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From Deep Wants to Deeper Needs

Posted in Decision-making, and Prayer

What do you want – I mean what do you really want? Sometimes what makes our soul giddy is not always for our good.  Without the filter of godly reason, it’s easy for me to pursue what’s selfish or foolish.

1 Kings 3 introduces us to a woman who was torn from reason by a tragedy. What she really wanted was gone. Her baby died during the night when she rolled over him in her sleep.

But as she awakened to an unimaginable loss, she began to devise an unthinkable plan. She swapped her son’s lifeless body for the live son of another woman sleeping nearby.

When what we want is out of our reach, we need to grasp the wisdom and power of God.

Apparently, this woman found neither. As she descended into shock and grief, it was hard for her to see the truth.  But the other woman was not easily duped. In the morning, when she tried to nurse her son, she saw the child was dead and it wasn’t her son at all. (vv. 16-21)

deep wants deeper needs quoteThe women argued about their rightful claim to the live child. Eventually, their debate brought them before King Solomon. He knew the power of having a want and releasing it to God.

When God appeared to the king in a dream He said, “What do you want?  Ask, and I will give it to you!” (v. 5) Solomon replied,

“Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” (v.9)

Good choice Solomon. My encounters with God eventually expose my deepest wants, but only His grace can meet my deepest needs.

Sometimes I want fast results, but I need discipline. I want life without stress, but I need to abide in God’s peace and love. When I want to control the details of a situation, I need to surrender to the will of God.

No matter how deeply we want something or someone, our deepest need is to experience God — in the way He wants us to.

For the women in 1 Kings 3, Solomon’s decision put their deepest wants on display:

He said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!  ”Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, “Oh no, my lord! Give her the child—please do not kill him!”

But the other woman said, “All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!” Then the king said, “Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!” (vv. 25-27)

The woman who lost her son was satisfied to see someone else lose their son too. But the woman who loved the child, made peace by saving his life. Solomon saw the difference.

Satisfaction comes from doing what we want.  Peace comes from doing what is right.  Wisdom comes from knowing the difference. None of them comes easy to us; but they can each become ours through faith in Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 1:28-30)

As we wrestle with what we really want, here’s some good news: It is better to release our desires to God than to sacrifice what He desires for us. It may be difficult, even painful to embrace His plan, but it’s the only way to have the deepest hope for the heart and joy to the soul.

With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!” – Isaiah 12:3 

All Scriptural references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)


  1. Excellent blog. I love how you brought this woman’s story and made it relevant to our lives. Made me introspective today.

    June 14, 2016
    • Joy

      Thanks Karen! There’s a lot to think about when we read this woman’s story. I’m glad God used this post to speak to your heart!

      June 14, 2016
  2. Crystal Dawn Murphy
    Crystal Dawn Murphy

    “Satisfaction comes from doing what we want. Peace come from doing what is right. Wisdom comes from knowing the difference. ” A refreshing way to view our needs vs our wants.

    June 14, 2016
    • Joy

      The need vs. wants debate may continue in our minds. But thankfully, God’s word helps us to settle it with the wisdom He puts in our hearts. Thanks Crystal!

      June 14, 2016

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