by: Gregory Kirk

What an interesting word.  In fact, I am pretty sure I just made it up. However, my definition of demandingness is an “expectation that our demands will be met either by others or God.”

  • We demand that people treat us in the way we believe they should.
  • We demand that people support us in times of trouble.
  • We demand that no one comes close to hurting us in the way that we might have been hurt in childhood.
  • Wedged tightly in the recesses of our heart is this ugly splinter that, if not removed, will produce a poison that will infect every part of our lives.

The life of an addict is one of demand.  I want what I want, and I want it my way, in my time.  We see this demandingness in the life of Jacob.

Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and watch over me during this journey I’m making, if he provides me with food to eat and clothing to wear,
and if I return safely to my father’s family, then the LORD will be my God.  Genesis 28:19-21 (CSB)

Here Jacob says:

  • If God be with me.
  • If God watches over me.
  • If God helps me with this journey.
  • If God provides food and clothing.
  • If God allows me to return safely.

If God does all these things, then He will be my God.

Jacob is probably one of the clearest biblical illustrations of a demanding spirit.

  • He insisted on having his father’s blessing for himself and took advantage of his brother’s hunger, buying his birthright for a plate of stew.
  • Jacob went through a kind of half conversion, making God his God and giving Him a tenth, but deep in his heart there was still residing this spirit of demandingness.
  • It shows itself again at Paddan-aram where, after marrying Rachel, he worked out a scheme to make himself rich at his father-in-law’s expense (Genesis 30:41-43).

He was still Jacob—the man who demanded to have his own way.

He had talked about himself in terms of honesty—”my honesty will testify for me” (Genesis 30:33)—but it was nothing more than above-the-waterline honesty. His mind was changed, but not his heart.

Only when addicts overcome the self-centerless that addictions bring will they see healing and hope for a new life.

*adapted from Butlers Daily Bible Readings: Holman Pub 2014

Gregory Kirk resides in Ellsinore, MO.  He currently serves as Pastor/Executive Direction of the United Gospel Rescue Mission and Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff, MO.  The UGRM offers a Transformed Life one-year residential program for men who are seeking change.  The Mission also serves a public meal daily at noon.  Gregory has been married to his beautiful wife, Pamela for forty years.  He is the father of three and grandfather of twelve.  He holds a BA Th from Fairhaven Baptist College, MA Pastoral Clinical Counseling from Jacksonville Theological Seminary and MA Christian Resources From Union University, Jackson, TN.  He is currently a D.Ed.Min candidate at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.  Greg has been in ministry for thirty years serving as Youth Pastor, Asst. Pastor and Senior Pastor of churches in Pennsylvania, California and Missouri.  Greg is a Registered Alcohol and Drug Counselor (RADC) and Medically Assisted Treatment Specialist (MATS) for the State of MO.­­