“Satisfy yourself in God during this season.”
When I was single, those words weren’t a big comfort to my heart. They seemed abstract and impractical; I didn’t know how to implement them and—to be perfectly honest—I wasn’t even sure it would work.
Can God really satisfy all our needs? We believe it on a surface level, thanking God for our food, jobs and daily provisions. But about our desires or dreams? Are those needs, too?
Good desires are given by God; what we do with them is up to us.
Desires for relationship, marriage, motherhood or to do something big in the world are all good desires. God is a relational God and we are made in His image. To long for a relationship or to be part of something bigger than ourselves is part of our innate design.
But when these desires aren’t instantly gratified, we can’t let them cloud our view of God Himself. Things like marriage and motherhood aren’t meant to be worshiped; only God should be on the throne of our hearts! Our desires are good and beautiful as long as we use them according to God’s design. When we try to find satisfaction in earthly relationships, people and things, we adopt a form of idolatry that keeps us from intimacy with the Lord.
Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You. (Psalm 38:9)
Feelings should not dictate faith.
Just because we don’t “feel” satisfied doesn’t mean God isn’t enough. God knows our needs before we even ask Him (Matthew 6:8). Our faith in God’s ability to provide should not be dictated by our circumstances. God is able no matter how we feel, and His loving heart is unchanged from here to eternity.
However, there is a battle going on for our belief. The first lie Satan told Eve was that God was not enough, and he is telling that same lie to this day. Eve had everything she could ever want—a husband, a garden, a perfect body—but she listened to Satan’s words of doubt. She believed him when he told her God was not enough. She allowed her feelings to dictate her faith.
God knows what we need because He gave us life. He can be trusted.
For the nations of the world strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. (Luke 12:30)
Delighting in God refines our desires.
In our natural state, our desires coincide with our most basic needs and wants: relationship, provision and purpose. These desires threaten to overshadow God’s purpose for our lives, and if we put them on a pedestal, they can result in separation from God Himself:
Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:15)
But when we recognize our God-given identity, our desires are elevated. They begin to reflect the desires God has for us. These desires are pure, holy and good. As we press into the Lord, our desires are refined; they begin to echo the heart of God. We want what He wants.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:14)
When our desires threaten to overwhelm us, we need look no further than the cross of Christ. The sacrifice Jesus made was meant to give us freedom from sin—both in eternity and today. Selfish desires do not need to control us! Delighting in God changes us, refining our desires until they reflect God’s intentions.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
Satisfaction is eternal.
If we expect to be satisfied in this life, we will be disappointed. We can never know full, lasting satisfaction from anything this world can produce. These things satisfy us only until the next big thing, the next relationship or the next stage of life makes us want something more. The only stable, unchanging factor in this world is God Himself, because He is not of this world!
God has the power to satisfy us from here to eternity. Choosing His way does not always feel satisfying in the moment, but He promises to provide what we need. But what we want and what we need are often two very different things. No good Father would deny what His child needs, but sometimes the child’s perceived “needs” aren’t needs at all, but wants. By trusting that God knows our needs better than we do, we find satisfaction through our faith in His love.