Encouragement for Today - Oct. 2, 2007



October 2, 2007


Changing My “Wanter”

By Amy Carroll


“... I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him...” Phillipians 3:8-9a (NIV)



I just sat there with my mouth hanging open. Surely that woman didn’t say what I thought she said. My friend, Luann, had just asked the Ecuadorian mother of 7 what her greatest need was. We wanted to be able to pray for her when we returned to the United States. The woman replied without hesitation. “I want to be able to teach my children about Jesus so that they will follow the Lord all of their lives,” she requested.

Looking around her tiny three room house, I could see lots of things that she needed. She needed more beds so that every family member could sleep without rolling into someone else all night long. She needed a refrigerator so that food would keep between visits to the far away market. She needed some carpet on that dirt floor to keep the family’s feet warm during the cold nights in the mountains. She needed a four-wheel-drive that could make it through the dirt track that led to her house. The reality was that even some of her most basic needs were not being met.

All of my basic needs are met, and many of my wants are met with abundance. The fact is, though, that sometimes I have my priorities all mixed up. This mother knew the most important thing that her family needed. She knew that they all needed Jesus. He came first on her list for herself and for her children. Her physical surroundings may have been grim, but Jesus still came first. I walked out of her house with tears in my eyes.

David expressed his desire for knowing the Lord this way, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” (Psalm 84: 1-2,10, NIV) In essence, our Ecuadorian friend had said the same thing. She wanted to spend her life in the Lord’s dwelling place more than having a spacious, beautiful home. She wanted to be in His courts more than having a powerful position. She wanted to know the fullness of Jesus more than she wanted to leave her dire situation.

I’m sorry to say that I wondered what my response would be to the questions, “What is your greatest need? How can I pray for you?” I do love the Lord, but sometimes He falls to less than first place on my list of perceived needs. A woman with limited education but tremendous wisdom had reminded me of a great truth. She gave my “wanter” a major adjustment, and I walked away with something far greater than the bag of groceries that I had brought in.


Lord, I am surrounded by so much stuff. All my physical needs are met, but sometimes my spirit is starving to death. Will you change my “wanter”? Help me to want you above everything else. Help me to seek you for direction, to feed my spirit on your Word and to want you more than anything else, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?


God’s Purpose for Every Woman: a P31 Women’s Devotional General Editors: Lysa TerKeurst and Rachel Olsen


The Air I Breathe by Louie Giglio


Application Steps: 

Make a list of things that you want. Be honest!


Pray and ask Jesus to help you to put Him as number one on your list.


Put the rubber to the road. Prioritize time for Bible study and prayer each day.



How do I determine what I value?


What are things on my “wish list” that are legitimate wants? What are things that need to be removed?


How can I grow my desire for Jesus?


Power Verses:

Luke 4:4, Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone.'" (NIV)


Psalm 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And being with you, I desire nothing on earth.”



Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105




Originally published Tuesday, 02 October 2007.