X-Ray Questions: What do you think you need?

This week we continue our X-Ray Questions series, as we look at what you think you need. You can read the other posts in this series by clicking here.

X-Ray Question:

(7) What do you think you need? What are your felt needs?

Questions 2 and 3 exposed your aims in terms of activity and pursuit. This question exposes your aims in terms of what you hope to receive, get, and keep. Felt needs are frequently taken as self-evident necessities to be acquired, not as deceptive slave-masters. Our culture of need reinforces the flesh’s instincts and habits. In most cases, a person’s felt needs are slang for idolatrous demands for love, understanding, a sense of being in control, affirmation, and achievement.

Understand

First, understand that your needs are already known by (Matt. 6:8-15) and taken care of by the Lord (Matt. 6:24-32).

Second, understand that our culture drives/reinforces these felt needs through both electronic (t.v., internet, and radio) and print (magazines, books, and photography) media.

Third, by reflecting on the things we think we need, we can gain a good understanding of the ways we are seeking love and affirmation from others. It also shows us what we think we need to control and/or achieve, in order to gain affirmation.

For instance, we may believe we need a new car, new clothing, a certain degree, job, apartment, etc, so we will be accepted and loved by others. Instead of finding our acceptance and love in our relationship with Christ, we are seeking acceptance and love from others through certain possessions that tell the world we are successful.

When we truly reflect on the reasons we desire the things mentioned above, we learn what we hope to, receive, get, and keep from buying a new car, new clothing, acquiring a certain degree, job, or apartment.

On the one hand, we may be seeking these things as a status symbol. On the other hand, we may be seeking these things for our own comfort and protection. When we seek these things for comfort or protection, we are seeking to control the universe, rather than subjecting ourselves to God’s rule. We forget God is in control that He alone is the Sovereign Ruler of the universe.

Repent

We should repent by realizing we do not need to manufacture a certain status that gains us acceptance, love, or affirmation from the world. As Christians, our status before God should be enough because through it we gain genuine and everlasting acceptance, love, and affirmation from God.

Through our belief in Christ, we are made sons of God. Our relationship with God is repaired, and we enjoy the love, mercy, grace, and acceptance of God through Christ. As a result, we should not desire, nor do we need, the acceptance of the world.

Scripture

Here are a few passages from God’s word to meditate on this week, as you consider your felt needs: Matt. 6:8-15; 6:25-32; 1 Kings 3:5-14; all the prayers in the Bible express reoriented felt needs.

All X-Ray questions taken from David Powlison’s book Seeing with New Eyes.

Image: scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

X-Ray Questions: What do you feel like doing?

This week we continue our X-Ray Questions series, as we look at what do you feel like doing. You can read the other posts in this series by clicking here.

X-Ray Question:

(5) What do you feel like doing? 

This is slang for question 2, what do you desire? To be “feeling-oriented” means to make your wants your guide: “I feel like cursing you. I don’t feel like doing my chores.”

Understand

When we do what we feel like doing, we are allowing our wants to be our guide, rather than Scripture. We must recognize when we are allowing our desires to override what Scripture commands we do. We can check ourselves by asking: Do my actions or thoughts align with Scripture? Is this something I feel like doing, or is it something God would have me do?

When we are leading ourselves, God is not leading us. Which is opposed to the examples put forth in Scripture. Consistently the Psalmist calls God his refuge and his protection, the One who leads and guides him with His wise counsel (Pss.13:23-28). God’s wisdom far outweighs our wisdom, His counsel is better than the wisest man. As a result, we need to seek God and His leading, rather than allow our feelings to lead us.

If we are Christians, when we are led by our feelings, we are allowing our unregenerate nature to lead us. The same nature that is contrary to the Lord. As a result, when we allow our feelings to lead us, we will almost always seek to gratify the desires of the flesh and glorify ourselves, rather than God.

Repent

Repent by realizing that by allowing our feelings to lead us, we are reverting back to the leading of our sinful nature, and we are not being guided and led by the wisdom of God.

When we put our faith in Christ, trusting that His sacrifice on the cross paid the price for our sins, our relationship with God is restored, and we are released from the bondage of sin, making us free to follow and serve Him.

Scripture

Here are a few passages from God’s word to meditate on this week, as you consider what is leading you: Pss. 17:14-15; 73:23-28; Prov. 10:3; 10:28; 11:6-7; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 2:3; 4:22; 2 Tim. 2:22; Titus 3:3; 1 Peter 1:14; 2:11; 4:2; 2 Peter 1:4; 2:10; James 1:14-15; 4:1-3.

All X-Ray questions taken from David Powlison’s book Seeing with New Eyes.

X-Ray Questions: What are your fears?

This week we continue our X-Ray Questions series, as we look at our fears. You can read the other posts in this series by clicking here.

X-Ray Question:

(5) What do you fear? What do you not want? What do you tend to worry about?

Sinful fears are inverted cravings. If I want to avoid something at all costs – loss of reputation, loss of control, poverty, ill health, rejection, etc. – I am ruled by a lustful fear.

Understand

When we want to avoid something (loss of reputation, loss of control, poverty, ill health, rejection) at all costs, and when we worry about those things we want to avoid, we reveal what rules us. We must realize that when we allow something other than God to rule us, we are submitting ourselves to idols.

“When we submit ourselves to idols, we will do anything to please them.”

For instance, caring about our own reputation more than God’s, will lead us to either compromise our morals, or the truth, in order to maintain our reputation in the community. When this occurs, we are allowing the cares of the world to rule us.

Repent

As Americans, I believe this weeks X-Ray question hits us hard because the culture in which we live cares a great deal about reputation, control, riches, and health. However, as Christians, we need to quiet the cares of the world in our hearts and repent of our idols, which we can do by realizing God is the only one who has the right to rule us because He is our Creator and Savior. Since God is our Creator and Savior, we should allow Him to be the King of our lives.

Thankfully, in the Gospel – the saving and redeeming work of Jesus Christ – we are given the power to submit to God as our ruler and remove all idols that rule over us. As a result, we must preach the Gospel to ourselves when we notice fear creeping into our lives. We must also take it a step further, asking God to reveal our fears, so we can remove the idols ruling over us.

Scripture

Here are a few passages from God’s word to meditate on this week, as you consider your fears: Matt. 6:25-32; 13:22

All X-Ray questions taken from David Powlison’s book Seeing with New Eyes.