My sister got married a few years ago at a beautiful log home in the mountains of Colorado. The morning of the big day, we had all the bridesmaids over for breakfast while we had our hair and makeup done. We had a huge spread- croissants, danishes, muffins, coffee cake, mimosas, fruit, cheese, coffee and of course, donuts. The spread took over the entire kitchen counter, it was huge!
I walked over to it with another bridesmaid who is a naturally thin woman. We both grabbed plates and began looking over the mountain of food in front of us. I reached for danishes, fruit and a plethora of other goodies. Then I glanced over at the other bridesmaid. She had grabbed a couple of pieces of cheese and put them on her plate and was walking away. “That’s all you want to have?!?” I asked, utterly bewildered. She shrugged, smiled and said “Yeah! It’s all I need right now!“
She ate what her body needed at the time. Her want and need aligned perfectly. The concept of wanting more than that was completely foreign to her. Her need was her want.
For so many of us, our wants go far beyond our bodily needs.
Our wants rise up in us and take over, hence the meals we eat from 0-8 or 2-6. Our wants are fueled by unhealthy, unaddressed and sinful emotions, attitude and thought patterns. My want is a greedy, gluttonous, prideful, entitled, rebellious little creature. It’s a monster, really. A WantMonster.
WantMonsters take over meals, crash through our Thin Within boundaries without a second thought and keep us wrapped up in bondage. They wreak havoc on good intentions. They are often the reason we just can’t seem to stick with Thin Within. They blaze through dinner at 90mph and leave us dumbfounded at the end of the day, wondering what in the heck happened to maintaining 0-5 boundaries.
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time to tame the WantMonster. How exactly should we go about subduing such a wild creature that seems so unpredictable at times? I’m glad you asked. Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about this, shall we?
“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.“-Romans 8:5
“He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.“-Luke 11:2-4
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.“-Ephesians 4:21-23
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”- Galations 5:16
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.“-Galations 5:24-25
“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”-Matthew 26:41
I’m noticing a bit of a theme here. When we pray and are Spirit lead, we have God’s help out of the sinful nature that holds us back. We can’t expect to tame the WantMonster on our own. No amount of effort on our parts is going to get us anywhere. But, when we pray and are filled with the Holy Spirit’s power, we have the power to overcome the flesh.
What does this look like practically? For me personally, this often looks like praying each morning against the things that I know will try and feed the WantMonster. I pray against pride. I pray against entitlement. I pray against temptation (Jesus taught us how to do this!). I pray against distraction, excuses I might tell myself to eat beyond a 5, complacency and rebellion. I have a list a mile long of things I pray about and against. I also ask for a fresh renewal of the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life that day. I ask for the Spirit’s power to help me stay obedient to my godly boundaries.
This is a non-negotiable for me, I do it every day. And on those days where I don’t…well, wouldn’t you know…the WantMonster rises up and stampedes throughout almost every meal. It’s a correlation too strong to ignore. Without continued prayer about all this, the WantMonster grows. But, as I am faithful to pray about it and surrender my fleshly wants, God is faithful to help me. As I continue to seek Him, pray against my fleshly desires and ask for the Spirit’s leading…I notice more and more that my wants and my bodily needs align perfectly. I am not throwing a temper tantrum because it took so little food to satisfy me. I am not pouting because I can’t have a second helping at dinner. I am thankful, humble and grateful to eat what my body needs, not what my flesh cries out for. It’s a beautiful thing to tame the WantMonster!
How about you? Have you felt a WantMonster rising up in you? Do you often find your wants and your bodily needs don’t line up? Take some time to list out the emotions, attitudes and thought patterns that feed your WantMonster. Do an experiment and pray daily about these things. My guess is that God will show you a way to tame your wants in favor of obedience to your godly boundaries and bodily needs.