It’s funny how God speaks, sometimes.
I think I often expect it to be audacious and resonant, in the moment. A distinct voice from Heaven as I’m reading my Bible or writing in my prayer journal. But lately, I’ve realized that when we’re looking for Him to speak, and seeking Him in every area of our lives, we can’t help but hear His voice in the littlest things.
Because I’ve come to this realization, though it’s taken me a while –
God is meant to be at the very center of our lives, the One that guides everything we do – not just the Being we worship in some set-aside times of the week or the day – but the reason we do everything we do.
This weekend, I heard God’s voice. It wasn’t audible, no, but it was clear as day, in the times I was least expecting it – because that’s just what God does.
I heard a few things, through unexpected amazing conversations, sermons, and articles, that pointed me back to this one thing, something I’ve been wrestling with as a reality for probably half a year now, and it’s this.
The “good life” without God can never truly be the good life. There’s an emptiness to it, a hollow space that can only be filled with Him.
And that’s really hard to get my head around sometimes, when I’m bombarded with the glamour of the high-paying careers, the fancy clothes and cars and luxuries, the tantalizing lie that those things will ultimately fulfill me. As much as success seems to be such a beautiful and striking thing – it only goes so far to fill our soul’s longings for things like hope, and peace, and joy.
In that same vein of fulfillment, I did come to another conclusion this weekend, in brutally honest conversations and journal entries and phone calls –
When Jesus isn’t at the center of everything we’re doing, the reason we live and move and breathe, the One that spurs us on to live well, then in the end, none of it truly matters.
None of it matters.
If Jesus wasn’t in it, and it was all for us, for our personal gain, so-called fulfillment, and success, it will never be enough. Because there’s always something more to chase, something bigger, something higher, something better, something just out of reach that we convince ourselves will be enough.
And maybe for a while it will be, but when it’s all said and done, we’ll still be missing something.
We’ll have missed the peace we could have had if our minds were fixed on Christ, not on attaining the next thing.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
We’ll have missed the contentment we could have had if we’d understood the magnitude of God’s presence in our lives.
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
And before this sounds condemning, I’ll say one thing: fulfillment in this life isn’t about running away from success, but instead running towards Jesus.
I believe there are beautiful, captivating, and breathtaking God-given gifts in all of our lives that are, for all intents and purposes, ‘worldly.’ They’re not evil or wrong, but things that can easily distract us from the goodness, the hope, the love, and contentment that we can only find in Christ.
And as I go through this life, I don’t want to try and limit my relationship with God to nights and weekends, and let my days be filled with ceaseless to-dos, dreams of earthly success, and worldly wisdom. I want His love and grace to bleed into everything I do, be the reason I live, and breathe, and write, and love, and sing.
I want to desire Him above all else, because when I do, I’m not left in a state of longing – I am filled and wholly satisfied by Him.
It’s a journey, one I haven’t gotten all figured out yet, and I’m not sure I ever will. But as I learn and grow, I practice letting go of my dreams and desires, and giving them to the One who can hold them much better than I can.
I learn to let Him lead me, because I know that His plans are infinitely better than my own.
I find that when I seek Him above all else, and listen for His voice by digging deep into His Word, letting the Holy Spirit lead my conversations, and when open my eyes to His goodness and the sufficiency of His grace for me in my everyday life, it is then that I am the most fulfilled. It’s then that I am overwhelmed by His enough-ness.
It is then that I am overcome with His greatness, His ways so much greater than my own, that I find I don’t want anything else; the world pales in comparison to Him.
As we move forward in our lives, one question remains – Will we let Jesus be enough for us?
And I pray we find the answer to be yes, yes, always yes.