Friday, August 1, 2008

Energy Bars Vs. Steak

Have I told you how much I love my small group? haha You guys (whoever you are!) are probably SICK of hearing about it! But, today I just LOVED our time together. I swear, when these girls get vulnerable, both in discussion and sharing their prayer requests, it is holy ground.

Here's our fun story / analogy from today. We were talking about SATISFACTION in the Lord. (LOVING this study by Beth Moore and would highly suggest it. Living Free and it's not very time consuming and only 6 weeks!) She asked us to describe a satisfying time. Our friend, Jen popped in with a story of driving across the state of Texas where restaurants were far and few. Finally, after looking for a stop and being hungry for 2 hours, they find a gas station. Inside they purchase the ONLY food for sale, Gatorade Energy Bars. She said that eating those was like pure gold. She thought they were the best thing she'd ever tasted!! After arriving at their destination a few days later, she saw these bars at a gas station once again. She excitedly bought some thinking, "Oh, I remember how delicious they are" only to bite into one and realize that they were. . um. . NOT delicious to her!

We changed the scenario a bit for our spiritual discussion. What if, unbeknownst to Jen, there was a restaurant 5 more minutets down the road that offered fat, juicy steaks for free? And she, had settled for gatorade bars that seemed delicious. . at the time! We questioned ourselves. . .where in our lives are we hungry and looking for satisfaction? Where are we, in that hunger, settling for energy bars that are tasteless when the Lord has full-on meals waiting to fill our bellies?

Much of this stemmed from the verse, Isaiah 44:20 "He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?". Wow, what a word picture. How often we will cling to ashes. Settle for the energy bar. . .why? because it's easy. We know where it can be found. Know we can get more later if need be. We trust it. Living on HIM is scary and depends on HIS dependability and goodness which so many Christians truly doubt inside.

The second nugget of truth from Beth Moore this morning was in terms of dislodging these idols that we serve instead of finding satisfaction in Him. So often, we try to change ourselves. "I'll just try harder!" Yet, these attempts fail us. Why? Because when we remove something ourselves, we create a "Satisfaction Vaccuum" that is quickly filled by another. Only by "Crowding Out" the things that vie for His place can we be truly free. By filling up with HIM, they lose their power and appeal. This is the coolest thing about God. He never leaves us empty. Contrary to what the enemy would have us believe! When we give up our idol of Pride, he replaces it with Godly humility. When we give up our idol of fear, he replaces it with a spirit of trust and adventurous abandon! He is soooo good to us!

Ok, one more nugget of truth (this is my journal after all!). Not only do I have wonderful small groups, but I have this other sort of small group. My online friends! I have a complete little circle of girlfriends who call me to the truth, encourage me and challenge me that I have met online and talk to on the phone weekly. One of them, Erin, said something so profound to me this week. It sparked something special from the Holy Spirit. She called me, knowing I had been struggling with some things going on recently. Her words to me were precious. She said, "I know you are feeling rejected and wrongfully accussed right now and it hurts. But, remember, Jesus felt it too. (Not that I would ever dare to compare what I am going through to that of our Savior) In fact, I think he has a special place in His heart for those who are rejected and accused." First of all, that was a sweet balm to my soul. And a perspective check. . I had been a little down and whiney that day. A little while later, the Holy Spirit continued the conversation in my soul. He whispered to me, "If Jesus holds a special place in His heart for the rejected, why do you spend time wanting to be accepted?" ouch! Can I say that cut to the core? It sent me back quickly to the stronghold / idol of pride that we had discussed in Bible study the week before. OH (I say as if I'm hitting my forehead) now I get it. Of course, the Lord would be gracious enough to use a tough situation to reveal to me a little more of how I often seek my satisfaction through approval (that has to be an aspect of pride, I think) instead of going to Him.

I want to live my life in the Living Water. Being QUENCHED with who He is. Living with abandon and eating the steak He offers. Lord, reveal to me this week where I am settling for Gatorade bars instead of your steak. Lord, I am willing to be rejected. I want to live for you in the kind of way that the world doesn't understand. I want to be wholly sold out. . hey, wait. . I want to be a Jesus Freak (man, that takes me back!) wholly taken by my King and satisfied by Him Alone!

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you, my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." `Psalm 63:1


Scott and Erin said...

I'm so glad for your friendship and that God reveals His love to us through each other! Glad you're feeling better :)

Kristen said...

thanks for sharing the truth! I love reading your blog, always knowing it will encourage my spirit.
Wish I was there to spend time with you!

Melinda said...

This was such a wonderful post that I really needed to read! Thank you for sharing your heart and what God is doing in your life. It has encouraged me many times.

A More Simple Life said...

Brandi, great post! So real, so sweet, and so honest :) And guess who is no longer a blog stalker???

Angel said...

Wonderful thoughts friend. Hugs, Angel