A Game of Chase

I think it had only been a few months, but it felt like an eternity since I perceived my prayers had gone any further than my ceiling.  I prayed day after day, but I was overtaken with the feeling that everything I said was bouncing right back at me & God had gone into hiding. 

I don't really know what caused the start of this vicious cycle of feeling like our relationship was one sided, but I remember what ended it.  One morning I was dissecting a Bible verse & I wrote down the question, "Do I trust God?".  I was shocked that my hand had written the words.  The question was completely illogical.  Of course I trust God, I thought.  How did this question even make it into my head much less spill out through my pen on to the page of my journal?

Slowly I began to realize I trusted Him completely for eternal salvation, even for healing & miracles, but I wasn't so sure that I could trust Him to help me live abundantly without me having to strive for the life I wanted.  My reality came crashing in on me when I realized my prayers were hitting the ceiling because I was chasing the desire of my own heart instead of chasing the One who desired me.   

We were designed to be a people filled up by something.  We wake up everyday & chase something.  We want to be liked, to be loved, to be respected & needed & honored.  But the problem is, we chase these things more than we chase God.  If we would just be still & realize that God has already fulfilled the desire in our hearts to be liked, loved, respected, needed & honored, through Jesus Himself, then we would see He won the game of chase & we no longer have to strive to be the winner.

Because of Jesus I lack nothing.

If I should be satisfied by God alone, then why do I so often forget to let Him be all I need?  Why doesn't my heart remember that when I am trying to build my life on my own I only find rubble, but when I build my life in who He is I find wholeness.  

David, the one the Bible calls a man after God's own heart {Acts 13:22}, didn't become a mighty man of God because he was perfect.  He also didn't gain such a place in eternal history by striving.  He simply acknowledged his need for God & trusted Him to bring abundance.  He was satisfied with God alone {Psalm 73:26}.  He moved when God said go & He stayed when God said rest.

One embrace from God gives us shelter from the storm & the strength for battle.

David let God be the fulfillment to all His desires.  But how do we do this?  Admittedly, I mess this up a lot, but years of trusting that God is big enough have led me to know these things: 

I must return to Him when I mess up ~ I've learned in times of failure, I need to be completely grounded in who Jesus is & who I am in Him.  Sometimes I cave into the pressure to be more, do more & own more.  But ultimately what I look like, what title I hold & how many followers I have on social media will always leave me empty.  As a child of God, none of these things define who I am.  Who I am is His & that can never be corrupted like the things of this world.  Just as a loving parent does, when I return to God & leave my failures behind, He fills me with the knowledge that His righteousness is enough. {Matthew 6:19-21, Joel 2:13}

I must fill up on Him when I'm thinking straight ~  Truthfully if I haven't eaten well, slept well or been treated well by people in my life, my thinking gets messed up.  I am overtaken by my flesh that is disappointed in this world.  But if I can fill up on God when everything seems right, then I can build a reserve of right thinking to carry me through when the difficulties come.   I know which way to run for strength when I have set my mind on the things of the Lord.  I don't return to the world to find identity but instead I go to my Father who tells me I am His.  He is all I need & when my heart is full on Him, the emptiness of my fleshly desires dissipate in the flood of His love.  {Romans 15:13, Philippians 4:8}  

I must let His grace be bigger than my fears ~ Failures & disappointments in life leave us feeling like if we don't perform for acceptance & strive for identity we will be left behind.  The fears of our hearts make us believe that His grace could never be enough.  But there is no fear in Love & God is love, so it must be true that the fear we feel is only a ploy of the enemy to keep us from abundance in His grace.   We must ask the Lord to reveal the areas of our life where we can let His grace take over & push fear aside. {2 Timothy 1:7, Colossians 2:13-15}

Is there an area where you need to run back to Him & let Him define who you are?  Are you taking the time to fill up on Him & let His grace be what propels you forward instead of striving for identity in what the world values?