You Can’t Always Get What You Want

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Over and over I have had to face my “ You can’t always get what you want ” moment. It seems we as a species repeatedly rub our faces against the wall of our wants as opposed to just receiving our needs from God. Ouch! But thankfully our God is faithful and He is willing to guide us through this very distinction. It’s in the moments when the thing we want so badly flames up into our face and burns us that we see our folly. Unfortunately, it usually isn’t a one-time lesson; it’s a lifetime of learning.

An Anthem: You Can’t Always Get What You Want

An Anthem: You Can’t Always Get What You Want
In 1969 a song titled You Can’t Always Get What You Want became very popular. And it has become an anthem for many. Even our President Trump has used it as a theme song. All throughout his campaign this song rang forth over and over. The chorus is:

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well you might find
You get what you need.

How absolutely true is this?

Now, even a blind squirrel finds a nut ever so often. So I am not purporting that the writers of this song have any deep spiritual wisdom. But the Word does say in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to ALL without reproach, and it will be given him.” This means that our God is a giver and even the godless can receive wisdom from Him. So let me share about our you-get-what-you-need moments.

The Point of You Can’t Always Get What You Want

The Point of You Can’t Always Get What You Want

I’m going straight into my point rather than delving into my particular…“unmet” wants. This post isn’t about my individual want but about all our wants. Depending on the person, the object of ‘want’ varies in direction. Yet all maintain a single inherent feature: the motivation is emotionally driven, standing counter to God’s own design for our lives. And here’s the rub: my desires have to come in line with God’s own desires or they tend to burn me, badly!

I am by no means saying I have only one desire that has been thwarted. Desires seem to be as prevalent as the stars, and I am not immune to this flood. Yet we each seem to have one prevailing desire that leads us. I don’t know what yours is and I am not going to go into mine. But for most of us, even though we have many desires, there usually is one in particular that propels us strongly. Often it is parental in nature. Gaining a father’s approval, seeking a mother’s love, making one of them proud of us, the list goes on and on. Again, it is as individual as we are, but it always stems from an unmet desire.

Unmet Needs: You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Unmet Needs: You Can’t Always Get What You Want
So off we go into the world to seek to have this want met. Are you looking for that mother you lost by seeking a mother in another woman? Is it that father’s rejection that fueled your pursuit of a daddy’s love? Could it be a passion for a parent’s affirmation which drives your workaholic fever? Do you just want to quell your parent’s disdain by being a person who makes people proud? You see the WANTs are extremely personal and deeply emotional. The reason they have such force is because they are primal in nature. It isn’t a desire like “I want pistachio ice cream;” it is a deep desire that has become the driving force of our lives.

Why then does God have to thwart them? Does He have some sick sense of humor? No! But He is jealous and remains the Source of all of our need fulfillments. Here is my belief as to why He prevents us from fulfilling this WANT. The want is only fulfilled in Him and the substitution would only lead us further away. It’s like He is knocking the poison from our hands as we raise it to our lips.

I have gone round my personal merry-go-round of “want fulfillment” for years. Yet all along God has been preventing me from ingesting a deadly concoction. I struggled and strained to drink my ‘want,’ and He worked to prevent my poisoning. Apply this to your own want. Has Jesus saved you from a lethal dose of ‘want’ that would have taken you away from Him?

You Can’t Always Get What You Want
“You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes, well you might find, you get what you need.”

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:11-13 NLT

Whom have I in heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth.
Psalm 73:25 NLT

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Marsela

We do not know and understand our own make up, we didn’t create ourselves. We do not know the tendencies of our own hearts, and where they can take us…. He does, so fully, so intimately, therefore He is the only One qualified to determine what our needs are. Being a parent you get to understand a little of what the Lord’s heart must feel in His dealings with us, when our hearts’ attitudes are so set in ” our wants” all the while we have no clue of the implications they will bring shortly and down the road for… Read more »

Laurie

Love this John and as always beautifully said! Xoxox