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Discovering Our Real Needs - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
January 14, 2023 12:00 am

Discovering Our Real Needs - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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January 14, 2023 12:00 am

Do you know how to distinguish between needs and desires?

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Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Today we start a series titled God Has an Answer for Our Unmet Needs. Let's begin this study by looking at Scripture to discover your real needs. Do you have unmet needs in your life?

But let me ask you a question. Can you identify what those unmet needs are? Or is it something you just feel down inside and you can't quite tell what it is? How does that affect your relationship to other people? How does it affect your relationship to yourself? How does it affect your relationship to Almighty God? How are you going about meeting those unmet needs in your life? Well, what I want to talk about in this particular message in this entire series is simply this, and that is God can meet those unmet needs in your life.

He is the one who can meet them no matter what is going on. The problem is oftentimes we don't even know what they are, but we do have a God who can meet those unmet needs. And I want you to turn, if you will, to Philippians chapter four and verse 19. And you'll recall that the apostle Paul is talking here about how God has blessed him, the things that he's learned.

He's writing this from a prison, and he says he's learned to be content in all circumstances. He's learned that he can do all things through Christ, and he's learned also that God will supply all needs. And so in this 19th verse, as he comes down to the latter part of this last chapter, here's what he says, And my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. And that is a very simple promise. It's an awesome promise if you and I look at it, and there's a way that you and I have to claim those promises from God.

So what I'd like to talk about in this message is this, and that is discovering the real need. And if you'll notice, for example, in Romans eight chapter eight in verse 32, the apostle Paul says something here that all of us should remember. He says, He who did not spare his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how will he not also with him freely give us all things? God is a good God. He desires to give us not only what we need in life, but he also desires to give us those things that our heart desires, those pleasures that fit into who we are as children of God and how he wants us to live.

And so the first issue we have to deal with is this. Is this a need in my life? Or is it a desire? If it is a need, certainly God has promised to meet those needs. And certainly if it is a desire, I have a legitimate right to ask God, Lord, here's what I would like to have or here's some pleasure I'd like to participate in knowing that if it's not, listen, if it is unscriptural, God's not going to answer that prayer. If it is unscriptural, and God were to give it, that wouldn't be God being good. God is good. And because of his goodness, he gives us not only what we need, but he also gives us what we desire, when what we desire is good for us. He said there'll be no want to those who obey him or who fear the Lord. And to fear him means to obey him. And so if I am committed to being obedient to him, I can ask him whatever I will. And I know that if I'm walking in obedience to him, what I'm going to ask will be his will. And if it is not, he will show me that it's not. And he will show me what I do have the privilege of asking for. So the first thing we have to do is distinguish between needs and those desires. The second thing we have to deal with here is this. And that is, we have to distinguish between what our surface or external needs and what our internal needs that is, what needs in my life are internal and what are external.

Now, most people spend most of their time trying to deal with external needs, surface needs, for example, what we wear, what we drive, where we live, all those very definite needs. And there's nothing wrong with those that God certainly understands that. And he said in that sixth chapter of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount, he said, Don't be anxious for all these things, food, clothing and shelter. He said, Don't be anxious.

Don't strive for these because your father knows what you have need of. And the apostle Paul said here in this fourth chapter, Philippians, that there was a time also when he had need and he was commending them. He said, I know how to get along with humble means.

I know how to get along with prosperity. In every circumstance, I've learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. So therefore, God understands that we have needs and he desires to meet those needs.

Now, the issue is this. Am I only interested in God meeting my external needs, surface needs, these material and physical things we talked about? Or am I equally as interested? And do I realize that it may be that my true genuine need is not something external, is not material, is not physical, but something internal? Maybe it is a spiritual need, some emotional need. I do believe that most people spend probably 95 percent of their time trying to deal with external needs, material needs, physical needs, never realizing that what is motivating the very desire for some physical and material need is a spiritual need, an emotional need on the inside they never even thought about.

And even if they thought about it, they'd probably be scared to death to even begin to consider it. For example, let's say that here's a man who's working 70 to 80 hours a week. You ask that man, well, sir, why do you work so long? Why do you work so hard?

You don't have to do that. Well, love my family, want to provide for my wife, want to provide for my children, want to give them the things in life they need, want to give them the things in life that they enjoy. I love my family. That's what he's going to tell you. But if he looked on the inside of himself, here's what he would see. What is driving him is not love for his family. What's driving him is not a desire to provide for them or to give them pleasure. What's driving him is this deep sense of need to be recognized, to be accepted, to somehow to achieve in life and somehow to succeed in life.

And so what is he doing? He doesn't even realize what's driving him. He thinks on the surface that what is driving him and what is forcing him, so to speak, to work 70 and 80 hours a week is his love for his family. That's not even his need at all. His innermost need is an emotional need to be accepted, to be approved of, to be recognized, to be an achiever and to be recognized as a high achiever. Here is one of those internal needs he's never discovered.

If he were to stop and look at it, he'd probably be shocked. But my friend, there are many people out there slaving away, driving themselves in different directions in their life, not even realizing what is the deepest motivation. What is it that's driving them to work like that? Or, for example, here's a woman you ask her, well, what is your unmet need in your life? My unmet need is I want to be loved. I want to be loved by my husband.

That is the unmet need in my life. Talk to her husband. Here's a man who's doing everything that a man can possibly do to express genuine love and intimacy toward his wife. And so you say, well, what's the problem here? Here he is loving this woman, trying to love her, express his love to her, wants to spend time with her, wants to provide for her what she needs, wants to take care of wherever she wants to go.

And what happens? She doesn't feel loved. You know what the need is? The need is not that she needs her husband to love her. She needs to resolve an unresolved conflict between her and her father. It doesn't make any difference how many men she marries. It doesn't make any difference what that man does for her. No matter how much he may try to love her, there'll always be that sense of need, because the issue and the real need is not the love of this man, but an unresolved conflict, because she never felt loved. She never felt approved. She never felt accepted by her father.

He cannot be her father. And so what happens? She goes through life feeling unloved. So what happens after a while? She walks away or she gets a divorce. She tries to find somebody else who will be able to love her. You know what happens? The next guy may be a jerk or he may be one of the finest men on the face of the earth. You know what?

She'll come up with the same answer. I want to be loved. You're not loving me.

You can't love me. You know what the problem is? Problem isn't men. Problem isn't a man's love. The problem is an unresolved conflict. Until it's settled, there'll never be a sense of being able to feel loved, a need that is beneath the surface and internal. Here's a kid, for example, grows up in a pretty good home, gets out there, and is rebellious as he or she can be. The issue is looking for acceptance.

Why? Because back at home, father never in any way complimented him. Father just ignored him.

So what happens? He's got to have attention. He has a desire to be accepted. He's going to get it one way or the other. He wants recognition.

He wants to feel like that he's a somebody. What is it that would cause so many teenage girls, 12 and 13 and 14, 15 years of age? What would cause them to go to bed with another teenager and get pregnant? What is it? Something deep down inside. Is it sex?

Not really. You see, here is Satan's big lie. The issue is not the physical act. The issue is a deep abiding internal desire for intimacy. And the devil has tricked this whole society into thinking if you can have a physical relationship, that's going to satisfy the desire to be loved.

No, it's not. The desire to be loved is something that is intimate, something on the inside. And so here's a woman or a man or young teenager give themselves away.

What? Just for a brief moment of acceptance, a brief moment of feeling worthy, a brief moment of belonging to someone when that's not the need at all. The need is something far deeper than all of that. And so when we talk about God and his desire to meet our needs and that God will indeed meet the needs of his children, we have to discover what those needs are or we go through life wondering, why do I feel this way? Why, why do I not have any peace?

Why do I feel these feelings that other people have toward me when the issue is not something on the surface, but it is something deep down inside. What I want to do is I want to talk about the three essential universal needs that every single person has, needs that God has placed into the life of every person. And underlying those three awesome needs that God has given all of us is an underlying foundational need. So what I'd like to do is to talk about these three needs. Remember what the apostle Paul said? He said, My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now, but if I don't know what they are, I won't even know how to pray about them.

If I don't know what they are, I won't even ask about them. I'll be asking about things that on the surface that appear to be our needs. So I want to give you three words. The first word is belonging. God has placed in every single person, a desire and a sense of belongingness.

We all want to belong. God implanted that in the life of every one of us. And so you look, for example, in the very first book of the Bible, when God created man and he created all the animals and all the creations, so forth and everything that God had done, he said, It's all good except one thing.

Adam is alone. He needs somebody with whom he can belong to them and they can belong to him, someone who can speak his language, someone with whom he can be intimate, someone with whom he can feel oneness with. And so what did God do? God gave him a woman, Eve. And so you look at the whole creation and from that point on, we see that God has given to Adam a person with whom he can belong. And then you go down through the scriptures and down through the centuries.

And what do you find? You find not only did he give Adam Eve, but he created the family. And so we all belong to a family. We want to have this feeling of belonging to a family.

Well, that wasn't enough. For example, we all have we belong to a nation. And of course, most of all, we belong to the church that is the body of Christ. All of us who believe us, we belong to the most awesome organization, the most awesome entity there is that is the body of Christ. Jesus Christ is the Lord of the church. He's the head of the church. Every single believer belongs to the body of Christ that has nothing to denominations, though you may choose to belong to a particular denomination.

There's nothing wrong with that. But ultimately, we belong to the body of Christ. And if you'll think again, also, the Bible says that you and I belong to the family of God. That is, we're all sons and daughters of the living God. So this whole idea of belonging is very important to God. He's the one who's placed that desire in our heart that we belong. And I look for example, the life of Jesus, I think about this, Jesus could have come upon the scene and after 30 years, in his family, he could have begun his ministry by himself, but he didn't do that. You know what he did?

What did he do? He called 12 men to be around him. So he belonged. Listen, Jesus belong to a group. Each man in that group belong to a group. They were Jesus disciples, they were his apostles. And so what happens is you look at the life of Jesus for 30 years, he stayed at home, he belonged to his family. When he began his ministry, what did he do?

He chose 12 men around him. And so they worked and they walked together. They belong to each other. We talk about being reconciled to God that is brought back into an intimate relationship with him.

That's what redemption is all about. And when you think about all that God has created for us to make us and to help us feel like we belong, he says we are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Belonging, a sense of belonging is extremely important.

I think about there are probably many, many hindrances to a feeling of belongingness. You know what one of them one of them is sin. Now watch this carefully. Sin is a separator. What does the Bible say? Your sins have separated you from God. That was you sin against God, something happens.

What happens? That closeness, that intimacy is broken. And so we no longer feel this sense of belonging that he's my Heavenly Father, and I love him and he loves me. You say, Well, I know that's still true. But you know what is still true, but you don't feel it.

Why? Because sin by its very nature separates the Bible from Genesis the Revelation. Look what happened to Garden of Eden. Sin separated Eve and Adam from God. It separated the two of them.

He is blaming her for what he did. Sin is by its very nature separated. So when somebody says, Well, what does sin have to do with it? Sin make a person feel isolated from God. And this is why people will say, Well, yeah, I used to be safe, still are if you ever have been. I used to be close to God. Not now.

Why not? Well, I got off track somewhere. I'll tell you what happened. When you sin against God, this feeling of separation and non belongingness, this rejection is a part of it. When you think about people who have married, they've been married sometimes, short time, long time, when I'm walks away, just decide to separate or they divorce or commit suicide. Now, don't do I not want you. You can't have me and I'm going to fix this. So you can't ever have me.

I'll never belong to anybody else. Two very devastating acts that absolutely have a sense of pain. The depth of that pain. Only those people who've been through it will ever be able to experience it.

And when Paul said, My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Feelings of rejection. When people grow up feeling rejection because of something their parents say, or even after they become adults, people reject them for one reason or the other feelings of rejection or painful feelings.

And what they say is you don't belong, shut you out, isolate you move your side. The rejection is never a godly act on our part, no matter what the first need God has placed in our heart, a sense of belonging. Let me ask you a question. On the basis of all of this, what is the deepest needs you have in your life? If you've never trusted Jesus, your deepest need is a personal relationship with him through Christ. That's the first need. If you are a child of God, and you've thought about the surface and external needs that you have, but you've also begun to think this morning about those internal, those things down inside that have bothered you for a long time, and maybe you never, you just didn't even want to deal with them.

You didn't want to face them. What is the most troubling unmet need in your life right now? Are you willing to look? I just want to challenge you to be willing to examine your heart, your emotions, your feelings to find out what's the real need. And remember this, our Heavenly Father is going to meet that need. He's going to show you how to think right about who you are and how he wants to operate in your life.

You know what? You're going to get free. You're going to get liberated.

You're going to begin to be able to look anybody square in the face and know in your heart, listen, I am somebody important in the eyes of God. I am confident to do whatever God wants me to do. And most of all, I belong to my Heavenly Father.

You know what, friend? You will get set free for the asking. You will get set free. And so that's what I want to pray for you right now. Father, in Jesus' name, I pray the Holy Spirit will take this simple message, drive it home to the heart of every person who has heard it and who will hear it, that you will grant courage to every single person to look inside, examine, allow you to show them what those needs are, and then assure them you will meet those needs. You will set them free. They will become the persons you ordained them to be. For we ask it in Jesus' name and for his sake.

Amen. Thank you for listening to Discovering Our Real Needs. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-14 04:32:47 / 2023-01-14 04:40:44 / 8

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