Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Receive the Need

It sure is true that needs are different than wants.  A want is stuffed with a desire which links to emotional excitement.  Although a need gives satisfaction to a lack, it may not produce the feeling of happiness from a fulfilled want.  We all know that lack is an enemy to moving forward. Therefore, in order to eradicate the lack in areas of our lives we must be open to our needs being met.  Not allowing our feelings to sabotage our abilities to receive the need that will help us is often "a work in progress".  Recently, through a conversation, God used these three words to help me through a personal developmental moment by training me to "receive the need".

My husband who is also my best friend knows me better than any other person, so of course God uses him often to deliver needed instruction in my life, but there was a time when that was not the case.    Several years ago, when we were first learning the power of God's Word together, we began using our new found education to try and improve each other.  It was not about being "a work in progress" it was more about improving "his/her work in progress". 

Over time God began to show us, through His Word, that He is the only One who can change some one's heart.  We learned that by focusing on each other's work neither one of us were progressing.  My husband received and began to apply this revelation even before I did. Through his example I too began to focus more on my own work than his, which not only helped us individually but improved our relationship.  Once our relationship became less about critiquing and competing, God was able to use us to help one another grow.  By making that transition we opened the door for God to speak in love through us so as to minister to each other's needs.  Now all that being said, we are not perfect and some times our feelings try to be an active participant in these types of conversations.  And when I say we, it is really mostly me. 

The other night my husband and I had one of these needful conversations. While working on a big project I paused to go over some of the details with my husband.  He then began to share his thoughts on the direction that I seemed to be heading based on my explanation.  As I listened to the needs God was sharing through my husband I began to forget who they originated from, which is the first mistake I made in receiving feedback.  I then gave my emotions a seat at the conversation table, mistake #2.  This caused a flood of  thoughts to try to stand between me receiving his feedback.  Thoughts like..."He has not even seen this whole project in its entirety...who does he think that he is coming in here and telling me this...this is my project I know what is best.", began to pile up on the inside, mistake C.  By not receiving his constructive feedback I had stop progress in my work.

Although some very respectful but still defensive words slipped out of my mouth, I recognized what was starting to take place and stopped talking and simply began receiving.  As I stood there listening to my husband give me solid advice God spoke those three words in my heart. 

"Receive the need"

Before I returned to my project I thanked God for my husband and for the wisdom that he had given to me.  I still did not know, or agree with the feedback, so that is when I prayed to God about what to do with it. 

I asked for forgiveness for being reluctant to "receive the need" and began to apply the counsel that I had been given.  I was thankful that I did. 

That night my project went to another level of excellence.  I noticed answers came forward where challenges had alluded me before.  I gained clarity in areas where I had been seeking God in prayer. I realized that God was using my husband to deliver what I needed to help me finish my work.  If I would not have been willing to "receive the need" I would not have experienced the victory that God had planned for me.

God uses godly counsel to help us fulfill the plans that he has for us. Opinions should be kept to oneself unless someone has given us an open invitation into their lives, such as a spouse, friend, mentor, pastor, coach, parent (of grown children), or teacher. It is important to have these relationships established in our lives so that God can protect us from falling into a pit.

Anyone can give advice, but we should take notice when it comes from the godly relationships in our lives.  Those who are closest to us would seem to be the best candidates for helping us grow-up in the things of God, that is if we do not allow our feelings to turn a much needed coaching moment into a personal attack. 

As "a work in progress" being able to "receive the need" helps us to keep moving forward. God wants us to be willing to hear what we may not want to hear but, what we need to hear.  Only receiving what we want prevents us from growing up.  I admit that it is not always easy to "receive the need" but remembering who it comes from helps us to take hold of wisdom keeping our work in progress.

"Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established"
(Prov. 15:22 NKJV)

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