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Resisting the “I Wants”

9 years ago written by

llm-oct14_disc3As a parent, I have learned to hate commercials. In the advertising gaps between “Dora the Explorer” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” my children are infected with a serious case of the “I wants.”

It seems that every commercial hijacks the mind of my 7-year-old, as she screams, “I want the Lalaloopsy dream house!” My 5-year-old chooses more expensive desires: “I want Wii U and a PlayStation 4.” Regardless of the many toys, electronics and knickknacks crowding their floors, my children always seem to want more.

Have you faced the same issue?

In Judges 6, we read a similar story in a completely opposite environment. The Israelites are living in the “land of plenty” but their enemies have burned their farms, stolen their crops and killed their harvesters. God’s people are being starved out of existence. They are poor, hungry and hopeless.

God responds to the condition of His people by raising up a savior. Gideon is chosen and called to be Israel’s deliverer. God finds Gideon when he is the neediest. Gideon is filling his hunger by making a small amount of wheat while hiding from the bad guys in a winepress. God interrupts His work to cast a new vision of hope for the nation. Gideon, his belly still rumbling with hunger, is unsure of God’s faithfulness. He wants to make sure God remains: “Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”

Gideon realizes that God inhabits the praises of His people, so He seeks to make sure God sticks around by worshipping Him. In spite of his empty stomach and starved body, Gideon goes and offers God a goat (probably his only goat and a great option for a meal). Gideon slaves over the pot and stove to make sure the offering is just right. The smells of the cooking meat are like a toy commercial — tempting him to feed the “I want.” But he resists and worships God with a meaty dinner offering, and God consumes it all.

In this story, I find the medicine to cure the “I wants.” Worship! If we worship God correctly, we are telling Him that we need Him, that we desire Him and that we are seeking Him over everything else we may want. Once God receives honest worship, He seems to stick around. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). And if the presence of the Almighty God, creator of the universe, lover of our souls remains with us … well, let’s just say I don’t think the Lalaloopsy dream house will fulfill what God can give.

Shane Bengry is the lead pastor of John Wesley Free Methodist Church in Indianapolis.


[1] Where does the “I want” creep into your life?
[2] When does worship purify your focus and desires?
[3] What are some tangible ways that you can worship God today?

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