Have you ever really thought of the difference between a want and a need? When we glance at them briefly they might not seem so different, but closer inspection shows differences that are deep and profound. I want ice cream. I need vegetables. I want a new car. I need transportation. I want a bigger house. I need shelter.
In our western mindset, wants and needs become blurred. Go visit Africa and see if you can be content with what you have and if what you think you need really turns out to be something you just want. Look into the eyes of a hungry child and recognize that the food we have that we don’t like suddenly looks like a gourmet meal.
The bible actually talks about God and his wants and needs. That may sound foolish, but God has incredible wants, even though he has zero needs. In Psalm 50 God reminds us that everything in the universe belongs to him. He does not need to inform us when he is hungry because the entire world is his and he could eat whatever he chooses. But God has a want. He has a desire. He has a craving that can only come from outside of himself.
God says that what he wants is the offerings and obedience of his people (vs. 14). God has all he needs, but what he wants more than anything else is relationship with us, his creation. It is the only thing in all of creation that God does not simply control. He could make us robots that do only his will. But that would eliminate our freedom and diminish our relationship with him. To truly receive love, God allows us to choose to give it to him or not.
God has no need that we can meet. He does, however, have a desire that only we can meet. It is the desire for his people to love him, worship him, and obey him. What would happen if we chose to recognize that our life could be dedicated to meeting the one true desire of God? How would your life be different today? How would our world be different if we lived in relationship with the one true God?