WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 27, 2022
TOPIC: DON’T WANT WHAT GOD DOESN’T WANT YOU TO HAVE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now we want a king to be our leader, just like all the other nations. Choose one for us!” (1 Samuel 8:5b Contemporary English Version).
There is a tendency for human beings to value what they don’t have more than what they have. They cherish what they lack more than what they have. There is a longing in them for what is missing in their lives rather than enjoying what they already possess.
It appears that some people are often more attracted to do or have what is forbidden than what is allowed. In the Garden of Eden, God made every tree grow that was pleasant to the sight and good for food. However, the tree God forbade them to eat its fruit became most appealing to Eve, at the prompting of the serpent.
According to Genesis 2:8-9, “The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (New King James Version).
Verses 16-17 say, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (New King James Version).
God’s command was very clear. But when the serpent came into the garden, he spoke Eve into desiring what God had forbidden. Eve told the serpent that God said they could eat the fruit of the trees of the garden but not the fruit of the tree which was in the midst of the garden. She added to the command of God by saying that they must not touch it, lest they die.
A greater error by Eve was to have believed the serpent’s lie instead of God’s truth! “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (Genesis 3:4-5 New King James Version).
Eve wanted what God didn’t want her and Adam to have. God knew why He wanted them not to eat the fruit from that tree but allowed them to eat fruit from any other tree in the Garden. The serpent sowed a seed of dissatisfaction in Eve.
Verses 6-7 say, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” (New King James Version).
The glory departed! Disobedience exposed their nakedness. God had to come to their aid, replacing the leaves they had used to cover themselves with clothes made out of animal skins.
Don’t want what God doesn’t want you to have, no matter how good it appears to be. Trust God that He knows what is best for you. He knows why He doesn’t want you to have whatever He’s keeping away from you. Believe He is acting in your best interest, even if others have the same thing.
In 1 Samuel 8, the Israelites took advantage of the corrupt lifestyle of the children of Samuel, who was old, to ask for a king. “Now we want a king to be our leader, just like all the other nations. Choose one for us!” (1 Samuel 8:5b Contemporary English Version). Take note of the phrase “We want a king to be our leader.” They were not concerned if it was what God wanted for them. All they wanted was to be like all the other nations that had kings ruling them. The Israelites seemed to have forgotten that they were God’s chosen people. They didn’t need a king like the other nations; they already had the King – the Almighty God.
Their request displeased Samuel and he prayed to God about it but God knew long before then that they would make that request and even gave them guidelines for choosing a king. He said when they got to the land which He would give them to possess and dwell in it, they would say that they would set a king over themselves like all the nations around them (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). That was exactly what they did.
When they eventually demanded a king, God told Samuel to heed their voice for they had not rejected Samuel but Him not to reign over them. However, He told Samuel to solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who would reign over them. Despite telling them this, the Israelites insisted they wanted a king (1 Samuel 8:11-20).
Samuel, as commanded by God, gave them a king. Israel had different kings as a united nation and a divided nation – Judah and Israel. Most of their kings, especially the kings of Israel, did evil in the eyes of God. The people also went into rebellion against God like their kings, most of the time, until the two kingdoms went into captivity.
God declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He knows what will create problems for you in the future or bless you. Don’t want what God doesn’t want you to have, no matter how seemingly good that thing is. And don’t want now what God wants to give you later. If you get it now, it will harm you because you won’t be able to handle or manage it.
In the wilderness, the Israelites despised the manna that God gave them and craved for flesh or meat. The Bible says God granted their request but sent leanness into their soul (Psalm 106:14-15). The craving of the people or their greedy desire for meat is recorded in Numbers 11:4-6.
The LORD told them, “You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the LORD who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, ‘Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?’” (Numbers 11:19-20 New King James Version).
The LORD struck with a plague those who craved for meat. They died and were buried (verses 31-35). They were given the meat they craved, which eventually killed the strongest and the best of their families (Psalm 78:29-31). Be careful!
In Deuteronomy 10:13, Moses told the Israelites to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes, which He commanded them for their good. God’s Word is for your own good. You’re not doing Him any favour by obeying it.
Don’t want what God doesn’t want you to have. They may not even be evil or bad. Others may have them but don’t emulate them or be envious of them. Be content with what God gives. Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).
When the Israelites were on their way to the Promised Land, after forty years in the wilderness, the LORD told them that as they passed through the territory of their brethren, the land of the Edomites, the descendants of Esau (Mount Seir), and the land of the Moabites and Ammonites, the descendants of the sons of Lot, Moab and Ammon (Deuteronomy 2:4-9, 18-19), He would not give them even a footstep or any of their land. He said He had given their brethren the territories in question, as their possession. The Israelites were not to meddle with the Edomites, harass the Moabites, or contend with them in battle. They were also not to harass the Ammonites or meddle with them. To go against these commands of God would be to want what God didn’t want the Israelites to have.
Want what God wants for you; don’t want what He doesn’t want you to have. How do you know this? First, some things are clearly forbidden in the Bible. God doesn’t want you to have them. To seek to have them is to be walking in rebellion against God. The Word of God is the will of God.
Secondly, listen to the Holy Spirit. This is another way to know what God wants you to have or not have. As you pray and are guided by the Holy Spirit, God will reveal to you or put in your heart what He wants for you. The Holy Spirit does not contradict the Word. Philippians 2:13 says it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. God wants you to do His will. He will guide you if you seek His guidance.
Whatever God gives you is the best. Whatever He keeps away from you or denies you, is in your own interest. When He says no, don’t want yes. Accept no as the best for you. Hear what happened to Paul, Silas, and Timothy: “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them” (Acts 16:6-7 New King James Version).
Two times in this passage, Paul, Silas, and Timothy couldn’t do what they wanted to do. The Holy Spirit forbade them to preach the gospel in Asia and to go into Bithynia, yet Jesus said we should go into all the world and preach the gospel. Also, the second time, the Spirit did not permit them. They did not disobey.
Verses 8-10 say, “So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them” (New King James Version). The use of “we” in the passage shows that Luke, the writer of the book of Acts, joined them to go to Macedonia.
God had in mind another place He wanted Paul to go and preach. That was why the Holy Spirit forbade or did not permit them to go to the places they wanted to go previously. If they had gone there, they would have been outside the will of God. Psalm 37:23 says the steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD and He delights in his way.
Paul and his team didn’t want what God didn’t want them to have. They received a clear direction from God and the gospel was taken to Macedonia. Don’t want what God does not want you to have.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, let me not want what You don’t want me to have; let me be content with what is Your will for me. Holy Spirit, give me a clear direction so that I will not be outside the will of God. Help me to make the right choices and decisions. Holy Spirit, help every child of God currently outside the will of God, to discover God’s will for them and pursue it. Help those seeking to know what God wants for them to discover His will. Let them want only what God wants them to have.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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