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by Nathanael Brown on October 19, 2020

Week 6 | day thirty-six

God Alone Satisfies

You [God] open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. Psalm 145:16

Addiction is not a word we like to use.  Without question, it carries a particularly strong and negative stigma.  We typically reserve it for extreme situations, for other people.  Addiction is for those steeped in alcoholism, in opioid abuse, or in other drugs like heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamines.  It is clinically for those trapped in tobacco use, gambling, or abnormal sexual behavior.  And because we save the idea of addiction for these special cases, we too easily dismiss it for ourselves.

But in reality, addiction is closer to our hearts and lives than we like to admit.  Within the Kingdom of God, addiction is any compulsive or habitual thought, desire, or action that we turn to – instead of our Heavenly Father – in order to satisfy the deep longings of our soul or spirit.  It is anything that we regularly allow to sit on the throne of our hearts instead of our Heavenly Father, anything that we give attention, affection, or devotion to more than Him.  If we are honest, we often give our attention and time to seemingly innocent things that provide a quick escape from the hardships of our daily lives or that temporarily gratify an emotional or relational need deep in us.  So addiction can take the form of shopping, sports (watching and/or playing), social media, exercise or fitness, streaming movies or TV series.  Addiction can even be excessive religious or church activities, good things done for the wrong reasons.

The good news is that God has opened his hand to us.  He longs to satisfy our desires, and when He does, it is richer and more fulfilling than any other substitute.  In fact, the hidden, deep desires within us are for Him.  Blaise Pascal, centuries ago, wrote:

There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.

We won’t experience true heart satisfaction until we give ourselves to Him in full surrender, until we give up other lesser alternatives and allow Him to fill that God-shaped vacuum.

Today’s Prayer: Father, forgive me when I have turned to other things and other people to fulfill the longings of my heart that You alone can satisfy.  And I pray today that You will reveal anything that I have allowed to sit on the throne of my heart other than You. Show me what or who I give unhealthy attention and affection to.

Today’s Challenge: Take time to read and reread Psalm 37:4, which says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Turn this verse into a prayer and declaration you make to your Heavenly Father.

forgiveness, surrender, addiction

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