Last night, I ate 2 pieces of cake and pistachio ice cream. I know, there’s no point in me telling anyone this information, but I learned an important lesson: What I think I want, sometimes isn’t what I need.
In Numbers 11, the Israelites had been provided for. God had sent Manna, in abundance, in a supernatural way to meet the needs of His people; however, they were far from satisfied. They wanted fish, garlic, melon, leeks, onions and cucumbers. They had a grocery lists of requests – and they wailed to make it known (vs.10).
If I think about it, this sounds like me sometimes.
Instead of looking at what I have and praising the Lord for where He has my heart, I choose to focus on where I want to be – where I think I need to be. I begin to supplement my life with the things I think will get me there – the things I think I need. Maybe it’s a life that’s lived at a tragically fast pace. Maybe it’s a relationship or a certain job. Whatever it is, I become so focused on “my need” that I begin to convince myself that it’s God’s will for that era of my life. I begin to manipulate my path to bring it about.
“The Lord heard you when you wailed, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!’ Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, of five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month – until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it – because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt'” (Numbers 11: 18-20)?
When the Israelites were in slavery, His response was freedom. When they had to travel to the land set aside for them, God led them down a path that would be less tempting for them. When they were thirsty in the desert, the Lord caused water to rush out of a rock – and when they became hungry, He provided food from the sky…
And when the Israelites decided they needed something more, He gave it to them.
Perhaps it was so they could see that what they thought they needed was, in fact, not what they needed at all.
My stomach hurt this morning and as I walked around my house gathering my stuff for the day. I regretted eating that second piece of cake. As my stomach mumbled and grumbled, I thought about the consequences of my actions. Although, it looked good, and tasted great, it was not what I needed. I wanted it and I partook of it, but it made me sick.
I can manipulate my life to be where I think I need to be. I can even try to run through life a little faster than the Lord wants me to. However, as I manipulate the path (and walk in a way the Lord doesn’t want me to), I miss out on some amazing things He wants to show me along the way.
He knows what I need and when I need it.
Although there are times I wish I could be elsewhere, experiencing different things, it must not be what I need – or even what’s good for me at that moment.
The question I have to ask myself is this: Is what the Lord wants for my life what I want for my life? If my answer is “yes,” then I have one choice – and that’s to follow His lead, knowing that when I stumble, He’ll invite me to follow Him, once again. If my answer is “no” then I need to step back and realize that He’s God regardless of what I think, how I act, or what I say – and that’s a fact I’ve got to deal with.
I don’t want to eat cake that’s going to make me sick. I want to eat cake that brings me life. I want to open my mouth to His provisions with a heart that trusts He knows what I need and when I need it.
When I get in the way, I end up sick.