Now as Always

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I read Philippians 1 last night.  I just can’t get over Paul’s extraordinary faith.  In verses 12-14 he says, “ Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”  Instead of focusing on his suffering, Paul, in the midst of his imprisonment, is able to see that God is being glorified.  A situation that most would see as the worst possible scenario can be seen as “good” because God is being exalted.  I am so humbled by Paul’s testimony.  I don’t think my life will ever be as hard as Paul’s was in this passage yet in verse 18b he says, “Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.”  Even though I have never faced anything as remotely trying as imprisonment, I often tend to struggle to rejoice.  And yet as Paul sits in chains, he finds the good–Christ’s glory–and rejoices.  If I were in his situation, I think I would be more apt to complain.  To tell God that it’s not fair.  This is what I get for following Him?  Instead of pitying himself, Paul is found rejoicing.

Verses 20 and 27 are my favorites in this chapter: “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death… Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”  It doesn’t matter where we are or what is going on in our life, our aim should be to exalt Christ NOW.  And no matter how hard life may get, glorifying Christ needs to ALWAYS be our goal.  Paul isn’t saying that we only need to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel when everyone else around us is also living in an effort to please Christ; instead, he says WHATEVER HAPPENS.  Glorifying God doesn’t get set aside when I’m being pressured or persecuted.  No.  “Now as always.”  Living for Christ doesn’t get thrown away just because someone has hurt you or because you’re upset.  No.  “Whatever happens.”

What I got out of this chapter last night was that God can use me wherever I am for His glory.  No matter what situation I am in, I should always be rejoicing as I remind myself that God is working this out for “good.”  In the hard times as well as the easier times, glorifying Christ is my purpose in life … now as always, whatever happens.

Joy Always

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1 Thessalonians 5:16, 18 – “Rejoice always…Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
“Rejoice” means to be glad, happy, or delighted; to be full of joy. Always? I mean, it’s easy to rejoice sometimes but always finding joy? Not so easy. Giving thanks in all things? Is that even possible?
Being happy is not instinctive for me; it’s not something that always comes naturally. I’m sure some people would be shocked to discover that. Everyone thinks I’m always happy; people tell me I’m always smiling. But honestly there are a lot of days that I find it really hard to find reasons to be happy. It’s a deliberate choice for me. I have to constantly remind myself that I should always, no matter how bad life gets, be able to find things to be thankful for. My happiness, my joy should never be based on my circumstances and therefore I should find joy no matter the circumstances. Believe me, that’s easier said than done.
Life is really hard sometimes and my natural response seems to be to get upset or angry, but if I’m honest with myself neither of those reactions ever make the situation better. Usually they just end up making everything worse.
Psalm 102:23a says, “In the course of my life, He broke my strength.” I read that the other day and I wondered…is that what God’s doing when life feels hard? Breaking my strength? Because I can be a very proud person. And if my life wasn’t broken, would I have given it over to Him for Him to fix it? Would I see myself as in need of Him if life is dandy and I’m doing just fine on my own?
Can I say as Paul in Philippians 4:11-13? “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” He breaks my strength so that He can give me some of His own.
I have a notebook where I write down what I’m thankful for. There are some days when I’m writing nonstop and other days I just sit there staring at a blank page and trying so hard to find something. But there are a few things that I can be thankful for every day no matter what:
That I’m still breathing—God has blessed me with another day here
God’s love—nothing can separate me from that (Romans 8:38-39)
Eternal life—God didn’t promise an easy life but he did promise me eternity with Him
And really, even if those are the only things that I can find to be thankful for, isn’t that enough? I am so blessed. God didn’t have to save me but He did. He didn’t have to create me but He did. He didn’t have to give me another day but here I am. He didn’t have to love me but He does.  I think I have plenty of reasons to be happy 🙂

My Clouded Life

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I realized something the other day… The only reason I ever start feeling sorry for myself is because I start thinking about myself in the first place. That seems like an elementary thought. A duh moment for most of you. But to me it was an eye-opener.

When someone says something mean, I internalize it and let it hurt me instead of turning to Christ and praying for that person. When I’m having a bad day, I tend to dwell on those emotions, feed the sadness, instead of thinking about all the blessings God has so graciously given me. I have a tendency to make everything about me.

When everything is about Christ.

When did my life become all about me?

When did my happiness become more important than glorifying Christ?

Instead of focusing upward on the glory of Christ or outward in serving others, I most often turn inward. I pity myself.

I’ve often been told that the cure for a low self-esteem is to find things to love about yourself. Learn to accept yourself. Focus on your strengths, the things that make you happy. In reality, the cure for low self-esteem is to stop thinking about yourself.

We don’t tend to associate low self-esteem with pride. We usually see it as the complete opposite. But, as Edward Welch says, “Low self-esteem usually means that I think too highly of myself. I’m too self-involved. I feel I deserve better than what I have. The reason I feel bad about myself is that I aspire to something more. I want just a few minutes of greatness. I am a peasant who wants to be king.”

I went on a walk the other night and it was cloudy. The stars were having trouble peeking their way through the thick canopy. I feel like that sometimes. Like I could be shining so brightly for Christ but I’m letting fears and worries, doubts and frustrations cloud my life. I’m letting myself get in the way of His glory.

I’m a horribly proud person. I have begun to live like the world revolves around me. I need to humble myself before God. Because the broken, cracked vessels are the ones that let the light of Christ shine through.

His Life, Not Mine

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Galatians 2:20 is the verse I’m looking at today: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
To crucify is to put someone to death by nailing or binding them to a cross. My old self, my flesh, died with Christ. And my new self now lives because Christ lives in me. What would being crucified with Christ look like practically in my life?
A.W. Tozer says that people who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks:
1. they are facing only one direction,
2. they can never turn back, and
3. they no longer have plans of their own.

Point One. Facing only one direction. Our eyes should be focused on Christ. Our feet should be turned towards Christ as we follow Him in every step and every action. Joshua 23:6 says, “Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left.” It is not always easy to do what’s right. That’s why this verse says that we need to be very strong to obey God’s commands. Sometimes jumping the ditch and turning left into the forest or swerving right to walk with your friends seems like the easier choice. But that doesn’t make it right.
Proverbs 4:27 says, “Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” We cannot say we are following Christ one day but then follow the world the next.  We cannot have one foot in sin and one foot on the right path and say that we are obeying God. If we truly are wholeheartedly committed to Christ, we will not be pursuing evil or the things of this world. We will be running hard after Christ.
Point Two. Don’t turn back. Philippians 3:12-14 says, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” We need to pursue growth. We can’t let the mistakes of our past weigh us down and cause us to stop trying. If we repent, Christ forgives us completely. We need to get up, stop sinning, and keep going. We will always have room for improvement, areas in our life that need work, but if we keep looking back over our shoulder at the mistakes we’ve made or all the times we’ve fallen, we are much more likely to trip up again because we are not focused on where we are going. Our eyes need to be fixed firmly on Christ.
Point Three. No more plans of our own. My plans are just that. They’re MY plans. They don’t take into account anyone but myself—not even God or His Will.  I make plans because it’s MY life. And I want to live it however I want to live it. I have dreams because those hopes or those chapters that I want to write into my life seem like the best fit for me. Those stories that I want to tell with my life are what I think would ultimately make me happy.
But if I stop to think about that logic, I realize…it’s not my life in the first place. Colossians 3:4 says, “When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” If this life is truly Christ’s, then I won’t be focused on my dreams, my calendar, my agenda, my hopes, or my desires. Instead I will be focused on accomplishing His Will for me.
Ian Thomas says it this way: “The Christian life can only be explained in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you—your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything—then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it!” My desires should not be describing me; my dreams should not be defining my future. When people see me, they should see me reflecting the love of Christ. When people hear my name, they should link it with my Savior. My life should make it obvious who I follow.
Crucified with Christ. Following Him so closely that nothing can squeeze itself between you and Him. Obeying Him even when it’s hard. Surrendering our desires and replacing them with His. Living this life for Him.

 

Streetlight Distractions

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I went on a walk last night. And I couldn’t see the stars.It’s not that they weren’t shining. It’s not that they were any less brilliant than usual. It wasn’t even cloudy.Actually, the streetlights were affecting my ability to see the sky above. From my vantage point, the surrounding night was illuminated to the point that the stars didn’t seem to shine. The stars needed a canopy of darkness to shine out brightly but the streetlights were affecting the black backdrop.
Up until two years ago, I lived in the country. Out in the middle of nowhere. You could lie down on the grass and stargaze for hours. So I’m still not used to going outside late at night and not being able to see the stars as clearly as before.
You see, it’s not that the sky has changed in those two years. Instead, where I’m standing has. Sometimes, we need to get away from the distractions in our life so that we can again see who God truly is. Without realizing it, we’ve let distractions block our view of Him. He hasn’t changed. His glory hasn’t lessened. His majesty has not dimmed. But the bright, flashing lights of this world, the showy, sparkly attractions, have affected our vision. Our focus is drawn to the glittering pleasures instead of the glory of Christ.
My spirit has been restless and easily distracted lately. I used to pray in my car as I ran errands or drove to and from work. Now I find myself in the midst of talking to God and all of a sudden ten minutes have passed in which I am captivated by some other thought completely unrelated to Christ. I’ll be reading my Bible when my phone rings or I get a text and 15 minutes later I end a conversation and realize that I’ve been distracted once again.
When I’m spending time with God, I don’t want to be distracted.  What I find helps me the most is going somewhere where I won’t be bothered. Not a public area in the house where people can sit next to me and strike up a conversation. Or come find me to ask a question. You may find it even helps to set aside a specific time. Some of my friends say that their minds are the clearest at night, others say the morning. Also, when I’m spending time in the word or prayer, I silence my phone. I hate being with a friend and in the middle of a sentence when they get a text and have to reply it right then. It makes me feel unimportant. It makes me feel like what I have to say means nothing to them. It makes me wonder why we’re even together. It certainly doesn’t make me feel special or valued or loved. So why do we do that to God?
You may have entirely different distractions in your life. Or maybe something that used to be just a distraction has now turned into an idol. If this is the case, I would recommend a fast. Not all fasts have to be with food. You could take a technology fast. A month without tv. A week without your laptop. A day without your phone (yes, it’s possible). If you were to say that it’s not possible, then your phone has DEFINITELY become an idol in your life. Think of your parents and your grandparents. They survived just fine without cell phones. You can too. Maybe you need to fast from social media for a couple weeks. Or even hanging out with friends for a day or two. Whatever you feel has come between you and God. Let’s turn off the streetlights so we can clearly see God’s glory.

What My Heart Wants

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Psalm 23.  A popular passage.

I’ve had it memorized for years.  Been able to quote it since I was 5.  It’s funny how those passages you’ve grown up reciting usually take the longest to sink in and mean something.

Verse One for instance: “The Lord is my Shepherd.  I shall not want.”  Wow.  Gut punch.  Why should I not want?  Answer: Because the Lord is my Shepherd.

But I’m still wanting.  I want everyone to like me.  I want my opinion to be valued.  I want to find true love.  I want to get good grades.  I want to be prettier, thinner, smarter, funnier.  I want nicer clothes, new shoes.  I want more money.  I want my dreams to come true.  What is that whole list telling me?  That the Lord is not my Shepherd.  I’m not letting Him guide me.  I’m not letting His ways control my life.  Because if He was truly my Shepherd, there would be only one item on that list: the Lord.  He alone can fill my every desire, my every longing.  He truly satisfies.  Fills the cup of my wants to overflowing so that there is no room, not even a milliliter, left for me to be wanting something that this world has to offer.

Another version of verse one says: “I lack nothing.”  In the world’s eyes, we may lack everything–the biggest house, the newest phone, the highest salary, a significant other.  But in God’s eyes, you don’t just have everything you need (eternal life) but also everything you could ever want (in Jesus).

Is your heart hidden in Jesus?

Christ My Life

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I was at a Bible study where we were studying “Seeking the Lord.” One of the verses we read was Colossians 3:4- “When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
The teacher moved on but my mind stayed behind. Christ is my life. Wow. Without Him, I’d be dead. Physically because my heart would not beat without his omnipotence. And spiritually because without His sacrifice I would not receive the gift of eternal life.
I sat there stunned momentarily. These were truths that I’d heard my whole life but it struck me hard that night. Perhaps it hit home because the past few weeks I had begun to feel that the importance of my life would be determined by something I decided to do. If I went to college, my life would be defined by a degree. If I got a good job, my career or my salary would be the description matched with my name.
Or perhaps this verse touched my heart because my number one dream of getting married had not been fulfilled and there were many days I felt desperately lonely. My future husband, my dream house, the kiddos I wanted to have—these filled my thoughts and described what I wanted my life to look like.
Or perhaps it was because I had begun to compare aspects of my life with those around me. Whether it was a part of my personality or an aspect of my appearance, I would often let comparisons control my life as I tried to be someone that I was not.
Whatever the reason, God used Colossians 3:4 in a mighty way that night. I had been trying to fill an emptiness inside of me with whatever object or person was closest at the moment. When really Christ was the only one that would ever satisfy that longing. I could try to stuff boys or marriage, a degree or a career, style or intelligence into that void but it would be like trying to put a puzzle piece in the wrong place. I could try as hard as I liked but it would never fit right. It would never complete the picture on the box. Without Christ as my number one love I would never feel complete. My life would always feel meaningless because IT’S NOT MY LIFE. It’s His. I belong to Him and therefore I should be living like it. Every day in every way it should be my aim to glorify Christ. Every second I’m awake should be devoted to serving Him and furthering His kingdom. But too often self gets in the way. What do I want? What do I feel like doing? Instead of, what would please God fully in this situation?
I don’t like being controlled so there have been moments in the past when I get frustrated because I feel like, “this is my life I should be able to live it however I want. No one can tell me what to do or how to act.” But, really, it’s not even my life. And that makes it so much easier to follow God. To realize I wouldn’t be here in the first place if it wasn’t for Him. He doesn’t just get my decisions. My actions. My words. He gets my everything. My every step. My every thought. My past. My present. And my future.
Let’s live like He’s our life.

Arise O Sleeper

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Spiritual valleys. I’m sure we’ve all entered one at some point in our life. God feels so far away. You know you’re not where you should be but you’re too exhausted to trudge back up that mountain to get close to God again. You just want a break. A nap. The easy way out. I’ve had my share of valleys. Whenever I’m in one, I have the desire to get close to God again. But not always the motivation to get moving. To start climbing. If you’re in a valley today, I pray you would have to desire to change that. In an effort to understand how, we’ll be looking at one word used by Jesus in the NT: “Arise.” Jesus usually used this word in regards to either paralysis or death. Let’s take a look shall we?

Throwing Aside What Shackles You Down

Let’s start in Matthew 9:2, 5-7…“And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee…For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house.” These men had an active faith; they regarded no obstacles in pursuing Christ. Let’s be the same way. No matter how hard it is going to be, never quit pursuing Christ. Don’t sit idly by. Keep moving. We find two more similar stories in Mark 2:11-12 and Luke 5:24-25. I encourage you to look those up on your own. In each of these stories, the paralyzed man who is healed is told to take up his bed and walk. They have no need of a stretcher any longer. Jesus tells them literally to “stand up”—something that on their own is impossible. But by His power, He heals their body and gives them the strength. In the same way, cast aside what is holding you down. You may not be paralyzed in the physical sense but are you letting the world shackle you down? Is a certain sin in your life immobilizing you? Figure out what is dragging you down and cast it aside like these men did with their beds. And then walk.

Waking Up to His Touch

Now let’s look at how “arise” is used in regards to death. Mark 5 tells the story of a young girl who passes away as Jesus is on the way to heal her. Verses 41-42 say, “And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.” (another account of this is found in Luke 8:54-55). He took her by the hand. He touched her life and she awoke from the slumber of death. Her eyes snapped open. Her vision was no longer blinded by death. Her heart started beating again. His touch, His voice did that.

The next story is found in Mark 9:22-27… “And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.” Are you longing for change as fervently as this father? Ask the Lord to help you in the moments that you doubt. Through our belief, God can do the impossible in our lives. Everyone thought that the son had died when the spirit came out of him. But Jesus knew better. When no one else could his chest rise and fall with each breath, Jesus could. Is our life so stagnant that the light that is in us has gone out?

The last story is found in Luke 7:12-15… “Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.” In each of these stories, Jesus calls to them when all others thought they were dead and they hear his voice. Do we hear when He calls us? He took hold of their hand and He does the same for us as seen in Psalm 37:24: “though he stumble, he will not fall for the Lord is the One who holds his hand.”

Steps to Arising:
1. Serve

Luke 4:38-39 says, “And He arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought Him for her. And He stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.” Jesus healed her. He saved her. He gave her her life who better to live it for? Who better to serve? She realized that she was indebted to Him forever and she sought to live in a way that showed her gratitude.

2. Pray

Luke 22:46 reminds us that we are in constant danger of stumbling and backsliding: “And said unto them, ‘Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.’” Who better to cry out to? Who will better understand our plight and be there for us no matter the situation, no matter the time of night? Who will catch our tears and hear our cries?

3. Eat spiritual food

When Jesus raises the little girl from the dead (in Mark 5), he commanded them to give her food (verse 43). She had been healed. Now she must be strengthened in order to insure that there would not be a relapse. In 1 Peter 2:2-3, we find our source of strength: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

4. Always be ready

Matthew 25:1-13 says, “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” We never know when Jesus will call us home. We need to be living like it could be today. Make every moment count.

5. Don’t be ashamed

In Luke 6, we read a story of a man with a shriveled hand that Jesus heals. Verse 8 says, “But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, ‘Rise up, and stand forth in the midst.’ And he arose and stood forth.” Jesus asks us to stand up. To make our faith known. Don’t be ashamed to share what God has done and is doing in your life.

6. Accountability partners

In Matthew 9, when Jesus heals the paralyzed man, his friends carry him in on his bed. He could not have gotten there on his own. Look for those kind of friends. The ones who will spur you closer to Jesus. Even if it means they have to carry you.

7. Return to God

The story of the prodigal son (found in Luke 15:11-32) is all too popular. When we try to make it on our own, we realize what we have with God. We can try to live our lives without Him but we will always be empty because He is the Only One that can fill that void.

Friends, I would like to close with John 5:5-8… “One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?’ The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk.’” You can’t drive a parked car. In the same way, don’t sit around waiting for something to happen. Look to Jesus, get up, and follow Him.

Complete in Christ

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I feel so empty somedays.  Like part of my life or half of my heart is missing.  Like I’m a puzzle waiting for that last piece to be put in its rightful spot so the masterpiece can be finished.  I know my problem.  I have a God sized hole in my heart but I’ve been trying to fill that hole with a marriage sized cork or a man sized puzzle piece.  Neither of these were meant to fill the hole so they aren’t going to fill the emptiness.

We all were born with a hole in our hearts—an emptiness and void inside of us. We can try to stuff it with the things that surround us. We can choose to fill it with our desire for a relationship, our longing for a specific career, our group of friends, our greed for more possessions or more money . . . but none of these things will satisfy us—nothing of this world ever can. For a time, we may find something to fill the hole in our heart. . . something that seems to complete us. . . something that we think will make us happy and content, filled and satisfied forever. . . but in the end, we will find ourselves just as or more empty than before.

Until we realize that only God will fulfill us, we will live our lives searching for satisfaction and completion in all the wrong places. Saint Augustine put it this way: “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.”  Colossians 2:10 tells us that we “have been filled in Him.”  Christ completes us! He’s the missing puzzle piece. He fulfills us, satisfies our desires, and takes away the emptiness that we’ve been living with for far too long.

Jeremiah 2:13 says, “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Israel, in this verse, has left God. They forget that God can quench their seemingly never-ending thirst. They go out in search of a drink of water with broken hearts and cracked cups; and they wonder why they never seem to have enough to satisfy. Their wandering hearts cannot find rest until they find the ‘more’ they have always wanted, the ‘more’ that is just beyond their grasp, the ‘more’ that will just end up leaving them empty, the ‘more’ that they think they will find in things of this world; they are not content with the One who is enough.

Don’t be like the Israelites, constantly searching for fulfillment in cheap substitutes when the real deal is right before your eyes. Instead, cry out like David in Psalm 63:1, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you;  my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”  For after all, “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places…and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” (Isaiah 58:11).

Are you seeking your completion in something that this world offers?  Are you searching for your worth through relationships or a prestigious career? Or are you discovering your purpose in Christ and seeking fulfillment in Him alone?