I Want It Now!

Krista Williams

Day: 8 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 8

1 Samuel 8:5 (NIV) “They said to him, ‘You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.’"

“I want what I want, and I want it now!”

This sounds a bit like a spoiled child, doesn’t it? But honestly, this is exactly what we say in our hearts when we demand … or manipulate … or keep pushing and pursuing an issue … to get our own way instead of humbly choosing to submit to God and His will for our lives.

In our reading today, we find Israel, in essence, saying, “God, we know what we want better than You do!”

God had just won a spectacular battle for Israel against the Philistines. (1 Samuel 7) Now they are confronted with another problem. Samuel is getting old, and his sons are ungodly and unfit to lead God’s people. But instead of seeking God and His solution to their problem, the people demand Samuel appoint an earthly king to lead them, judge them and fight their battles for them. (1 Samuel 8:5, 1 Samuel 8:20) They want a king so they can be like all the other nations.

A king was in God’s plan all along. In fact, some 400 years earlier, God had given Israel specific instructions for their future king. (Deuteronomy 17:14-20)

However, Israel was never supposed to be like everyone else. (Exodus 19:5-6) And Israel’s king was not supposed to be a king like the other nations had. Their king was to be chosen by God and devoted to God, His Word and serving the people. Not a king who would take … and take … and take, piling up possessions for himself. (Deuteronomy 17:16-20; 1 Samuel 8:11; 1 Samuel 8:13-17)

But Israel rejects God’s plan and timing. And they reject God Himself in their desire for an earthly king. (1 Samuel 8:7)

God tells Samuel to give the people what they want—but solemnly warn them first.

God, in His mercy, wants Israel (and us) to think our decisions through and count the cost in order to make informed choices. Having all the correct information and an awareness of the consequences creates responsibility and accountability.

God’s Word reveals His will and His ways. So often we don’t seek God’s wisdom or inquire of His Word. We don’t stop and pray. We all too often allow our desires or mindsets to drive our decisions instead of God’s Word. But when we live by what we want, there are always consequences. (Psalm 106:13-15)

Have you ever felt the sting of, “You asked for it, you got it”? I have and Israel will.

In the next few chapters, Samuel will proceed with God’s instructions, anointing Saul as king over Israel. It seems Saul has God’s approval but remember … God is simply giving the people what they want. He is turning them over to their own selfish desires and demands. God permits it, but this is not His timing nor His perfect will. And eventually, there is going to be trouble. (1 Samuel 8:18)

It is a scary thing when we want the wrong thing, and God gives it to us. Then it’s a sign of judgment. (Romans 1:19-22)

Do you want what you want more than what God wants for you? Is there some area of your life where you are pursuing your own desire instead of submitting to God’s will?

When we resist God and His rule in our lives to pursue our own desires or plans, we are only hurting ourselves. Let’s choose instead to surrender our desires and plans to the Lord and trust that He knows what is best.

Prayer: Lord, I confess Your wisdom and Your ways are always higher than mine. Your plans for me are always better than anything I could conceive. Show me where I am pursuing my own desires instead of seeking Your perfect, pleasing will for my life. Lord, help me want what You want for me. Help me to seek You continually and to listen and trust Your plans for my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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