There I am. Everything is going great. I have no real, pressing issues at hand. My circumstances are pretty level, my needs are met, and I have plenty of time and space to pursue the things that I love. So, what do I do? I go on a subconscious mission to find the biggest, reddest, shiniest button I can find, and I push it. I push it again. I keep pushing it. Every click of the forbidden button is another chip away from everything that I truly want. I just can't resist hitting self-destruct.
Can you relate at all? I've done a little research, and I know that I'm not alone.
What is this self-sabotaging gene that comes creeping out of the shadows within our minds and hearts? Why is it that we can see the goodness we crave approaching the surface in the pools of our lives, but we jump to push it all back down with the ripples, or we swim away from it, throwing barriers along the way, like we don't have the faith it takes to believe that we are worthy and it actually belongs?
Why is it that when we start to feel entrusted or empowered, we want to shut down? Why do we get SO AFRAID to just be who we are meant to be, who we know we truly are, who we are called to be by God?
It’s like if something seems TOO GOOD, like a vision coming to fruition, or a dream transcending into life, if something is holy and perfect and good, favored by God, we become fearful, frantic. We run. We get reckless. We build walls of shame and hide behind them.
But lately, my prayer has been this: “Let my actions fully reflect the truest desires of my heart." I'm fed up with the cognitive dissonance, with my actions and behaviors not aligning with the things that the purest parts of my heart know and want.
Breaking Up with the Button
"You are my hiding place and my shield: I hope in your word." Psalm 119:114
"Jesus withdrew privately to a solitary place." Matthew 14:13
Jesus did it regularly. He knew that when surrounded by the crowds, hustling through the busyness of life, He needed to make space to withdraw. He knew that sometimes, it was best to just stop, to quiet the chatter, and to rest in God the Father. We have to follow His lead here. If He, God himself as the Son, knew that spending time alone in prayer was the way to the Father's will, how much more should we pause and spend time in His presence and His word?
2. Remember Who You Are.
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord." Corinthians 15:58
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you." John 15:16
Sometimes, we just get lost, out of touch with ourselves, because there are so many forces in the world trying to tell us what we should do, who we are, or who we are meant to be. We become frantic in our search for reassurance, for affirmation that we are valued and cherished, that we belong. But when we pause, and let God's word tell us who we are instead, we can stop the seeking and striving. We can rest in the fact that we are chosen by God, crafted by His hand, and appointed to do His holy work. We are beloved. He sees our efforts. He knows our hearts. Everything that we already are is already enough.
3. Let Gratitude Lead you to Contentedness.
"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:3-4
So often, our searching and striving, our lashing out and acting in contradiction to who we really are, stems from a lack of gratitude, peace, and patience. We become discontent with where we are in life, what we already have, and all that we already are, so we veer off the path of righteousness, hoping that a little taste of worldly pleasure, some instant gratification, a bit of indulgence will appease us, and somehow compensate for our own lack of fulfillment and appreciation for all that has already been done. But God calls us to rejoice in small beginnings, to be faithful with even the little, so that we may be given much. To seek first His Kingdom, and His righteousness. To delight in Him, and to find contentedness dwelling in His presence and doing what is holy and pure and good.
And when we are doing just that, well, we just shouldn't be so surprised and alarmed when He does indeed give us the earnest desires of our bonafide hearts.