I’m laying in bed and began praying to God, and he clearly revealed something to me- as I am writing this from my phone, on the WordPress app. Technology these days. Anyways, before I get started, I apologize in advance for anything that might not make sense. It’s late and I wouldn’t urgently be writing this but God pressed it on my heart. Before I forget, here it is:
I’m on a Christmas analogy kick because it seems appropriate. This might seem a bit drastic, but when you are given a gift, isn’t it easy to appreciate or long for that gift more than the gift-giver? What I mean is that it can be easy to appreciate the gift more than the giver (at least in the moment). Maybe not, but it tends to get easily wrapped up in my self-seeking heart (God, forgive me). With this being said, what is the point to having a relationship with Christ? Is it to obtain the blessings we are given in Christ or is it Christ, himself? Is it to use God’s graces to get something we ultimately covet more than wanting God or God himself? I don’t think anyone would say it that way, but if we’re honest, we try to manipulate the system. A clear example would be for someone to say: “I cant wait until the day I’m in heaven. It will be so peaceful.” All of this is true and glorious, but if our motivation in this life is to get heaven and not Jesus himself, I think we need a heart check. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for heaven but heaven itself isn’t worthy to be praised- Jesus is. Praise God that he knows our hearts and is still willing to change them amidst this prosperity gospel path we might find ourselves on.
Somehow a sense of entitlement springs up in us if we begin to allow our goals to be the gifts and not the gift-Giver himself. Another way to put it is seen in Romans 1:25- “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.” If our eyes, and more profoundly- our hearts begin to seek these things, we rob ourselves of ultimate joy and are disappointed or frustrated WHEN (not if) these things fail to fulfill us. Not only so, but we seek our own desires that lead to destruction and we don’t move towards God’s love and glory, which results in satisfaction. Glorifying God always yields satisfaction because we were created to glorify Him.
A life that chases God to get more of God himself is ultimately the point of a relationship with Christ. To become more and more conformed to Christ’s image is to know Christ himself. And the beauty of this aim is that it leads to life-giving satisfaction. God doesn’t just offer love, hope, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and faithfulness. More than that, He IS those attributes. This is why it is a joy to know Him more. God’s promises are true. This isn’t to say that trials, suffering, or hardship won’t come our way. But it is to say that regardless of the circumstance, Jesus is enough. The bible is filled with people who experience hardship, strife, loss. It is filled with those who might not have earthly riches, but riches in Christ.
Philippians 3:7-8 “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”
It is my prayer that each day I will see the abundant joy in knowing Jesus, while seeing everything else for what it is- loss. That I might cling more tightly to the Cross and more loosely to the things of this world. Thank God for his forgiveness when I chase created things more than my Creator. Thank God that he violently pursues my heart while in its midst, I am prone to wander. Thank God for the grace He lavishly pours upon me, despite me.
I know that I don’t specifically know who will read this, but I do believe that if you’re reading this, you didn’t stumble upon it by happenstance. I want you to know I am praying the same for you- that your ultimate goal would be to know more of Jesus by pressing into His word, and through prayer. But for those who might be reading this that aren’t believers in Christ, it is my prayer that God saves you from chasing things that leave you exhausted. It is my prayer that you will place faith in Jesus- specifically, His death and resurrection on the cross for your sins, so that you may obtain life where only life can be found. You’re never too far from God. He loves you and desperately wants a relationship that only comes through faith in Jesus by His grace alone, not by your works (Ephesians 2:8).