Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free Series -- Part II

Maybe you can relate with these thoughts:

“No way I’m coming to God. He’s going to ask me to give up everything fun!”

“I’d have to change too much before I could approach Him. He only wants good people.”

“I don’t want to change my lifestyle. I like being in control of my own life.”

“I want to lead a fulfilling life, so I’m going to do this without God.” (see John 10:10)

“He would take all of my friends away and make me stop going to the ___ (fill in the blank with ‘bar,’ ‘club,’ etc.).”

“I never get very far when I try to pray. God certainly doesn’t fill me up like ___ does.” (again, fill in the blank with words that fit for you: food, drugs, alcohol, sex, friends, partying)

Do you long for something you can’t even name? Some kind of satisfaction you haven’t found, though, wow, have you tried. You long for unconditional love, acceptance, a thrill, satisfaction, contentment, success. Only Jesus can fulfill you. You think what you have (by chasing lesser lovers) is good. But if you could see it through God’s lens, you’d see the ultimate result is not life. Any “satisfaction” you find in that substitute is not long lasting and it’s certainly not without later consequences. Food will increase your waistline. (Unless you binge and purge, and what good is that? Your body needs nutrition or there is a host of consequences to face.) Alcohol will give you a hangover. Drugs control you over time.

But when you turn to Jesus, and surrender everything (even your wrong perceptions about Him), He will fill up your heart and mind (soul) and give you lasting satisfaction. He will cut off those other pursuits because you will see them as they are—lacking in substance and only addressing a fleshly need, not the motivation behind it all—a deeper need.

We don’t like giving up control, but here’s what Jesus says:

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. (Luke 17:33, NLT)

Put your life into God’s hands. He will free you. The lesser lovers you have turned to will no longer have control of you. (That’s what it feels like, doesn’t it? “I have to have a drink!”) Addictions are hard taskmasters. Jesus is gentle.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29 NLT)

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