Monday, May 25, 2015

It's got a Hole in it!
I grew up wanting to be perfect.  I've no one else to blame for this but myself.  I hungered for people’s approval of me.  I longed for affirmation for who I was and what I did.  I had huge expectations for myself and for everyone else around me.  If people didn’t say just the right thing about what I had done or if they overlooked it, I would live in a puddle of despair.  If they did value it then I would live on a mountain top high for a couple of days, only to be right back in the puddle once again looking for affirmation and approval.  It became my insatiable quest.

My life looked a lot like a cup with a hole in the bottom of it.  The more I had poured into it, the more poured out of it.   When more was poured in the fuller I felt but it would be a false sense of fullness as it would eventually seep out the bottom and I would be left empty once again. 

 It was a thirst I couldn’t quench and a hunger I could never satisfy.

Jesus said to the woman at the well in John 4, . . .  Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.  But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again.  It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”  (John 4.13-14)


The woman at the well had the same problem I had, she sought her identity, worth and value from the people in her life.  She was on an insatiable quest to be filled and she looked for it in all the wrong places.  She believed, like I believed, people were the answer to this voracious thirst so she ran around holding out her cup wanting man after man to fill it, only to be left empty in the end.   

It wasn’t until she met THE MAN, the perfect man, the one who could truly satisfy the thirst in her heart where she was finally fulfilled and the ravenous thirst was gone!  Jesus met her needs in a way no one else could.  She found her worth and value in Him and she no longer needed to look anywhere else.  

Do you see what Jesus said to her?  “If you drink from the water I give, you will never thirst again!”   

Jesus plugs up the hole in our heart and produces in us a fresh bubbling spring that never runs dry.  The insatiable quest is over!  The search for satisfaction is done. 

So how do we drink from the water Jesus gives?  How do we let Him fill us, a God we can’t see, instead of looking to people, we can see, to satisfy us?  

We must start with what we think.  Because what we think on, turns into a belief, which then in turn governs the way we live.  In Romans 12.2 it says, “ . . . let God transform you by changing the way you think.”  If we are to begin to find our value and worth in Jesus it first starts in our mind. 

In the move the Help, Abileen says to Mae Mobley throughout the movie.  “You is smart.  You is kind.  You is important.”  Why does she do this?  I think she wants Mae Mobley to know deep down inside who she is no matter where she goes, no matter what happens to her, no matter what anyone one says to her. 

I believe God has a  similar message for us.  He wants us to know deep down inside who we are, no matter where we go, no matter what happens to us, no matter what anyone says to us. 
He wants you to know . . .

You is special. (Psalm 139.13,14)  You is MINE.  (Galatians 4:7) You is Important!  (1 John 4.9)

When we think on this.  When we dwell on these truths, we will begin to believe we are special, we are His and we are important and we will no longer need to quest for our identity and worth in other people or in what we do.  We won’t need to because we are full up with Him. 
He has plugged up the hole in our heart and we are finally satisfied!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

God's Not a Consolation Prize

I belong to God!  And because I belong . . . I’m no longer under the brutal tyranny of sin and death.  What was impossible . . . friendship with God . . . is now mine!
I know this truth in my head but my heart struggles to believe it’s truth.
I confess I have this tendency to see God as a last resort, rather than my primary go to place . . .  
When all else fails, then I’ll look to God.  When I’m helpless to do anything, then I’ll pray.  When I've attempted  to satisfy my cravings with other things and find myself empty, well then, I’ll try God.  When I’ve exhausted all my other resources . . . then I’ll fall back on God.  He becomes my safety net.  My consolation prize.
Prayer becomes a last resort.  Time spent with God happens only out of sheer desperation and living a vibrant, victorious life in Christ always seems out of reach. 
And then I wonder why my life with God is mediocre and mundane.
God isn’t a consolation prize.  He isn’t something to toss away, or hide in a drawer, only to pull out when things get dicey and there's no other hope.
God is THE PRIZE!  He is our True Hope.  Our Ultimate Satisfaction.  Our Perfect Peace.
As long as we believe God is our consolation prize in life, we will never be free.  We’ll never experience true victory.  We’ll never escape the brutal tyranny of sin.  We’ll never know the power of the life-giving Spirit.  Fear will haunt us.  Doubt will plague us and His grace will escape us.
To know God.  To deny ourselves.  To take up our cross.  To follow Him.  That’s where real LIFE is found. 
It’s in the suffering, in the pain, in the questioning where we find Him.  It’s the promise of a life beyond this broken one, a far better life than we have ever known that we must cling to in this uphill journey.  It’s choosing the narrow, difficult, uncomfortable path where we will find God’s grace, His peace and His unfathomable joy.
Jesus said, You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.  Matthew 7.13-14
We can travel the easy and comfortable road, the one with no obstacles or debris and meet death or we can choose the difficult way, the hidden path strewn with challenges of all sizes, the road that forces us to keep our eyes on Him and find LIFE.
What will you choose?