What is it that you want? A wise woman knows what she wants…in that she understands that she has certain desires and seeks to evaluates them in light of scripture.
We already looked at evaluating our thoughts, but now lets look at why we do what we do? What motivates us to get up in the morning, act certain ways, fight for certain causes? Our desires. And at the end of the day, we need to evaluate whether our desires were self-driven or God’s-glory driven.
We all have desires, but Proverbs tells us that Wisdom is better than anything else you might desire. (Prov. 8:11) If we believe that to be true, why is it that we spend so little time seeking the wisdom that comes from knowing God and so much time following the latest trends in jewelry, housewares, clothes or TLC reality shows?
Certain desires are normal and good. But the moment normal desires morph into something we believe we can’t live without (we demand them) we set ourselves up for all kinds of spiritual problems because we’ve displaced Christ on the throne of our heart and replaced Him with another god…the ruling demand.
Our desires for good things seize the throne, becoming idols that replace the King. God refuses to serve our instinctive longings, but commands us to be ruled by other longings. What God commands, He provides the power to accomplish. David Powlison
A quick read-through of the book of James talks about how lusts drive men to wars, because our innermost cravings guide our choices.
Take for instance a woman who wants to be loved and accepted. Natural, normal desire, right? But when that desire morphs into a demand, something she believes she cannot live without, she’ll be tempted to sin to get it. Knowing her own desires/tendencies in this area will help her avoid looking for love in all the wrong places and to keep her mind on track when she suddenly believes that her husband doesn’t love her anymore and she feels the urge to look for love elsewhere. Knowing what scripture says about the unconditional love of God for her will also become a comfort.
A woman who desires admiration may become a people pleaser, the “class clown” or socialite, a chameleon, changing depending on the crowd she’s with, in hopes to gain affection and respect from others.
Sometimes our desires drive us to compete sinfully with other people, causing broken relationships. Envy and strife and a severely inflated view of self and a lack of love for others are at the root of all such destructive behaviors. What do you want so badly that you are willing to trample another person and withhold love to get? “Love one another as I have loved you” is not a suggestion. It’s a command and the way the world will know that you are Christ’s disciple or not.
Understanding your desire to be #1 will help you to expose the sinful actions that you may have taken to attain your coveted status. Women who feel the need to rule/control others have a lot to learn about Christlike love, serving and humility. Understanding the devilish nature of envy, pride and a competitive spirit that is willing to tear down another will reveal your hate for that person and an over-love of yourself.
So, how do you identify desires that have morphed into demands? Just look for the areas of conflict in your life. It’s really that simple.
Ask yourself, What do I love so much that
- I’m willing to sin to get it
- I’m willing to war with another person to get it
- I’m willing to withhold love/punish to get it
- I’m willing to neglect the Lord over it
- I go to it for comfort.
- I’m willing to isolate myself and ignore sound advice to get it. (Pr. 18:1)
These questions help me to expose any idols in my own life so that I can “break down the high place, once reserved for God.”
Consider these statements, and what they reveal about what is really going on in our hearts when we act these ways:
- Did you see so and so. She’s so out to lunch with her kids! (Gossiping about another person may fulfill your desire to seem superior to others, to cement friendships with another person (which gossip never does, by the way! If she’ll gossip about her, she’ll gossip about you! No stable friendship there.) or to tear others down, but it also exposes your willingness to sin with your mouth saying what scripture forbids. Shows that the gossip-per will not submit her mouth/words to scriptures commands, i.e… that “you” are lord of your life when you sin with your mouth and not “Christ” who forbids it.)
- I needed a few minutes of peace and quiet so badly that I lost it with my kids and sent them all to their rooms. (Time is a God-given asset, a good thing, but when you don’t get the time you think you deserve and sin to get it, the desire is ruling you, instead of the Holy Spirit ruling you.)
- My husband just doesn’t “get it” and isn’t meeting my needs, so I’m giving him the cold shoulder until he figures it out. (Desiring love to the point that you’ll punish another until you get it exposes your reigning god: yourself. Love serves another and does what’s best for the other person. Punishing in a passive-aggressive manner is like an adult temper tantrum.)
- I just had to buy it, so I charged it! (Your money is a tool to serve God not yourself. If you couldn’t afford it, you shouldn’t have bought it. God will provide for what you need.)
- I ate a whole container of ice cream last night…I was just SOOO upset. (God is meant to satisfy our deepest needs and using food or drink as a “comfort mechanism” is an ungodly replacement. Over-indulging the flesh makes matters worse!)
Look for the sin. Try to understand why we did what we did. Repent of serving sin when we are servants of Christ. Be aware of your desires, so that they don’t get the upper hand again and undermine your spiritual walk. And above all, desire Christ!
For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
A wise women wants what God wants and nothing more!