I was talking with a group of friends on Monday as we had dinner, and one of them made the comment that they are starving to better know and understand God’s word. In fact, I believe the comment she made was that she is ‘ravenous’ to know more. Which is ironic in that it was also how we approached our incredible BBQ dinner from Smokey Mo thank you very much!
As I drove home that night I continued to ponder her words and the depth to which her soul was crying out to know Jesus better, to know the living word better, to be filled with the Holy Spirit more completely. Nothing in this world is going to satisfy her, she wants only our Lord. I was convicted by her words, how many of us walk through our day to day lives, hungry for something but we can’t figure out what? Feeling like we’re missing something, longing to be satisfied but nothing in this world can fill us, so we search on in vain for something to fill a hole we can’t quite identify.
This morning, while sitting at the carwash, I pulled out my devotional and took advantage of the fact that no one was going to get their car washed at 7:30 in the morning, so I had the lobby all to myself. As I read through the message, I began thinking about how much I want to want God more than anything else. Truly I want him to the absolute center of my life and being. I want to know him more each day, I want to be all he wants me to be. It reminded me of how we feel (or at least I felt) the very first time we have a real crush, or a first love.
In those beginning days and weeks, we are obsessed with getting to know them, wanting to be near them all the time, talking on the phone, spending every moment together, being whatever they want you to be. We are so consumed (or at least I was) by the person that we lose ourselves in them. Talking for hours, never getting bored, thinking of them all the time. Imagining ways to make them happy and how to please them. A feeling so all consuming and compelling that nothing else matters, not family, or friends, or school, or anything else in all creation is as important as they are, then I thought about what Jesus said is the most important commandment, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38) We all have the capacity and desire to love like that, it’s what or who we chose to love that usually throws us spinning off course.
Unfortunately for most of us, the ‘love’ soon fades, people are flawed, broken, unable to return or maintain that kind of love with one another. We’ll get tired, conflicted, other pastures look greener, we feel neglected, or taken advantage of. Sometimes we’re the ones neglecting because the feeling that was so powerful at first has somehow lost its power.
We wonder where we went wrong, often try too hard for too long to keep the relationship afloat, ultimately it doesn’t. There is only one thing that can fulfill that level of all consuming, relentless, audacious love…God, in the person of Jesus Christ. People will let us down, wander off, get bored, lose interest, and move on. Jesus never will. He returns our imperfect, flawed, broken, misplace, selfish love with his perfect, all fulfilling, all-consuming love. He will never get bored, stray, change, forget, wander off, let down, or disappear. He is obsessed with loving us, we are his joy. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3) We are the reason he went to the cross.
I don’t know about you, but I want to love Jesus like that. Like my first crush, completely obsessed with knowing him, showing my love, being who he wants me to be, and living to please him. Only then can I fulfill my purpose in life. That’s why I was created, that’s why you were created, and it is only when we are fulfilling that purpose in our lives that we can be whole. Not when we are obsessively trying to please creation; man, woman, children, job, school, country, or world, but only when our only concern is HIM and his purpose for our life.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)
The Jesus shaped space in our hearts cannot be filled by anything else, nothing! No matter how hard you try to convince yourself…you will never truly be happy unless Jesus is in His rightful place in your life.
Please help me share the good news of Jesus and how He can change your life, and our world!
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