Saturday, August 22, 2009

Now or Later

I'm thinking more this morning about the struggle to go to the well of God to quench our thirst without stopping along the way and settling for with false substitutes.

Men lust for many reasons but the unfulfilled desire in them will never be fulfilled with sex, or any woman, or pictures of women. These things will only leave them wanting more. An alcoholic, or drug addict, or workaholic will never be fulfilled by any of their addictions. A depressed person will never be fulfilled by adding to their lives something they feel they can't live without. In all of these scenarios there is a misplaced focus. The desire in us was created by God for God. And, only God can fill the emptiness and quench our thirst.

Why is it that so few people, even Christians, choose to ignore the distractions and find God to fulfill their desires? Our entire western culture lives with a "Me Now" attitude. We want our desires fulfilled now. We don't want to wait for anything.

I don't claim to have the answer for all of this. I choose wrong every day. I would love to make it through and entire day without any sin or thinking that is not focused on God. Heb 12:1 points out that we must not only avoid sin but also the things that easily entangle us. These are the things that take our eyes off Jesus.

I love Hebrews chapter 11. It contains a summary of all of the biblical heroes and how they were commended for their faith and perseverance. The entire chapter talks about remaining faithful under tremendous odds.

A few days ago I wrote about how I wanted my life to count for something even if I didn't see the results in my lifetime. And here it is in verse 13. It says they were still living by faith when they died and they did not receive all of the things promised (before they died). This is the kind of Faith we need to make it to the well to quench our thirst with the living water.

I think I need to read this chapter regularly to challenge my faith.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Drinking From the Well

Watched the sunrise this morning across the horizon of the ocean. Very peaceful and quiet. Good God time. You just cannot look at the vast horizon and not see God. I'm reading a book called Desire (not a romance novel) this morning. It's really connecting with some of the things already on my mind.

We are born with an innate sense of desire or longing. It is what ultimately draws us to God. In order to find God we must first realize that there is something more out there . . . that our mere existence is not all there is. But that desire is not hard-wired to God. It seems elusive to most people; even Christians. True peace and contentment comes from drinking deeply from the well of God. Most people are not even at the well. Some know where it is but they pass it by again and again. To drink from the deep well takes thought, and work, and patience. We are thirsty. We know that we are thirsty. We know that we must quench our thirst. Some of us even know that what we really need is to drink deeply from the well of God. So we start out on a trek to the well. But somewhere along the way we find ways to temporarily satisfy our thirst and kill our desire to make it to the well.

In today's culture we are all very imitative people. We learn language by imitation. In fact we learn just about everything in life that way. There is a never ending number of prominent people whose live look pleasing to lead us to temporary and counterfeit solutions to quench our thirst. But the thirst is never quenched. Where are all of the mentors and icons who have drank from the well.

When that thirst is never quenched there is something in us that makes us feel hurt or angry that life did not work out for us the way we planned. We feel we will never get to live out our dreams, especially the ones shaped by watching the lives of others. So we end up depressed or addicted or both. Is it any wonder that in a world full of people with a God shaped whole and no end to cheap substitutes, that most people suffer from some sort of depression or addiction? Everyone is obsessed with something.

Temporary pleasure is not enough though. What we need is real life. Not life as we know it, but new life. The life that Jesus came to offer.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I want my life to count for something.

As I sit here on the beach looking out over the ocean's horizon, I realize how small my life is. I think most people function better in life when we view it from 30,000 feet. Our lives are so small and finite, but when we focus on ourselves we miss out on so much of life. We may actually miss where God is working if the only thing we see is our own little world is ourselves.

I don't want my life to be insignificant. When I look out at the vast ocean, I think of how big this world is and I want to impact all of it . . . not just a tiny section that is easy for me. I know that I might not be able to, or might not be called to, but I want to dream and plan big. I don't want to just be a good person, or minister, or church planter, I want to have an impact on an entire culture or generation or country. I don't know how to do that but I do know that it is about so much more than me, my fame, my comfort, my success.

A cause that has that kind of impact is a cause worth dying for. But more importantly, it is a cause worth living for. Most of us don't really live for the things we say we would die for. It must be worth committing my life too even if the fruits are not realized in my life time. Many of the greatest figures in history, did not know of their impact before their death.

What is worth all that?

I confess that my mind is usually preoccupied with the here and now; with self gratification. But these preoccupations are meaningless. I want my life to count for something.