I was listening to a preach by Dawna DeSilva, which I’ve listened to several times before. But something new jumped out at me today. She said:
“If you’re meeting your own needs, it’s quite possible you’re not meeting the right one.”
Matthew 4:2-3 says
… after fasting forty days and forty nights, he [Jesus] was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
“He was saying, yeah I’m hungry but this is not the issue. The issue isn’t my physical hunger, my issue is a spiritual hunger that I cannot self-provide”
How many times have I felt a need or a lack in my life, and in my self dependence and my own strength I seek to meet those needs? All the time…!
All it takes for me is to take one step outside of intimacy with God and my flaws and insecurities become like flashing red beacons demanding attention. Holy Spirit brings comfort and security. He is a protector, and He knows me inside out! When all I see are the outward needs and desires, He sees the very core of me and knows exactly what I need.
I’ll be honest and vulnerable with you. I’ve felt a huge lack of intimacy with God recently. It’s been a very confusing, lonely and frustrating (and long!) season of my life. I’ve gone from knowing and feeling God so close to me all the time, to feeling like God has hidden Himself from me and I can’t find Him (Yes – I know the truth that He hasn’t left me, but this is me being honest with you about what I’ve felt). My need in this season has been to see God, to know God, to feel God. But those needs have manifested themselves in other ways, and I have sought to meet those needs outside of intimacy with God. That need for intimacy with God transformed into a need for intimacy. Full stop. My loneliness from not seeing God around every corner transformed into a loneliness in the whole of my life. It pointed at my singleness. It pointed at my lack of deep friendships and the lack of someone who was walking alongside me, discipling me. It pointed at the lack in my life. In seeking to meet my need of intimacy, I found myself drawn into stories, films and books, where I didn’t feel quite so lonely anymore. I could transport myself into those stories and live a different life. I could have adventures and enjoy the romance. And yet at the end of the book, or the end of the film, that need was still staring me in the face. My need for intimacy pointed out my lack of physical closeness (My primary love languages are physical touch and quality time) which started a whole wave of temptation, particularly in areas where I’ve experienced freedom in the past. And before long, I found myself in a place I really didn’t want to be.
As you can see, the need I really have is intimacy with God, but the only one who can meet that need is God. And the way He wants to meet that need is by teaching me and causing me to seek Him in places I’ve never been before. God has been speaking to me about changing patterns. My intimacy with God has looked like something specific for a season, but in maintaining that pattern I am missing out on the more. I’ve hit a ceiling. God is wanting to move me into a new level and a new experience of intimacy with Him, but in order to do that He has withdrawn Himself from where I met Him before in order to draw me into the new space He has for me. As long as He was there, I would continue to meet Him there. But by moving, I am drawn out of my comfort zone.
I am reminded of the quote:
“He doesn’t hide himself from us, He hides Himself for us”
He wants to be found by us. When He draws us out of our comfort zone He invites us to lean on Him and be led by Him into new places and new freedoms.
However, rather than follow where God was leading me, I panicked! I didn’t lean on God and follow His whisperings, and before long I found myself trying to meet the needs I thought I had. As a result I completely missed the point… and I missed out on how God wanted to meet those needs.
But.. thankfully I have a beautiful, patient and loving God who wouldn’t leave me drowning in my self-dependence. He is a redeemer and a God of restoration.
What areas of your life are you currently trying to meet a need, but you might not be meeting the need that God wants to meet?
[Quote taken from Dawna DeSilva – ‘Silencing Satan’ at Bethel Church, Redding]