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Monday, September 1, 2014

Finding Satisfaction in Christ

How do we find satisfaction in Christ? When we lose something important to us or feel like we have to have something God has not given to us, what do we do then?

I can definitely relate to those questions. I found myself in the same situation recently, wondering what to do next. I felt that a sure answer to my problems was for God to give me what I wanted if I just prayed to Him. Here are the conclusions that I came to after a time of fasting and praying:

First of all, we need to realize that God may not give us what we want. Yes, He has the ability to give us what we want (I'm speaking of desires that are not evil within themselves), but it's not always in our best interest for Him to do so. After all, we cannot see what the future holds. Only God can, and He knows what is truly best for us. Sometimes He chooses to give us the desires of our heart, and other times He does not.

After realizing this, we need to be willing to submit to His decision, even if the outcome is not the one we want. A tender, submissive, and obedient heart are exactly what God wants from us. We aren't of any use to God when we come to Him with unreasonable demands. Do we really think God will answer us when we treat Him like a cosmic genie? God uses those who are willing to be used. He works in the lives of those who are completely surrendered to His will. Choosing to surrender to God's will even if the outcome is not the one we want is not necessarily a feeling. It's an action. Sometimes we get caught up in thinking you have to feel happy in order to surrender, but that's not always the case. We may be very unhappy about doing so, but as long as we make the commitment to surrender and stick to it, we need not worry coming sorrowfully to the throne of Grace. God will give us the joy we lack when we surrender. It may not be instantaneous. It may be gradual, but it will come, just be willing to submit!

In order to be satisfied in Christ, He needs to be our number one priority. We will always be dissatisfied in life when things don't go our way if we constantly look to those things to make us happy. When we take our eyes off of Christ and focus on the things before us, we lose sight of what real satisfaction looks like. So how does He become our number one priority?

Through increasing your time in prayer and reading The Word. If you're spending 15 minutes a day in reading The Word and 5 minutes in prayer, think about the percentage of time you spend with God on a daily basis. Is that even 10% of your daily time, what is normally required when giving? No. It comes very close to only being 1% of your time. Think about that. You are giving God 1% of your daily time. Does that sound like God is your priority? Now think about all the time you spend eating, sleeping, working, and doing anything else such as hobbies. The percentages of those are probably significantly higher. Now you see why satisfaction cannot occur in Christ when we spend the majority of our time doing other things. I would encourage you to constantly increase your time alone with God. If you read and pray 15 minutes a day, why not turn that into 20 minutes a day this week? And in a month why not turn that into 30 minutes a day? And continue increasing it on a consistent basis. When we increase our time with God, we will find ourselves enjoying God more than before, and thus our focus will be filled with such delight in God that we will find ourselves still happy even when things don't go our way.

Satisfaction in Christ is a very hard thing to learn and put into practice, but when we apply these steps to our lives, we begin to realize that the sacrificing of our time and desires is worth it!