I’m easily distracted…for those familiar with the movie Up…I am Dug – “Squirrel!” In those very rare moments where I seem to have been forced to settle in and be still (Psalm 46:10) I am very thankful that God speaks to me (prayer, music, creation and most of all His Word). I’ll admit that I too often have chased after the pursuits of the world (1John 2:15-17) and yet God has patiently called me back to join Him in His work and I find myself realizing just how different the rhythm of life is when I’m faithful to that call to return (John 14:27).
I recently had the blessing of connecting with a very sweet and dear family on one of my travels. That visit left a very big mark on me as a stark reminder that we must be about the Kingdom and God’s ‘business’ – first, foremost, always (Matthew 22:37). God absolutely loves us and wants us to live a life that reflects that love back to Him and others (Matthew 22:37-40). We so easily fall into a variety of pits that tend to all have a common trait and that to my eyes is always connected to our self-centered bent as people. We are all about us…I am mostly interested in me (2Timothy 3:1-5).
Our church family has been walking through a distillation of one of John Piper’s books that is essentially a call to us to be more committed to our own pleasure…now that might sound very much like a contradiction to where we should be headed in our Christian lives. But the premise of Piper’s watershed work Desiring God was that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. In other words, there is nothing in the universe that will deliver the satisfaction in us the way God will (Psalm 16:11; 37:4; 43:4; 90:14; 100:2). The more delighted we are in Him, the more glory He receives…do you get it? It’s not that we’re not supposed to be happy or to pursue joy…it’s that we’ve been settling for such shallow, cheap, almost meaningless highs. Material, carnal, worldly endeavors will never come close to approaching the joy we’ll experience when our lives are laser-focused on God and gorging ourselves on all of the incredible blessings that flow from our relationship with Him.
Now this is easier to write about than to do. If you’re a committed follower of Christ and this isn’t something that you’ve been successful in, don’t give up. We need to cling to the Truths that have been given to us – less of us, more of Him (John 3:30). It is a supernatural act to be filled with God and His Holy Spirit (John 14:26) and for that then to work in and through us for His glory (1Peter 1:3). He must be the Well that we go to, to draw from…He is living water (John 7:38), the source of love that will answer the longing of our souls and be spilled out into the lives of those we encounter.
Soli Deo Gloria – John 16:33