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Are you wishing your life away?
pamela spurling

You’ve no doubt read or heard a message such as this or similar to this in the past, because the "I wish I had’s" and the "if only’s" are very common to every woman’s life to some extent. The degree to which these thoughts will consume her directly relates to her level of trust and commitment to waiting on the LORD. Ouch… that stings, doesn’t it… but maybe you can see how true it is.

The LORD says to be content with such things as ye have…

Not talking about *worry* here…that’s a whole ‘nuther message! I’m simply talking about wishing. I have wished away decades wishing for days to pass. I have wished away wonderful seasons of my life wishing for the next season. I have wished away months wishing for days to pass… You see I was so discontent with where I was at those times that I thought *any* where or *any* time would be better that where I was at that time. Sadly, I was in such bondage to slavery of selfish desires that I didn’t even know it and would likely have denied it had I been confronted about it.

I wished to be older, and when I began to get older I regretted the loss of youth. I wished to be thinner, when I was thinner, I wished to be taller and then I wished I could have nicer clothes and then I wished I could have more money to spend on clothes. Then my wishes turned into greed, greed over what others had and what I thought I wanted. Do you see, sisters, the terrible cycle of selfish desire? This all led to other sins… because sin rarely walks alone, it loves company and the deceitfulness of sin is that it seeks affirmation or justification.

You’ve heard hundreds of times women saying "O, I love this!!" or "O, I love that!!"… and I know that not all the "O, I love that’s" tun into "I wish I had’s" but most of them do, don’t they?!

We say things like, "O, I love your hair…" and on the inside we are thinking "I wish my hair looked like that" or, "I wish I had nicer hair…" You could exchange the word hair for any thing or any other word… home, house, children, husband, furniture, clothes… body… you name it… we’ve all complemented a sister on something that later became for us an "I wish I had…"

This really sort of turns into lust, doesn’t it? In a way, lust, the very thing or fault we accuse or hate in men, we ourselves struggle with… but we don’t call it lust… we call it planning… we call it dreaming… we call it anything but what it is. It’s lust. It’s the insatiable desire for things that we think will satisfy us.

The Lust of Women

This seems like an unlikely subtitle for a message written to and about women, doesn’t it… or does it? I want to talk with you today about this because it is such a serious problem and such a voracious destroyer. The lust of the eyes and the hearts of women drawn after things that seem will satisfy. This is generally a word slapped on men… and while men surely do have to face, and to deal with the problem of lust to whatever degree it has a hold of them, this term is not usually ascribed to women. The desire that I am here calling "lust" today is this wishing and wishing, the desire that fills the mind, consumes the thinking, and unlike sexual lust or desire, this lust is the continual lusting after things that are perceived to be the answers to our problems…not necessarily a release of or satisfying of the flesh. I am talking about lusting after those things which are not ours, those things which belong to another, those things which consume our thoughts, those things which the LORD has not provided us in our lives and homes…. Those things which we perceive to be genuine needs for our happiness. The hard part about this is that one kind of lust, sexual lust, usually involves immorality and sin and violates God’s commands. But the lust that I am talking about with you today involves things… and the very fine line between planning for the necessary things in our lives and the over the line obsession with what we do or don’t have. It’s sort of like that fine line concerning food. Maybe you have had to deal with this area---I know I have! Food: we all need it to survive… we eat to live. It’s when the line is crossed and food becomes one of the objects of our obsession and we live to eat, this is when food---one of the necessities of life---becomes an area we must face, deal with and over which we must confess the sin of gluttony.

Lust destroys life… it cheapens life… it is selfish, greedy, and is so deceived. Have you noticed that no matter how much you want, how much you get, how much you like the item you finally get, it’s never enough? No, it’s never enough because riches and things are deceitful… they pass away, and vanish as quickly as they are realized. There’s always tomorrow… another day when the cycle of the battle begins again.

1John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

I don’t know if you know what I am talking about, or if this is a problem that you deal with or recognize in your own life… but I have faced this problem many times and recognizing it and understanding the ugliness of it has made me continually make decisions to not give into lustful thoughts but to take them to the LORD. When lust is seen for the sin it is, and when confession is made, then cleansing and new direction can be undertaken and freedom can be realized. When you stop wishing your life away you will have a renewed desire to live it and a new desire to walk with the LORD over the hills and through the valleys.

1 Peter 4.1-2 "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God."

You see, for many years, I thought if only I had certain things or could do certain things that I would be happy. I am sorry to say that all that lusting after things did not accomplish any thing and one of the things I most regret is the loss of time… time that was spent wishing and producing nothing. I would study in the Word and continually I would see that my life didn’t measure up with what the LORD had designed for me. When I would read, I began to be ashamed that what was going on in my mind was not compatible with what I was coming to know in my heart. Faith and trust in the LORD do not walk hand in hand with lust and discontent. They cannot coexist. As one grows the other dies. I realized I faced a decision---I had to decide if I was going to follow self or if I was going to follow the LORD. At first, the desire was simply to not be in bondage to the sin of lusting after what I thought would make me happy. Miraculously, when I began to walk with the LORD in a new way I began to see my longings fulfilled in Him and my needs met in Him and the consuming desire for the things I didn’t have or the abilities I didn’t possess began to fade away. Though I am continually faced with needs and desires today, my reactions and my decisions determine which ones grow and which ones are choked out by the growth.

Mark 4.19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Maybe you have had to face the ugly dragon of lust and envy. It is so damaging. It eats away our reality, it destroys the foundations of our marriages if we allow it to come between us and our husband, and it damages our relationships with our children if we allow it to be a part of the measure of their performance. It distorts our view and diminishes faith that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He promised.

Hebrews 13.5 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

I pray that if you are struggling in this area that you will join me in the daily seeking of the LORD and give this area over to Him. He alone will save you and lift you out of the never ending cycle of destruction of lust. His grace is sufficient for you and whatever you are facing. It does, however, depend on you: you must decide you will follow and obey Him. Here again, just like I have written to you in recent weeks, we must apply what we know to be true and what the LORD reveals and directs in our lives.

Philippians 2.13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Lust or discontent is the enemy of Faith and it will fight to win your heart at every turn. It will deceive you into thinking that you are simply looking at things to make your home or life nicer… you may even go so far as to justify all the things you think you need so that you can minister more effectively. Oh, sister, be careful… I know some of the bends in that road and that road will take you nowhere fast! Be careful, so careful, about the fine lines in life… the lines that divide truth and deception. We’re so easily deceived and we are so easily impressed. If the desire for things is consuming you, if you are wishing your life away wishing to be or to have things the LORD hasn’t provided, please today take these desires to Him and lay them at His feet and ask Him to provide what is best for you. Ask Him to be the desire of your heart and then, take His Hand and walk with Him today. Don’t waste another day wishing your life away… He truly will be sufficient for you and will righteously fulfill the true longing of your soul.

This is my prayer for each one of us.

Philippians 4.11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

I pray for you as I pray for myself as we continue to grow in the faith, to be the women that God has designed us to be, that we will truly learn the joy of contentedness and rest in His abiding love and care for us. I pray that we will be women whose lives are a fragrant offering and will bear much fruit for the LORD who loves us with everlasting love.

Ro 6:22 "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."

pamela spurling TheWelcomeHome 2001

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