Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
(Psalm 142:5, NLT)
We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our “Friday Friends.” So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our “Friday Friend,” Lisa Whittle.
Friend to Friend
Most of our life is spent grasping at things to help make us stronger, cure our struggle with habits and addictions, lead us to a better, more successful life. It’s our human desire to feel accepted and loved, and we believe it is in the fixing of ourselves that we achieve all this and finally have the life we’ve always wanted. But it’s not true. Our good God knows a better way.
I found myself in this wanting to fix me place several years ago, after tiring of the constant cycle of a roller coaster Christian life, fear watermarking my decisions, desire for human value and acceptance that kept me insecure and held me back from things I knew God wanted me to do. I craved anything that might help me and reached for the usual tools: books on the subject of my particular struggle…conversations with a safe friend…pulling the covers back over my head to sleep off my angst over the thought I might never be the person both God and me wanted.
I wracked my brain for the times in my life I had felt God the most near; where my greatest spiritual growth had occurred. And I remembered: the only way I found to get better is to focus on God harder. Not with some legalistic, religious rules and to-do lists, but by giving Him my entire heart. After all my lamenting and strivings, I came back to death to self, the way of the cross.
The truth is, my friend, wanting God more than anyone or anything else in our life is the game changer. We can try to fix ourselves. But that’s doing it the human way, which won’t produce lasting results. When we dive into God, focus on Him harder, things of our flesh we have tried so hard to kill naturally fall away. Our desire for Him changes everything.
But we don’t just arrive there. The flesh is willful and the pull of the world is strong, and our old habits of trying to fix ourselves die hard. But God. (It’s always but God, isn’t it?) In Him we have a “hope [that] does not disappoint,” (Romans 5:5 NASB) which means that while we are constantly disappointed by our own efforts to get better, focusing on Him to change us is a life guarantee.
Wanting God is a purposeful pursuit. It is a daily focus. It will require quality face time with Him through prayer and reading of our Bible. Maybe that sounds hard. But living without wanting God the most is the harder life, which most of us have tried and know.
And if we are tired of trying to fix ourselves, we are in the best place we can ever be to start the wanting God most journey. It is always in our place of lack our heart screams loudest for God.
And He hears and powerfully brings change.
Dear Father, thank you for being the game changer of my life. You know better than anyone how I have tried to fix myself for so long and it never really works. I need you, God. Move my heart towards You. Tether me to your truth as you break me from habits and sins that sometimes overwhelm me. I trust You to do the work in me that only You can, and I commit this very day to doing whatever it takes to want You the very most.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Roller coasters may be fun at an amusement park, but when it comes to life, most of us are tired of living up and down. Get out a piece of paper and write down all the ways you’ve tried to fix yourself through the years. Now write down how wanting God the most would change that. Is it worth doing it His way vs. yours?
More from the Girlfriends