story. God made man. Man didn’t want God. God won’t give up until He wins man back. The number one problem facing our us today is that people don’t realize their need of a relationship with God and some that do, don’t want it because it doesn’t line up with their agenda.
In John 4:4-29 we read the story of the Samaritan woman. I’ll spare you the spoilers because you really need to go read it. NOW. Do it.
You see she comes to the well with a lot of preconceived ideas about the Jews, the temple, how to worship, and we hear a whole lot of bitterness
toward them spilling out like the water from her jars. She is taken aback that Jesus, a Jew, would even talk to her, let alone ask her for water. However, the conversation ensues, well, because when Jesus is determined to talk with you, you shouldn’t say no.
Jesus mentions a comment about living water and the woman does
something we all do. She wants it now. The quick fix. I’ll never have to come to this well again carrying these heavy jars. Let me have it. However, she didn’t understand.
So often we too are quick to miss what Jesus is trying to say because we jump to conclusions and don’t just listen. Then we have major problems in our lives and families and show up to church one Sunday morning and expect God to fix everything just because we went to ONE church service or said ONE prayer. It’s like having a major blowout with your car; you know where the rubber comes completely off the rim, and pulling up to a service station and requesting them to plug your tire. God wants us to slow down and give our problems to Him and allow Him the time necessary to repair and or replace things in our lives.
My favorite part of this story happens near the end of their
conversation. See if you can find it. After, being flustered from some too
personal insight from Jesus she changes the conversation and ultimately tries to bow out. She says, “I know the Messiah will come and explain
everything.” She’s done. She’s trying to escape. However, in that moment her eyes were opened when Jesus says that’s exactly who you’ve been talking to. Then she does something great! She leaves her jars behind.
God’s goal for the Samaritan woman was accomplished. She got what she needed... living water... and she became a child of God. Maybe if I say it this way we can understand, God’s goal is not to make us happy, it’s to make us His, not to get us what we want, but to get us what we need.
I think you’ll discover that when you are made truly His, the things he wants for you will become the things you want for you.
Today you can pretend to be a part of God’s family by just blending in with the crowd and going through the motions. No one notices here, because you say the right things, go to the right places, and hang out with the right people. And you can enjoy the comfort of being accepted by the crowd of your choice, and one by one you check the wants off your list. But Jesus wants you. He’s tired of seeing you struggle for every little thing that you think you desire. He wants you and when you give yourself to him you may find that the very thing you came for is the very thing you leave behind. His goal isn’t to make you happy, its to make you His.
What would truly change if there was a real revival of God’s spirit in our church? Or, if you chose to abandon yourself and let God have you? What would change if you left your water jars, all your priorities, self-made
images, and self-interested goals at the feet of Jesus to simply become his? I think we’d all walk away with so much more than what we left. And what about those things on the want list? Well, the more time you spend with Him, you just really won’t want them anymore. He has a way of