What Do You Really Need?
“Do you need a spanking?” I recall numerous times when I heard a frustrated parent say to their out-of-control child, “Do you need a spanking?” However, I don’t ever remember a child replying, “Yes, please. Give me a spanking.”
On the other hand, when asked, “Do you need a time out?” the reply may definitely be, “Yes!” “Get me away from this situation and leave me alone!”
If we paused to consider the actual need, the wayward child didn’t need a spanking. They needed to get in line with God’s authority.
Ask for what you need.
How many times have we been directed to ask for what we need? Who should we ask for what we need? Is the person we ask obligated to meet our perceived need? Are we really asking for a need to be met, or are we trying to get what we want? After all, it’s all about me and what makes me happy, right?
Sure, it’s wise to ask for advice, assistance, help, directions, etc. But should I be asking you, or telling you, what I need?
While reading through the Bible, I stumbled upon the story of Elijah and those who tried to tell him what he needed to do. You can read the story in 2 Kings 1:9–17. To summarize, two groups of 50 soldiers came to tell Elijah what the king needed and, therefore, what he was supposed to do. Each time, fire came down from heaven and consumed the men. When the third group of 50 men arrived and humbled themselves, God told Elijah what he needed to do. Elijah responded to what God told him to do. He did not concede to what the king told him he needed.
I really don’t know what I need.
In actuality, I really don’t know what I need! I may know what I want. I may know what I would like, but only God knows my need.
The Israelites thought they had it all figured out and knew what they needed. But God redirected their wayward hearts. He redirected them and promised that He would point the way.
Your own ears will hear him.Isaiah 30:21 NLT
Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
whether to the right or to the left.
And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.James 4:3 NLT
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;Proverbs 3:5–6 NLT
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
The Lord knows our hearts, and His Spirit intercedes on our behalf to make our needs known to the Father.
In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings.Romans 8:26 CSB
I need to ask God for what I need.
Only God knows what I truly need. And the Bible repeatedly directs us to ask God for what we need. This is true because only God can meet my needs!
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6–7 NLT
Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.Hebrews 4:16 CSB
My help comes from the Lord,Psalm 121:2 CSB
the Maker of heaven and earth.
God disciplines me to put me in line with His authority.
Sometimes, God must discipline me so that my wants come in line with what He says I need. Like the wayward child, I must get in line with God’s authority. I must humble myself to ask Him to reveal my actual need. And then, in Christlike humility, I must allow Him to supply all my needs as He sees fit.
And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons:
My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly
or lose heart when you are reproved by him,
for the Lord disciplines the one he loves
and punishes every son he receives.
Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline—which all receive—then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but he does it for our benefit, so that we can share his holiness. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.Hebrews 12:5–11 CSB
And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:19 CSB
I need to depend on God for all I need.
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.Ephesians 6:10 NLT
God empowers His servants to assist us with life and living. However, all that I need comes from God. Therefore, I am to ask Him and depend on Him to meet all my needs.