I am doing battle with my need for affirmation.
At heart, I am insecure. It is something I have wrestled with all my life. I have had many victories. But lately I have noticed it manifesting in the form of jealousy and envy. When someone else accomplishes something, I feel that stab in my gut. I want that recognition. I have been longing to have a job that gives me tangible evidence that I am worthwhile.
What a wretched thing it is to always have that knee-jerk reaction of envy, the huge hunger in my soul for something else.
So I started to get serious about addressing this, and what I realized is that I need to deepen my emotional connection with God, to rediscover my hunger for Him and only Him.
I read two statements that hit home with me. Both are from “Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer” by John Piper.
- “The weakness of our desire for God is not because he is unsavory but because we keep ourselves stuffed with “other things.”
- “It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. “
I have been filling myself with so much stuff, that I have lost touch with that vibrant, fulfilling communion with the Lord. One of the chief culprits is the Internet. How easy it is to while away free time on Facebook, or random web sites. Another culprit is filling my life with business. I love to complete tasks, because I can pat myself on the back about how much I’ve accomplished. And finally, I have realized that I am too undisciplined with my mind. Being unemployed encourages my mental ADD. I surf through it all day, going wherever my thoughts lead me. Sure, I don’t let them dwell on sinful desires. But I allow all kinds of mundane stuff consume my thoughts.
- . . . but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. (Mark 4:19)
What I need, instead, is this:
You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water. . .
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods (Ps 63)
I need to connect with the sacredness of the universe, to see the poetry in the divine, to experience the fountain of beauty that is my infinite God.
- One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Ps 27:4
Let me remember that Christ is the best and ONLY treasure:
- “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ . . ”
It is a good battle. I have been playing the guitar and singing more. I have been constantly running through the scriptures I have memorized in my mind. I have been making conscious attempts to be in sync with God, and carry on a little dialog with Him on how it is going. All of this is opening for me a fountain of inspiration. I feel like I could write 50 blogs a day.
I have been learning to be more thankful, and to praise more, and it reminds me that we were all created to praise. May every particle of my being join with all of creation in worshiping the Creator. This is living out my purpose, and it is highly fulfilling.
Sunday, Jake preached about true freedom. I do want true freedom from the leprosy of pride, jealousy, envy and insecurity. As I am building my appetite for God, and my hunger for affirmation wanes, I find there is so much more room for God in my heart, so much more to discover about Him, so many good things to fill myself with. It is true: as I hold to the teachings, the truth sets me free. Scenes of bliss forever new are my food now. Communion with Him is the peace that quenches my thirsty soul.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. Ps 36:7-8
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking (filling our needs), but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit Romans 14:17
. . . whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. John 4:14