Our souls are relentless in their pursuits.
It seems we are always searching, seeking, and running after something. We seek relationships to satisfy our longing for intimacy. We pursue careers to make it in this world. We search for significance or purpose through various means.
We must keep a close eye on the direction of our souls (mind, will, emotions). They often have a mind of their own.
Misguided pursuits that have one goal in mind, to satisfy misguided desires that were never meant to be fulfilled. Many feel the only way to satisfy these desires is to yield. They foolishly believe to give in, is the end of the struggle.
But even then, they quickly discover that the surrender leaves them and they succomb to something they quickly regret.
I have a client I’ll call Maddy. She was constantly searching for meaning to her life. But she doesn’t understand why nothing she tries ever brings satisfaction. In and out of relationships, jobs, marriages, and so many other things, she finally reached out for help. She was so lost and confused. She had struggled for years, but when she finally reached the bottom of herself she sought help. Today, she is finding so much purpose to her life and has been set free from that nagging dissatisfaction she lived with for years. How? She realized that Jesus can fill her empty self.
The answer is, simple, really.
And I always feel the simpler we make understanding spiritual growth in our lives, the easier it is to apply it to our lives.
I’ll be honest, I once had an addiction to ministry….yes, you read that right. I would spend all of my time developing and teaching bible studies and ministering to people every time the church doors opened and had my own outreach outside the church building. The problem, though, was that my personal life had so many serious marital issues that I was frustrated with and needed to confront, but just couldn’t find the energy to do anything, so I searched for something else to take up brain space. I convinced myself that as long as I was in service to the Lord He would take care of my life. I was so spiritual I ignored my marriage, and ultimately lost it.
Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, friends.
I got my accolades and validity from people and not the Lord.
and I became addicted to it….
It was a back and forth struggle. One part of me loved indulging in it, but the other part knew it was not a wise use of my time. I repented several times in my failings, but finally lost most of everything I was ignoring.
You see I wasn’t using faith….I dismissed my dislocated busy-ness by saying it was for the Lord,
As if He could only use me and no one else.
I think any human has the capability to become hooked on anything. We generally assume addictions are limited to those who abuse narcotics, drink alcohol to cope, gamble their money away, or view sexual content on the internet regularly.
Addictions can come from any angle. They wrap tightly around us until we are enslaved to them. Why are they so powerful? Because they give us a sense of fulfillment or pleasure−although short lived. They start off seeming innocent, but the more we come back for more, the more we become imprisoned.
Romans 6:16 reads, “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey…..
Slaves is a strong word. A word that we don’t like to identify with our own lives.
Have you noticed how easy it is to identify the problems of others? We may see an area of weakness in their personality and we inwardly identify the changes they need to work on, especially if it is not a problem in our own lives.
As a person who does not usually get easily angered, I can quickly identity the wrong in someone who is angered or irritated easily. It’s so easy for me to judge them because it’s not a weakness for me. It takes brokenness and humility to turn inwardly and admit my own enslavements, and then turn to God for help.
Are there areas of enslavement in your life that you want to be free from?
The answer is simple. We were created with a vacancy, an empty place, within our hearts that was only…ONLY meant to be filled with God.
That’s it! Not complicated!
We try to fill that emptiness with everything we can find to satisfy us temporarily. It will NEVER work. You will ALWAYS come to the end of yourself and realize you still aren’t happy or joyful or fulfilled….and you move on to something else.
Our most lonely place is when we are missing our loving creator, our King, our Jesus and we need to sit with Him and talk to Him about our hearts and what we need.
Service to Him will follow that relationship of intimacy that will so fill you to satisfaction you can’t help but want to share it with others.
Service follows relationship. No amount of service, if you don’t have the relationship of intimacy with God, will ever satisfy you. You will wonder why you feel burned out and disillusioned.
Because you were walking in an illusion of thinking “things” “people” “service” (fill in your own word) will satisfy.
Maybe you like all the things that fill your life right now, and you see no need to examine their place in your life.
The thing is, we will never come to a place where there is no need for change and growth.
There is always room for cutting off, turning away from, getting to the root of things. Our pride, selfishness, jealousies, evil motives, and the like require a daily examination…I have many such talks myself.
You will only get as much of God as you want.
It’s up to us how close we draw near to God. The less we want, the less we will seek. The more we want, the more we will seek.
Our actions will reveal our pursuit.