Phil Wickham “Divine Romance”
Though I too often let the business of life crowd out the mindset God has laid out for me, the deepest feeling of satisfaction for me comes from time spent in the Word because God never fails to reveal things to me and because His presence is a great comfort and guide in this life full of trials and temptations.
It’s natural for us to try to find comforting things that make us feel happy and I certainly have my favorites: a cup of coffee (even better a latte), a pile of books, family times, a close friend, a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, and dark chocolate to name a few. But I’ve found that nothing can bring the satisfaction I long for except time spent in the Word and worship. Beth Moore says in her “Living Free” Bible study, “I believe God creates and activates a nagging dissatisfaction in every person for an excellent reason….God purposely created us with a need only He can meet…. Unfortunately, salvation alone does not completely fill the need…Christians can be miserably dissatisfied if they accept Christ’s salvation yet reject the fullness of a daily relationship that satisfies…He wants us to find the only things that will truly satiate our thirsty and hungry hearts.”
Sometimes too much of a good thing is gluttony and runaway expectations are hurtful. Beth goes on to say, “I am not minimizing the difficulty, but I am suggesting the obstacles are removed by volition. Some of the idols in our lives – things or people we have put in God’s place – can take much longer to remove. Some of them have been in those places for years and only the power of God can make them budge. We must begin to remove idols by choosing to recognize their existence and admitting their inability to keep us satisfied.”
The Rolling Stones captured the age old problem of dissatisfaction in their song, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, ‘I can’t get no satisfaction, cause I try and I try and I try and I try.’ As long as our misguided hearts cause us to seek satisfaction in the wrong places permanent satisfaction will continue to elude us. Not only will it elude us, but our efforts to chase it down and have it can become dangerous to ourselves or those around us. To continue to indulge makes that thing an idol and/or a stronghold. Isaiah knew exactly what happens to an individual caught in such a trap, “He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, ‘Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?’ (44:20)” This is where intercession with all sorts of prayers for ourselves and others entrapped can be like a spiritual life raft for the soul. God can and does open the blind eye and set free the captive when we pray with tenacity and faith.
Beth Moore confides in her personal experience of having her eyes opened to a lie she once held tightly in her hand, “I also remember the harrowing moment God opened my eyes to see what a lie I had believed. I cried for days. I originally thought this lie was a good thing…My heart, handicapped in childhood, had deluded me….My only consolation in my idolatry is that I finally allowed God to peel away my fingers…I am very aware that Satan will constantly cast idols before me.”
Chris Tomlin expresses well the delightful satisfaction in choosing what’s true in his song, “Satisfied”.
The most satisfying time of my day is the time in Bible study each morning with my husband. God’s Word never fails to comfort and exhort me. I am grateful for those who have prayed for me, because at times in my life I have blindly fed on ashes and grasped at lies. Have you? Do you know someone was praying for you? I also know some who have or are feeding on ashes and “cannot save themselves”, as Isaiah says, because they don’t recognize the lie. They need and get my prayers! Have you went to war in prayer lately for yourself and others in order to peel a lie from the hand and pull back a friend from a meal of ashes?