"If you can't give something up you don't own it, it owns you." -Jeff Bethke
The Lord cannot give us peace and joy apart from Himself. Until we have a relationship with Christ, we will always have a hole in our hearts. We will always long for something more because all things were created by God and for God (Colossians 1:16). Our hearts were made to worship something. That's just the way God wired it. He lovingly gives us the free will to choose what we're going to worship. He won't force us to choose Him, but it's His will that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9). Worshipping Jesus is the only thing that brings satisfaction, but not everyone realizes that. Sometimes God lets us chase after the things of this world so that, once tired and weary, we might eventually turn to Him, realizing that He's the only thing worth living for. We will never find true joy until we stop searching for it in worldly things. We will never find protection until we let the Almighty become our Daddy. We will never truly experience being loved unconditionally until we look toward the cross and see a Savior bleeding for the ungodly (Romans 5:8). Without God it's impossible to experience life to the fullest (John 10:10).
God. Creator, infinite, holy, righteous, perfect, spotless, blameless, pure. The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Great I AM, the everlasting God! He made the heavens and the earth, He knows the name of every star, and He sits on heaven while resting His feet on planet earth (Isaiah 66:1). He spoke the earth into motion and separated the oceans from the sky. He knows your name, in fact it's engraved on His hand (Isaiah 49:16), and He also knows the exact number of hairs on your head! He is God.
God knew, from the beginning, that we would sin against Him and need a Savior. Wait...lets stop there. God, before He even created the world, knew we would turn our backs on Him? He knew we would abuse our free will and sin against Him? He knew we would disobey His commandments and go our own way? He knew, if He wanted us to live in heaven with Him, He'd have to provide a Savior? Yes. He knew all of this before He even said, "let there be light!" So then, why? Why go through with it all? Why even create the world, why give us free will, Lord? God is incapable of having regrets. He knows the outcome of every decision He makes before He even makes it. He knows the end result. God wouldn't create the world knowing He'd regret it later. So, in a way I can't comprehend, God knew that creating us would be worth it! He knew dying on the cross would be worth it! Let this sink in: The Maker of the universe would rather die for you than live without you. It was too much for Him to bear heaven without you, so He chose to bear your sin instead. That's crazy love! Christ knew His death sentence before Adam came forth out of the dust. But yet, He still made Adam. He still gave Adam free will. I don't know why. But I know that God spent months in Mary's womb for you! I know that Christ faced countless rejections and questions from the Pharisees for you. I know He endured the betrayal of Judas and the denial of Peter for you. I know that He went to the post to be whipped for you. I know that He marched up the hill of Calvary for you. I know He spent hours hanging on a cross for you! I know He felt the rejection of His Almighty Father for you. And I know that the Father felt the pain of watching His only Son die, just for you. And He knew, from the beginning, that it'd be worth it.
"After generations of people had spit in His face, God still loved them. After a nation of chosen ones stripped Him naked and ripped His incarnated flesh, He still died for them. And even today, after billions have chosen to prostitute themselves before the pimps of power, fame, and wealth, He still waits for them." -Max Lucado
Counterfeit gods. They were never meant to satisfy us. They come in all shapes and sizes. Money, boyfriends, girlfriends, fame, possessions, clothes, sports, power, school, pleasing others, and even ourselves can become gods in our lives. If God's not first, you can't live the abundant life that He's planned for you. God doesn't want to be first because He's a control freak. He wants to be first in our lives because He wants to fill us with His peace and joy! He wants to give us direction and hope. He wants to be our friend; our Dad. But He won't force it all on us. If you don't want to accept the adoption to become God's son or daughter, He won't make you. If you don't want to experience His love, grace, and mercy each day, He won't force you to surrender to Him. And, if you don't want to enter the door to heaven which Christ is holding wide open with pierced hands, He won't drag you in. Oh, but He'll wait for you! He longs for you to accept His free gift of grace and forgiveness. He will never stop loving you. Like the father waited and watched for the prodigal son in Luke 15, God waits for you! And when He sees you trudging towards home, He will run out to meet you. He will embrace you. And He will forgive you.
"So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." -Luke 15:20
So what are you putting before God in your own life? Why are you robbing yourself of joy? God offers us everything! Salvation, acceptance, forgiveness, purpose, joy, and peace. He gave us His Son! His only Son. Whether we choose to believe in Him our not, He still sent His Son to die in our place. He loved us at our worst. In fact, He actually loved us before we were us! And as Christ hung on that cross, He knew that many of us would still live for the things of this world. Once you've experience the love and goodness of God, this world offers nothing that can satisfy you. We sacrifice deep joy for shallow happiness as we bow before counterfeit gods. If you don't want to live for God, that won't change His love for you. He still died for you. But He so desperately wants to be involved in our lives! Let Him invade your life with His grace and you'll never be the same. Trust Him to be enough for you. Your Maker knows more about your needs and desires than any god Satan throws at you. I pray that you'll know and trust that God will never leave you nor forsake you. He will never fail you. He's the only thing that can satisfy you. He's for you, with you, and in you. Counterfeit gods will fail you. They were not meant to fill the void in our hearts that only Christ can fill. Let God be first. Isn't it amazing that God even gives us the choice? I mean He's God! He made us. He has the right to barge in and take control of our lives, right? Apparently not. He will only take control if we let Him.
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." -Revelation 3:20
God wants to fellowship with us! But God respects us. He will only come in if we open the door. God loves you so much. He's crazy about you! There's nothing you could do to make Him love you more, and there's nothing you could do to make Him love you less. He loves you perfectly right now, and you've done nothing to earn it or deserve it. It's incongruent for anything else to be first in your life. Assess your own life. Where does God come in? I pray that you will make Christ the center of your life and not depend on the things of this world to bring you happiness and satisfaction. Let the one true God reign in your heart and you'll never regret it!
Here is the video that inspired this post!
Have an awesome day!
Have an awesome day!