We don’t ask for what we need. Instead, we ask for what we want and tell ourselves it’s what we need.

 When our boys were young, it seemed they always needed something. If it wasn’t new shoes, it was a team jersey, a bike or basketball, maybe a jacket, book, school supplies, money for camp or a movie ticket. The list was never ending. Because they’re close in age, they often all needed the same thing at the same time, which meant three of everything. Occasionally, when only one boy needed something, the others reasoned they must need it too, even if it wasn’t true.  I remember a time when I had just about reached my limit with all the things they “needed”. They had gone a little too far and needed some help understanding the difference between a “want” and a “need”. I called them together and told them how much I loved them and that I wanted nothing more than for them to have everything they needed for a good life.

Then I instructed them to create a list of all the things they needed. When they were done, we would go to the store. No son of mine would be without. You can imagine the surprise on their faces as they squirmed with delight. They quickly went to work creating their lists. This kept them entertained for some time, which I enjoyed. After a while, I interrupted to remind them that they were to create a list of items they needed, not just things they wanted. They should consider each item and determine if they really needed it, before adding it to the list. As their pencils dropped, their faces took on a new expression. Delight turned into contemplation. I could tell they needed more time to think, so I told them again how much I loved them and left the room. That was a long time ago. I’m still waiting for their lists. What we want and what we need are two different things.

 When something’s not right or we’re faced with a problem in our life, all we want is a “solution”. We want to solve the problem and move on. Since the problem is real and not going away on its own, we conclude the solution is what we need. There’s no other way out.

 Imagine losing your job. You are discouraged, sad and feeling inadequate. You identify a new job as the solution to your problem and something you want. Without much more thought, you begin to tell yourself and others how much you really “need” a new job.

 You focus entirely on your circumstances and what you want, making you the center of the universe.  Soon, you get a new job. Oddly you’re still discouraged, sad and feeling inadequate.

You ask yourself, “What just happened? This job was what I wanted.” You just answered your own question. You got what you wanted, not what you needed. Remember, what we want and what we need are two different things.

We can trust God with our “wants” and “needs”. He loves us and has a plan for our life.

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

 Remember He’s God, we’re not. We shouldn’t be surprised when His response to our problem isn’t what we expected. He’s scope is infinite and He’s preparing us for eternity. We don’t always understand, but we can trust that His ways are perfect.

 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)

God created us and knows our every need. He also knows we can’t do it on our own. That’s why He sent the Holy Spirit to reveal His will for us and to help us. As The Holy Spirit works in us, Spiritual Fruit is produced in our lives, just like fruit on a tree. This Fruit is the manifestation of Christ living in us, meeting every need and equipping us to live the life God has planned for us.

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 


God has a plan for our life. It’s not to give us what we want, but to give us what we need. He’s focused on who we are in Christ. His plan is to grow us spiritually, so that we become mature, complete, not lacking anything.

Thank you God, for knowing what we need and providing a vision of fruit for our life!


Check out our Free Downloads on Fruit Vision, Spiritual Fruit Definitions and our Favorite of the Spirit Scriptures here.

January 06, 2021 — Leann Maxwell-Muir


Kim said:

What a great reminder. It’s easy to slip into losing recognition of wants over needs. Convicting and a wake-up call. Thank you. :)

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