I try to share in this blog only the things that God is showing me or things concerning which He’s been working in me.
God has been showing me many things lately. Painful things. Ways I desperately need Him. Struggles He wants to free me from that I didn’t even know I had.
I try to live a lifestyle of hearing, as Bob Hamp says in one of his video teachings, a lifestyle where I welcome both God’s direction and His correction. I’m getting there 🙂
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)
One reason I share here is that years ago, God made it clear to me my story is His to use. I am mostly willing. Sometimes, it is more difficult than others (like when I published an article on self-injury) and occasionally in those fleeting moments, I’d much prefer to appear as if I have it all figured out.
Honestly, though, I’ve tried to live for a long time as if I had it all together, and it’s exhausting.
God told me almost 12 years ago that He did not rescue me from so many things so that I would walk around, still ashamed, as if they still have power over me.
“But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and
I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.” Psalm 73:28
Thus, today, I always try to live my life in an open & authentic way. This is how God has called me, personally, to live.
This is something I’ve been considering for awhile: is Jesus all we need?
God seems to speak to me when I’m driving long distances, alone in my car. Maybe this is because I have time by myself to focus, sing, pray, breath (the life of a mom!).
On a recent road trip, as I was listening to worship music in the car, the singer declared, “All I need is You, Lord.” I sang along with gusto and sincerity. I meant what I was saying.
Immediately, I felt a little pang in my heart. God spoke, “Is that really true? Am I really all you need?”
My response was tears. I knew God was putting His finger on an area of my life that needed some serious work.
How often have we thought consciously or acted as if this the following thoughts were true: “If only I had…. If only this situation would resolve…. If only this were different, then I could be at peace…. Then I could be happy and content.”
In that moment on that trip, God flashed before my eyes all the things I really thought I need:
A happy life, a great ministry, a thriving career, a fantastic marriage, a new personal record on my next race, more money, more time, more sleep, more……
The reality is I have many of those things. God has blessed me in ways that a decade ago, I couldn’t even have imagined. But I can be so short-sighted. I get tunnel vision. I fixate on the few things that aren’t exactly how I hoped they would be and completely lose sight of all the amazing gifts God has placed in my lap.
God challenged me in that moment, “Do you really need all of those things in order to feel content? Or do you just need me?”
“Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.” Psalm 73:25
This is a bit of tricky territory because it’s not quite as cut & dry as “All I need is Jesus.” This is a half-truth that has been spread by the church and has actually perpetuated much hurt and unhealth.
I strongly believe healing happens in the context of community. I preach & live James 5:16, that we must confess our sins and pray for one another, so that we may be healed.
Well, that’s not just Jesus, right? The Bible tells us in James & many other places that we need other people, not just Jesus.
This is true. God also made us so that we require water, food and oxygen to live.
The heart of the question God asked me in that moment was really: “Am I really all you need in order to live a contented life? Or are you waiting for all these other things to come to fruition in order to have joy and fulfillment?”
“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” Psalm 73:26
I want God alone to be the strength of my heart. To be my contentment and joy. When I look to other things to fulfill me, I start to get bitter. Entitled. Envious. When I look to Jesus to fulfill me, I am able to recognize just how blessed I already am. In that way, He is the heart of all I need.
Is Jesus all you need in order to have contentment and joy? Is He the heart of your desires?