Friday, November 7, 2014

A Desire Which Nothing Can Satisfy // Chasing After God

Did your jaw just drop?  Mine definitely did when I read that quote yesterday.  Recently, God's been teaching me a lot about how to let him satisfy my needs, and it's really cool and so different from anything that I've ever learned about God before.  Part of letting God satisfy my needs, every single one of them, is to get rid of anything else that I'm using to fill the space in me where God should be.  It's what Elisha did when he literally burned his ticket to earthly success and cooked his livelihood for dinner over the bonfire. 

"So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant." 
1 Kings 19:19-21

This idea of giving up things that keep me from depending on God in order to follow him better isn't something that I figured out myself.  It's coming at me from a couple of awesome Jesus books that I'm ready (and, of course, actual Jesus), and God's used them to show me some things in my life that I desperately need to get rid of if my goal is truly to follow him.  As I work my way through the areas that needed cleaning up, I'm faced with hard decisions followed by difficult actions.  I've had conversations that have left me breathless and my heart pounding on my rib cage like it's trying to bust out of there.  Apparently, following God is anything but easy - it's downright uncomfortable.  It is nothing like anything I've ever done.

It's not just the official giving up of the God-substitutes that's hard, though; it's sticking to that decision once I've made it.  Unlike Elisha's plows, most of the things that I attempt to put in God's place aren't burnable.  Committing to keeping them out of God's place isn't the end of it, even if I tell my friends so that they can hold me accountable and try to keep myself out of situations that will tempt me.  It takes a lot of self-control; in fact, self-control is pretty much the key to chasing God day after day after day, forever.   Broken record here:  self-control. is. hard.  I'm seeing that first hand as I struggle with keeping my commitments, and the fact that self-control is so unnatural to me forces me to rely on God to give the willpower that I so do not have.

Despite the struggle, or maybe because of it, learning how to follow God is exhilarating.  Doing scary things makes life exciting, doesn't it?  Also, doing things that I know matter in the long run . . . that makes life satisfying.  It's humbling, because I keep messing up, and it's making me thankful, because God keeps on picking me up.

Maybe you have something that you know is keeping you from being like Jesus?  A hard, potentially (in my case, probably) awkward conversation that needs to be had or a habit that needs to be kicked?  I'd recommend praying about it, and hope that God calls you to act on it.  I highly recommend that as well, by the way. //



P.S. M from The Life of Little Me was awesome and nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award.  I got a chance to check out her blog, and I liked it a lot and I sometimes like to share things that I like so here ya go: click here, here, and here to read some of my personal favorites!

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