Every year, Americans spend over $80 billion on lottery tickets. It’s hard not to spend money on a ticket when lottery prizes are upwards of $300 million. However, nearly 45% of lottery winners go broke within 3-5 years. The problem is that we are trying to get wealth without earning it. When that happens, we don’t have an understanding of money, thinking it is an endless supply. You can search for “The lottery ruined my life” to see the countless stories of people who are worse off after having won the lottery than before. I also think there’s a heart problem here for most people. Who are you trusting to care for your needs? God or the lottery?
Each of us have prayed The Lord’s Prayer thousands of times. In it we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It’s interesting that Jesus taught us to ask for daily bread, but we are always seeking more bread. When the Israelites were in the desert, God told them to gather just enough manna for one day. If they gathered more than a day’s worth, it rotted and became full of maggots. God has always been about making sure we have enough. He’s not against us getting rich or trying to make more money, but He is concerned with our motives. Are we trying to replace Him as the source for our lives?
In Proverbs 30:8-9, there is a great prayer by Agur. He prayed, “Empty out of my heart everything that is false— every lie, and every crooked thing. And give me neither undue poverty nor undue wealth— but rather, feed my soul with the measure of prosperity that pleases you. May my satisfaction be found in you. Don’t let me be so rich that I don’t need you or so poor that I have to resort to dishonesty just to make ends meet. Then my life will never detract from bringing glory to your name” (TPT). We need to find our satisfaction in Jesus, understanding that He gives us our daily bread. Jesus said that when we seek His Kingdom first, all these other things would be added to us. Is He enough in your life? Are you satisfied with Him? Or are you trying to replace the need for Him?
Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.
Growing up, my parents would let me have any shoe I wanted as long as it was less than $25. That was fine for a while, but then I arrived in junior high and Nike introduced the Air Jordan line up. My friends and neighbors got them, but I couldn’t. They were $100, which was considerably more than my $25 limit. I wanted them so badly that I began to put pictures of them in my binders, drew them in my books and had posters on my wall. I thought they were the coolest shoe ever. My parents were teaching me a couple of lessons. The first was to be thankful for what you have even if it’s not what you want. The second was that if you want something more than what you have, save up your money to get it. That created more value in those shoes than if they had been given to me.
In Philippians 4:11, Paul wrote, “For I have learned to be satisfied with what I have” (GNT). That’s a lesson we could all learn. He’s not saying that we shouldn’t ever want more than we have. It’s that we need to learn to be satisfied with what we do have. If we’re constantly looking for something else or wanting more, we will miss the lesson of contentment and fail to be appreciative of what God has given us. When we don’t appreciate something, we don’t value it. If we don’t value it, we take it for granted. God blesses us daily with good things that we look right past because we already want more than the daily bread He’s given us. Paul’s next verse said that whether he had a little or a lot, the secret to life was learning to be content and satisfied.
Ecclesiastes 6:9 put it this way, “It is better to be satisfied with what you have than to be always wanting something else.” What blessings have you been overlooking? What are some things you get, but are never enough? A lack of satisfaction or contentment can be an outward expression of an inward brokenness. Once you’ve identified the outward expression, trace it to its roots. Ask God to bring healing to that area and to help you learn to be content with the things you have, whether a little or a lot. Once that change happens in you, the lens that you look at life through will change, and your prayers will too. Start changing them today by thanking Him for the many things He’s already blessed you with instead of asking Him for all the things you don’t have.
Have you felt unsatisfied? Maybe you were hungry and the meal just wasn’t enough. It left you wanting more so you left disappointed or decided to pig out to try to fulfill the craving you had. Its one thing when it’s food, but a whole other thing when life leaves you feeling unsatisfied. We can feel that way especially when we go through tough times. Our mind and soul craves something more. Just like with food, we tend to overindulge. It feels like we’re owed something in those moments because of what we’re going through so we try to satisfy our flesh. I can tel, you that no matter what you try, you will not find the satisfaction you’re looking for doing those things because it’s not your flesh that’s looking to be filled. It’s your soul.
When you try to satisfy your soul by feeding your flesh, you create a greater brokenness inside. God wants us to feed our soul and only He can satisfy that craving. When you’re walking through the dry places, He is the one who can satisfy your needs. When life is going wrong, instead of running from Him, reach out to Him and ask Him to satisfy your soul. Paul knew how to be content with whatever he was facing because he learned how to find soul satisfaction. We quote Philippians 4:13 all the time, but if we back up a couple of verses, we find it’s when we find satisfaction for our soul that we can do all things through Christ. So instead of seeking things today to satisfy your brokenness or your flesh, seek God to satisfy your soul.
Here are some Bible verses on God satisfying us.
1. I am convinced that my God will fully satisfy every need you have, for I have seen the abundant riches of glory revealed to me through the Anointed One, Jesus Christ!
Philippians 4:19 TPT
2. He satisfies all who love and trust him, and he keeps every promise he makes.
Psalms 111:5 TPT
3. For I [fully] satisfy the weary soul, and I replenish every languishing and sorrowful person.
JEREMIAH 31:25 AMP
4. You satisfy my every desire with good things. You’ve supercharged my life so that I soar again like a flying eagle in the sky!
Psalms 103:5 TPT
5. And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry.
I love the candy bar Snickers, and I especially love their ad campaign. Their slogan is simply, “Snickers satisfies.” Their commercials right now have one person in a group as a celebrity with a problem. The others get upset at the celebrity, then finally offer them a Snickers. After taking a bite, the person turns back into themselves and the other person asks, “Are you better?” Then a voice over comes on and says, “You are not you when you’re hungry.” Genius!
I can tell you that you are not you when you’re spiritually hungry either. Inside each one of us is a deep hunger to who we are, why we are here, and how we got here. Many people search a lifetime for those answers. I’ve found that God satisfies them in me, and wants to do the same in others. He not only gives us good things, but He’s created each one of us with a purpose that only we can fulfill. If you’re looking for spiritual satisfaction, quit trying religion and look for a relationship with God.
Here are some Bible verses about how God satisfies.
1. And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry.
Isaiah 58:11 GNT
2. For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Psalms 107:9 ESV
3. For I [fully] satisfy the weary soul, and I replenish every languishing and sorrowful person.
JEREMIAH 31:25 AMP
4. Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully!
Matthew 5:6 GNT
5. And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your soul in scorched and dry places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
ISAIAH 58:11 AMP
Have you ever been around someone who was never satisfied? No matter what you ever said or did, it was never enough. You keep trying harder and harder thinking one day you will do something that is enough, but in the end, it never is. You either give up trying or you live in a con state state of thinking you’re never enough. Either way, it’s a miserable situation to be in. It leaves you feeling inadequate and insecure.
Now let’s flip the table. How often are you satisfied? It’s a tough question because we live in a world that demands more of us all the time. We’ve learned to constantly push ourselves to the point that we no longer celebrate our successes. Sometimes the person we’re around that is never satisfied is looking at us in the mirror. I believe we should push ourselves to be better, but at the same time, we need to learn to be satisfied with what we have and where we are. There’s peace and joy when we learn to be satisfied.
Here are some Bible verses on being satisfied.
1. Make me to hear joy and gladness and be satisfied; let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Psalm 51:8 AMPC
2. Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully!
Matthew 5:6 GNT
3. Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
Hebrews 13:5 NLT
4. Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.
Philippians 4:11 AMPC
5. The poor and afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord–they who [diligently] seek for, inquire of and for Him, and require Him [as their greatest need]. May your hearts be quickened now and forever!
Psalm 22:26 AMPC
There used to be a group of friends in my town who had trucks with the inscription, “Never satisfied” written on their back windshield. Their trucks were tricked out and had about every accessory known to man on them. Those trucks had the anthem of so many of us on them. Never satisfied. We are taught that hunger is a good thing. We learn in business that the day you’re satisfied is the day you quit making money. We are told to stay hungry. Keep pushing ahead. Do better than your best. Have a relentless pursuit of constantly getting more.
I think those are drives that God put in us, but they are often channeled in the wrong direction. God has given us the desire for more, but it’s never about the physical, temporary things. For the temporary things, Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned how to be content with what I have.” When it comes to possessions, God wants us to be content. Hebrews 13:5 reiterates, “Be satisfied with your present circumstances and with what you have (AMP).” The desire to want more that was placed in us was not for physical things, but for spiritual things.
I Corinthians 12:31 says, “Earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and choicest graces)(AMP).” Paul had just written about the spiritual gifts available to believers and wanted us to go after them. The adverbs earnestly and zealously tell us how hard we are to go after the things that matter. We are to spend our energies of never being satisfied on the spiritual gifts that God gives. We are to spend more time thinking about how do we get better gifts than we are on how to make more money. We are to exert ourselves in God’s Word and prayer more than developing physical skills for a temporary pay out.
I’m not saying that desiring a better life or getting a better job is wrong. The question is how much of your mind is occupied with never being satisfied with things that you can’t take to Heaven? I Corinthians 3:13 and 15 tells us that on judgement day, each of us will present to God what we worked hard for in life. It says, “On judgement day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value… But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”
What you pursue on this earth will be offered to God once you get to Heaven. The question to ask is, “Will the things I’m not satisfied with here be burned up in that fire or will they be purified like gold?” If your lack of satisfaction is on things that don’t matter for eternity, there’s still time to channel your energy on the things that matter. It’s ok to be satisfied with what you have here, but it’s not ok to be satisfied with where you are spiritually and what you’re doing for God’s kingdom. We should never be satisfied with that.