I was on my way into the gym (ok yes, I know in my last writing I was at the gym…it just seems weird and strange things happen on my way to the gym!!). Anyway, like I was saying, as I was approaching the gym I heard a young child throwing a fit. You know, not that cry of being hurt or in fear, but that scream of not getting their way! I know you have heard it and I’m sure when you were a kid you threw a few fits as well. I know I did. Well this kid was screaming and thrashing about yelling “BUT, I WANT IT!!” “I WANT IT, Mommy…and I WAANNTT IT NOW!”
This young mom was obviously embarrassed, so she picked up the flailing child and I think I heard her whisper sweetly in the child’s ear that great age old wisdom, “You can’t always have what you want.” The child let out one last blast of a cry and in a whimper He said, ‘But, I want it, I want it, I want it, I (sniff), I (cry), I,” and the child buried his head in his mom’s arms.
As I observed this while walking by I thought how we usually grow out of this “I want stage” and yield to that wisdom that we can’t always have what we want. But as I continued my thoughts, I was taken to the problems, issues, and pains we go through in all ages and stages of life because we say “I want it.” Some have faced the debilitating devastation of mounding debt because they said, “I want it.” Others have blown up a marriage, or had an inappropriate relationship, or even an unwanted pregnancy because they said, “I want it.” Some have become stingy and even resorted to stealing because they said, “I want it.” Oh my, the list goes on of the complications resulting from those three little words, “I want it.”
As I was pondering the troubles of saying and acting on those three words, I was reminded of something Jesus said that speaks to the other side of this phrase:
Luke 9:23 Then He (Jesus) said to them all: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
The other side of “I want it”’ is to deny self and follow Jesus! It’s replacing “I” with Jesus and making Him central in life, not self. It’s the essence behind Matthew 6:33.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
His kingdom is Jesus on the throne, central in life, looking to Him for direction, purpose, wisdom, and influence. But it does take trust.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
But that’s why this is called faith…a trust that Jesus will guide and even meet our needs.
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
It may not be our wants, but still the focus is Jesus; who He is and His way of life.
So here’s a challenge this week. Go to the other side of “I want it” and follow Jesus. Seek Him and consider His way. It may take some time reading your Bible. I would suggest the Bible book of Colossians not just because it’s the next book we will be studying from here at Cypress Church, but because it points us back to our all sufficient Savior Jesus. I know I have been challenged as I have been studying in advance of this new preaching series, and been challenged to denying self and following Jesus. Maybe you will be too.
Seeking to Deny Self and Follow Jesus with you,