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“God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.” – John Piper
Our ultimate satisfaction is found in focusing on Jesus Christ and allowing Him to do what He would with every aspect of our lives, essentially surrendering our lives to His will. This brings us the most satisfaction, but more importantly it allows us to pursue God’s calling for our lives. Through that walk we’ll have our ups and downs as we’ve undoubtedly had up to this point in our lives, but the key is that God provides us ways of escape and is with us during our most daunting fights and our biggest triumphs. So if we trust Him, pray actively, study His word, and draw closer to Him I believe all these things would increase our satisfaction with Him because it increases our knowledge of Him and it also often times will increase the manifestation of His presence in our lives. He knows that our hearts are in the right place, He knows that we desire to do His work, and the closer we are to desiring this ideal the more glory we can bring to God. So by God’s grace each day of life is a new opportunity to bring God more glory and the key way to do so is to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as we equip ourselves with His full armor and let Him lead us in the calling that He has put before us.
Sometimes it is hard to decipher where God is steering our ship. In these cases I think we have to draw even closer in prayer and trust that even though the current stage of our life may seem a bit undefined it is still an integral part of our future service for Him. If it weren’t meant to happen to us it wouldn’t happen to us in other words. If we feel as though we’ve been put in a strange position that doesn’t seem to have a purpose, we need to believe God has a reason for it and that He will also make it clear what our steps should be. Don’t let yourself believe that wallowing in the guilt and self-pity of your sin and not progressing in your Spiritual walk with God is the same situation. There’s a very large difference between being in the will of God and not feeling as though you’re moving forward in your walk with Him in comparison to not making progress. We make progress Spiritually by drawing nearer to God and obeying His commands for us in our lives. You also cannot hold yourself so strictly accountable to the point that you’ve passed such heavy judgment upon yourself that you no longer actively serve God. So for instance, I know I have had some major struggles with porn. It would be as if I stumbled and asked for forgiveness but didn’t believe myself qualified to serve God any longer because of my disobedience. If that were the case none of us would be qualified or worthy to share the word of God because we all fall short. All our Biblical heroes fell short as we have also fallen short; it is a byproduct of being human.
This fact should not leave us helplessly thinking that inevitable sin is to come so we should not make some serious attempts to avoid sin. Jesus Christ was clear in the gospels that sin was and in effect still is a very serious matter. (V*1). He explained it in such a way that it is actually better to enter life maimed but obedient to God’s will than to be full bodied and be thrown in the lake of fire. This is not indicative that we can lose our salvation. I believe the primary purpose of these passages is to remind us how deadly sin is, and to take all the precautions possible to resist sin, prepare ourselves to better do so in the future, and continue to embrace God’s provisions for doing so as well because we cannot do so on our own. I am fully aware that without the grace of God and the many provisions that I speak of [namely the full armor of God and the lead of His Holy Spirit] I am Spiritually depraved. I desperately need Him every day in order to conquer sin. That reality doesn’t discourage me, it gives me hope in knowing that God cared so much for me that His Son died for me. If we are aware of our own strengths and weaknesses, imagine how much more personally attuned God is to us. He knows you and I better than we know ourselves, and He loves us unconditionally. In fact nothing can separate us from His perfect love. (V*2). It is a free gift that we can accept and it is not something that can be taken away from us. These aspects of our relationship with God should serve to give us reassurance and provide a refueling of our satisfaction in Him when we face life’s day-to-day challenges.
What are some great prayers for tackling this issue? How can we ask for our satisfaction to be refueled?
I like to pray that God would please restore to me the joy of my salvation. It was inspired by a Psalm that effectively asks the same. (V*3). I aim to delight in God, because when we do He provides us the desires of our hearts. (V*4). I also think it’s important to pray for wisdom, discretion, and prudence. When we pray for these things we’re not being selfish if our hearts are in the right place. Don’t pray for them for only self-enrichment or for personal success. Pray for them so that you may have a larger impact for His kingdom, that you might be able to bless other brothers and sisters in Christ, and so that you will not fall victim to the array of false doctrines and teachers that are out there trying to deceive us in our walks. Wisdom helps us in a variety of ways. Foremost it helps us to use the knowledge of our studies of scripture by applying it practically in every day circumstances. It also ensures we use the knowledge that we’ve acquired from our studies outside the confines of scripture in ways that might be conducive to bringing glory to God. Discretion is the attribute that gives you the ability to discern from what is true and what is half true or contaminated by other mistruths. You’ll be able to see that you stick to the straight and narrow path that leads to Heaven and not allow yourself to fall astray by God’s grace. It doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes, and it isn’t a guarantee that you won’t make even major mistakes, but if you pray for discretion you are asking for a valuable gem that will help you in living a Christian life. Prudence is essentially a fancy word for caution, but it reminds me of being financially prudent (managing your finances wisely), making sure you treat your sexual purity with prudence (don’t allow promiscuity and other pervasive worldliness to contaminate your person), and ensuring not to try to force something to happen that God has already closed the door to.
Pray consistently that God would open doors that He would want opened widely, and to close tightly shut the ones that you should preferably not involve yourself in. Allow yourself to be as moldable as possible when you pray this prayer and pray that God would help you to be in such a state. Adapting to the situations where God would have you, and letting Him polish the character traits in you that need further development. Don’t accept your weaknesses for a given, accept that they’re areas where you need to submit to God and He will strengthen you in those areas. It may take time, it might not be pleasant, in many cases it may even be painful, but if your faith is in God I know that He isn’t in the business of letting any of us down. Don’t be hard on yourself and expect instant progress. We as a society have gotten used to the idea of instant gratification and consistent results to the point where our social media and communications have all become extremely fast. We’re as connected as ever and yet also disconnected from some of our true priorities. I am not advocating closing all your social media accounts and becoming isolated from that world either, but there’s a happy medium somewhere where when these things are used as tools rather than making us slaves and where we’ve prioritized our lives in a way that makes more sense. I find myself actively using many of these, sometimes too much so, and I know that if I put half as much effort at letting God take over in my areas of weakness and prayerfully seeking those changes that the results would be of monumental value in comparison to what else I could be doing.
Don’t allow yourself to become a slave of anything other than Jesus Christ.
When we become a slave to our phones, materialism, fleshly desires, maintaining the continuous happiness of people (approval addiction), hobbies, our bodies (the gym, vanity, looking good, staring at the mirror), or any other number of distractions that may occupy our time in this life we’ve made a mistake. We’ve taken what was meant to be perhaps acceptable in moderation and we’ve tainted it with the actuality that we’re putting in too much time into said activity. We’ve become absorbed by it, we enjoy it so much that we’ve allowed other areas of very significant importance in our lives to settle for becoming the back burner rather than staying high on our list of personal priorities. Sometimes for individuals with an addictive personality such as myself, we can even make the mistake of making 1 or 2 things the greatest priorities at the expense of almost everything else in life. This is very harmful and can lead us to forget that ultimately our entire lives are God’s and that we ought to be slaves to Jesus Christ if we’re smart about it. When you follow God, He will make sure to give you all the time, resources, gifts, and talents that you need in order to bring the maximum glory you can bring Him in your life. If you use those gifts, resources, talent, and time without consideration of His purpose you are making a mistake.
It’s difficult to differentiate from worldly success and God’s success sometimes. There is no doubt in my mind that the two may look similar sometimes, and we need not look further than some popular men and women of God to see that some of these may even go hand in hand. The truth is that only God can see our hearts and how we manage our time, money, and energy will be a significant determinant of whether our hearts are in the right place. It will shed the light we need about a person, if we know them well enough, to see if they are bearing Spiritual fruit. Of course each of us, no matter how deeply in tune with God’s call for us we might be or seem, can all use a great dose of improvement in this area (including myself). The point of this is that we should seek first God’s kingdom and then He goes on to say that everything else will be added on to us. (V*5). (N*1).
Don’t be afraid of what people think about you if you’ve also happened to make a significant amount of money or had some other signs of external success alongside your service of God. If you are a good steward of what God gives you, it wouldn’t surprise me to see God trusting you with more in order to continue to build His kingdom and to be a blessing to many other people throughout your life. The key is that we don’t idolize these things, including money, and that we remember that the show revolves around God not us. We need to trust God even if we lose everything else; He is all we need and all we’ve really got. When you have nobody else to call and nothing else to cling to, you’d be wise to cling to God. When you seem to have everything, including all the friends, time, resources, and signs of worldly success that others might even envy; you’ll need to recall that God is with you and that all of it including what you can do with any of it all belongs to Him. Don’t forget who gave you what you have and who can take any of it away. We are all in the palm of His hands whether we acknowledge Him or not, so be certain not to insult God by pretending that you’ve built your own home, that you’ve carried yourself into your own success, or that in your own mind your own achievement was purely through skill and talent of yours alone. God sees through the façade where other people may not. Nobody is self-made and time/chance happen to all of us. (V*6). Pride and ego will often come before people fall to their face, so don’t let them become a deadly habit for you. (V*7). I know that everything I have God gave me. This includes the material items that my parents were able to provide me. God gave them all of it in one form or another and they were inspired by Him to share some of them with me. None of us did it on our own, and I know that there is no other explanation other than God’s generosity and desire for us to use these tools and resources in order to further His kingdom and again bring Him glory. Sometimes it’s intimidating to think of all the areas I have been blessed, because it makes me think of how much I need to remember to allocate everything to God’s purposes. While I will never do a perfect job, I can pray that God will continue to empower me to do the best I can and I truly believe overall He is happy with me. I want to hear at the end of the road “Well done good and faithful servant” and I am confident this will come to pass. (V*8).
It is real freedom and satisfaction to know that people don’t decide any outcome in your life other than the ones, which God allows to come to pass. When God wants a door open there will be no person or power on the face of the earth that will close it, and when He wants it closed you, your friends, and everyone else will be unable to open it. Don’t waste your time and energy trying to go against the current. Make real use of your time in adapting to what He truly wants you to do. It also provides me a great deal of satisfaction knowing that God doesn’t need me to fulfill His plans, but that He lovingly provides me the unfathomably awesome opportunity to be used by Him in order to do so to some extent. How fantastic that God provided a Savior through Jesus Christ so that I may be saved, but He also gives me a chance to store up heavenly rewards while I serve Him. (V*9).
If it wasn’t for this beautiful opportunity life would really lack purpose. In fact I have trouble wrapping my head around how empty the lives of those who chase only self-gratification, money, addictions, and other dead end roads in life instead of giving God the opportunity to transform their lives. Instead of trying to figure out why they choose to be lost, I need to have the ability to love them where they are and remember that anybody who is alive and breathing still has the opportunity to make serious changes. Don’t delay when it comes to answering God’s call in your heart because we only live this life once, and it may seem quite short in the grand scheme of things, but this short life has a great impact in the scope of eternity and none of us should be oblivious to thinking that this is all we have and there is no other ramification for any of it. That’s most certainly a rampant deception and one I hope that people would humble themselves, read God’s word, and realize that everything adds up to make it clear that what may appear to be a small speck in the context of a vast universe still matters greatly to a loving God who is detail oriented and desires a personal relationship with each of us. If you go and open a Bible with a hardened heart and a heavy dose of pride you will not make headway. If you open it with a sincere desire to humble yourself and allow God an opportunity to show up in your life you will see Him show up. You may not physically see Him or hear Him audibly, but He will make it clear that He exists. The truth speaks for itself and I pray that you will realize the scarcity of time and the importance of utilizing it effectively for God. For current believers we also need to remember the urgency of our call, because the Great Commission is real and I want to make sure I am doing my part in God’s body to spread His Word and love the people of this world who need it most.
Thanks sincerely for reading this article it turned out to be a bit on the long side, but I am confident that it may have helped you or otherwise inspired you somehow. All relevant verse references are available right here underneath. The comments are open and as always our contact form is of welcome use to anybody who would like to make themselves heard. Cheers, looking forward to hearing from you.
V*1- “43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 where
‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’[a] 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—
46 where ‘Their worm does not die,
And the fire is not quenched.’[b] 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— 48 where
‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’[c]” Mark 9:43-48 (NKJV)
V*2 “35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”[a] 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39 (NKJV).
V*3 “12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.” Psalms 51:12-13 (NKJV).
V*4 “4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NKJV).
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.” Proverbs 3:6 (NKJV).
V*6 “11 I returned and saw under the sun that—The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11 (NKJV).
V*7 “18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV).
V*8 “23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” Matthew 25:23 (NKJV).
V*9 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-23 (NKJV).
N*1 Jim says: “On top of it all, God wants us to sacrificially donate to help the poor. When you sacrificially donate, you give up your worldly power and position to serve the kingdom of God. Your worldly success looks less when you do this, but your Godly success is great. Remember not to give so much as you’re missing what you need to live on or the tools to make more money. Examples of this could be: keep your home, car, and a healthy emergency fund.”
I add: Don’t forget that God loves a cheerful giver, make sure you give out of the right motives in your heart. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to lead you in these endeavors and try not to over think matters of giving. “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,” Matthew 6:3 (NKJV). Cheers.