Can’t Get No Satisfaction

no satisfaction blog post

“I can’t get no satisfaction” was a song written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. Although the lyrics refer to sexual frustration and commercialism, they are true of human nature. Our flesh is never satisfied! The more we are given or receive the more we want. We are always seeking after or chasing after that that we think will make us happy. Happiness is temporary pleasure based on situations.  And when we find our ‘happy place’ usually it is built upon foundations that we worked hard to achieve or are awarded based on our knowledge, skills and abilities. Unfortunately, once the situations change, our ‘happy place’ crumbles, and we are often more miserable than before because we can’t get lasting satisfaction from temporary situations.

The truth is God never intended for our satisfaction to come from external sources. Certainly, He has graced us with gifts, talents and intellectual prowess, but they are like tools we use to do good works. And to a great degree, self-gratification is the result. However, the dilemma is when we pursue self-gratification and become addicted to the good feeling that comes from doing good works. Still there can be no true and lasting satisfaction.

We are created for God and for His pleasure and delight; we are to live to the praise of His glory. Therefore, our contentment must be in Him. He is the only One that can satisfy our longing soul.  There is a void within us that can only be filled by His Presence. Yet, we seek for other people to fill our emptiness and our need to feel significant and loved. When others cannot meet our expectations, we look for fulfillment in other places and things that are potentially harmful to us physically, psychologically, and spiritually. We become addicted to the temporary satisfaction a few minutes or hours of pleasure bring—good feelings.

Everything in this earthly life is temporal—will not last. The breath of life that is breathed into everyone born of a woman makes us a living soul. And that soul longs for God’s presence!

“My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (Psalm 84:2).

In essence, our whole being yearns for satisfaction that only comes from the living God.

In this earthly life, Christ desires to live His life through us.  When Christ lives His life through us, we can learn how to be content in whatever situation we are in because we trust Him completely. This is what Paul said, “…I have learned to be content and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy regardless of my circumstances.”  We can learn contentment and become satisfied by maintaining an intimate relationship with God the Father through faith in His Son Jesus the Christ and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). This is a promise that He keeps. When your appetite is whet by God’s Presence nothing can compare—nothing is more tasteful and satisfying. What God designed to bring satisfaction and pleasure is comparable to a man and his wife’s satisfaction during intimacy and intercourse. Even that is temporary ‘happy place’. However, intimacy with the Lord God is designed for eternity!  Crave God. Chase after God! He will quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger!

Only in Christ can we get lasting satisfaction that fills the longing in our soul in which God placed there. It is our “happy place” because our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

 

“Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.”

-Thomas à Kempis

 

 

© 2018 Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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From self-will to God’s will

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I sat in the prayer room on the National Day of Prayer read many prayer requests and prayed. I noticed one common thread. The requests were all centered on personal, self-will—what ‘I’ want, what ‘I’ need for God to do. The emphasis was on ‘me’, ‘my’ and ‘mine’.  Please keep reading so that you don’t misunderstand the inspirational enlightenment of this article.  None of the requests had anything to do with God’s will, plan or purpose. There were no requests for ‘more’ of God. There were no prayer requests for spiritual growth, to know God, to have a deeper relationship with Christ, or revival.

Yes, I know the Bible says “…let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6)

Yes, Jesus said, “… ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:8-11; Luke 11:9-13). These passages both speak to the infinite Fatherhood of God and His faithfulness to answer His children who persist in prayer.

However, within the context of Luke 11:9-13, Luke is specific about the infinite Fatherhood of God and what the Father will give if we ask, seek and knock.

11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11-13 NKJV)

Conclusively, the character of our Father is such that we can always trust Him to give what is good for us according to His sovereign plan and purpose for our lives. Sure, we should let our requests be made known to God. Ask! However, we must refocus and make sure that our will is not the object of our prayer requests based what we ‘think’ is good for us. Sometimes God uses adversity and painful times in our life to bring out the ‘good’ He has purposed for us and even our family. What we pray for and want God to change or fix for us is not always what He has purposed for us.  The will of God must always be the focus. For example, I know several of my Christian sisters who have been healed of cancer as well as some who transitioned although we prayed for their healing. When we look at this from God’s perspective, we can conclude that God’s will was done. He answered our prayer, nevertheless, not according to what we “wanted” (our will), but what He wanted (His will). Still they were healed! The ones He wanted to continue in this life for His purpose were healed.  The ones He called to their eternal home were also healed for His purpose. We do not get to dictate the purpose of God, who works all things according to the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11).

I admit, I do not like the challenges of life.  I am sure you don’t either. We do not like to ‘go through’ the process to get where God is taking us.  Yes, we pray asking God to change the situation—make things comfortable, take the pain away. But the more appropriate questions are: Is the situation working for my good? Does the pain have purpose? Is what I am facing for my good although it hurts? What lesson to be learned?  The psalmist said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statues” (Psalm 119:71). We must take the focus off us—our need and our will. We must refocus on the loving, infinite Fatherhood of God. He is the Sovereign Lord! He is our all-knowing and all-powerful God! He is our faithful Father, who loves us unconditionally. He wants us to ask, seek and knock—be persistent in prayer. However, we must trust Him to answer according to His will, plan and purpose for our lives. He is more concerned about His children than any earthly father and will give the most precious gift of all—Himself, His Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

©2018 Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

It is finished: Personal Application

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The Easter Bible study at my local assembly last evening was extremely enlightening. Each presenter shared messages on these five topics: The Upper Room, The Garden, The Trials, The Crucifixion and The Grave. Each one of them was outstanding and biblically sound. However, the one that shifted me and my perspective on Kingdom assignment was The Crucifixion. Elder Anthony Eagleton focused on Jesus’ three words on the Cross.
You probably guessed them…

“It is finished!”

Elder Anthony shared with the audience, in essence, that Jesus made a public declaration that everything His Father had assigned to Him was completed. Every task on Jesus’ “To-do” list was checked, “Completed.” IT IS FINISHED!

This morning, those words were still in my spirit. During my meditation and devotion, I pondered Jesus’ words more deeply— “It is finished.” My perception was challenged as I thought and prayed about my Kingdom assignment. As I sat in the presence of the Lord, I asked: Will I be able to say, “It is finished?” I had to refocus and continue assessing my life in regard to God’s purpose, basically why I was born.

Am I doing what has been assigned to me?

What am I doing that has nothing to do with what God has purposed for my life in this season?

If I lose focus on my specific assignment, I risk incomplete tasks assigned to me because I am doing something that is not on my “to-do-list” from God. When we are graced with natural skills, talents (gifts) and abilities, it is easy to get distracted by just doing good works, even church activities. But is it what God has assigned? Does it have eternal purpose? Yes, every good and perfect gift, our talents and abilities are from the Father of lights. However, they are given to use in collaboration with our perpetual call and Kingdom purpose. For example, Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John were skilled fishermen by trade. However, their assignment was to become fishers of men for the eternal purposes of God—leaders and builders of Christ’s church.

Elder Eagleton’s message about Jesus’ three words on the Cross before He gave up the ghost reminded me of the importance of being focused and committed to my Kingdom assignment and the perpetual call of God on my life. When we are chosen by God, sometimes we are so focused on our inadequacy, weaknesses and imperfections that we become so fearful that we settle for the busyness of church activities. Truth is Kingdom assignment is not about our weaknesses and imperfections. Kingdom assignment is what we are supernaturally anointed (empowered, enabled, equipped and qualified) by God to do. Kingdom assignment is about God’s power, faithfulness, grace, and our obedience.We just have to say, “Yes, Lord” and trust Him to work through us.

If those of us who know our specific calling and assigned area of ministry are not careful to discern Kingdom assignment from church activities, we can become comfortable with  doing good works and activities instead of being focused, consistent and driven by God’s purpose and specific assignment. For example, the 1st Century church was doing a good work—serving food to the poor in Acts 6:1-4. A complaint of discrimination arose by one group against another. Although it was a good work, the apostles discerned it should be administered by others, so they could focus on their specific assignment. They assigned serving tables to others qualified to handle that responsibility. They understood that it was not appropriate for them to neglect their specific assignment—teaching the word of God. In verse 4, they said, “…we will devote ourselves [steadfastly] to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Amplified). Please do not misunderstand what I am saying. I am not demeaning church activities.  They are necessary in the life of the church and must be done. However, busyness in church activities should not become a comfort zone or a substitute for our Kingdom assignment.

While I sat meditating and listening, the Holy Spirit reminded me of how I was directed to Acts 6:1-4 years ago when I was working a 9-5. After six years, here I am a retiree refocusing and redirecting my attention to my specific assignment—prayer and the ministry of God’s Word. Everything else is now secondary.

To complete my assignment, I must also say what Jesus said:

I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).

I must work diligently to declare as Jesus did, “It is finished,” I completed the tasks that the Father assigned to me.

 

 

Copyright 2018, Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc.

The Presence of the Present

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Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

As the day approaches—the day set aside as a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus—Christmas Day, my attention now , more than ever, is the truth that He was, is and will always be Father’s Gift to the world, that is our Savior, our Rescuer, our Redeemer, our Deliverer.

The presents we give and receive are good. Keep giving during this season. It is in part what the holiday is all about—giving to express love. Blessing others. Enjoying family and friends—laughter because of the joy of the season. That is ALL good; however, the present GIFT (the right now GIFT) is so much better. To have Immanuel with us is the most valuable gift anyone can have or desire. The Lord’s Presence is the air that we breathe, and His Holy Spirit, a precious treasure that dwells in these frail, broken earthen vessels we call our body.

As I mature naturally and spiritually, I focus more on the Presence of the Present—being alive, embracing life, breathing, having peace with God through faith in Jesus the Christ, and thus, peace of mind in a world’s system that is unstable and a society that mad and dominated by the evil one.

The prophetic word spoken by Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled, and Immanuel is still with us! The sign that God promised appeared. To debate the date, or when doesn’t matter to me. What matters is the He came and after His humanity assigned time on earth was completed, He gave His life and after three days was resurrected; after 40 days He ascended on a cloud back to glory, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, with all power over heaven and earth in His hands. AND, what also matters is He is coming back again to reign forever!

Black History Commemorative Prayer

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God, our Father in heaven,

Hallowed is your name! Thank you for the privilege and access to come in confidence to your throne of grace, where we can obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  We come in the name of Jesus today. We rejoice in saying, you are our God; we worship you and you alone! Thank you! Thank you for daily provision, naturally and spiritually. Thank you for the plan of salvation through faith in your Son, Jesus the Christ, in whom through His blood is the remission of sin.  Thank you for forgiving us and for your enabling power that’s available so that we can forgive others. Father, thank you for the trials and triumph; for bringing us through the dark and evil days of yesteryear.  Thank you for those who bore the burden and paid the price for freedom as a people.  Let us not forget their sacrifice of life. And we pray for this generation to be willing to stand as they did; to stand for righteousness, justice, and equality.  Lord, open the eyes of our heart so that we understand as they did, the fight is not just for the present, but for generations to come.  Help us to not be so focused and selfish concerning our rights now, but to pray for your kingdom to come and your will be done in future generations.  Help us to realize that just as we stand on the shoulders of those who fought for us today, so must future generations stand on our shoulders. Therefore, we must be vigilant and alert, knowing that our adversaries are many, but you, O Lord is with us when we stand for righteousness and justice. Let us be the light that shines in this dark world! May we have the fortitude, boldness, and tenacity to stand fearlessly in the face of opposition and fight for what is right, speak out against what is wrong; that we will speak the truth in love, being confident that there is an invisible host much greater than those opposing us. We praise you, our just God, who sees all and knows everything; nothing is hidden from you; and in perfect timing, you will expose lies and reveal hidden truths that will set many people free! Father, as we commemorate Black History, we pray, let the good that we do today be a legacy we leave for tomorrow. May the truth that we stand on and declare today be words that will empower and transform lives tomorrow.

Thank you, Father, for empowering our ancestors, and our elders, to endure persecutions, to stand in faith and survive great adversity so that this generation could have a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on saying,

“Fight the good fight of faith! Sound the alarm and declare, ‘Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.’” (Amos 5:24). 

We pray, let us not grow weary in doing what is good and pleasing to You.  In the name of Jesus, we pray with thanksgiving. Amen.

When there’s no light at the end of the tunnel

How long is a little while?

The struggles in life has a way of making you feel there is no end to the tunnel.  Darkness seems to cover you like a blanket with no sign of a light.

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Unashamedly I admit, over the last fifteen years I asked consistently, “Lord, how long is the pain of betrayal, broken relationships, grief from the loss of loved ones and possessions going to last?  When will the struggles end?” Needless to say, He did not give me a specific timeframe.  Instead, He always reminded me of His Word.   After a while, I stop asking how long and started rehearsing the promises He had given me.  My attitude changed. The more I meditated and spoke aloud His Word over my life and situations, the more my anxiety was replaced by God’s peace.  Still there were nights I cried myself to sleep, but I never stopped rehearsing the promises. I held on to them regardless of what I felt, saw and experienced. I believed God!

Like me, have you looked for the light at the end of the tunnel and wondered how long your troubles would last?

Just know you are not alone while traveling through your tunnel a little while longer.

I posted the following status to my Facebook page earlier this week.   Reading it again the next day or so was like getting a burst of energy from an energy drink.

Your suffering is temporary. Go through the “making” process.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10 NIV.

During the time Peter wrote to the Christians, persecution was not just confined to the churches in Asia Minor. Christians were suffering from intense persecution almost everywhere in the known world of that day because they were preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. Peter wrote to remind and console them and us too.  He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write and encourage them to emulate those who had successfully gone through the test of suffering.  It is important and beneficial to surround yourself with people who have successfully endured some dark days of suffering and can offer you the encouragement you need to stand firm and not give up.

Suffering on this earth—although it appears to be endless—is temporary.  It is much easier to focus on the uncertainty of the length of time we will suffer.  Only God knows the duration of our sufferings.  He sovereignly defines the ‘little while’.  No one’s time of suffering is the same.  Remember Job? He suffered the loss of all things, including his health.  Through it all, he held on even enduring the criticisms and misunderstandings of his friends.

Your suffering is temporary. God through the “making” process.

The duration of your pain will be different from others, but the focal point should not be the time frame.  Focus on the promised outcome after the set time (little while) of suffering is completed.  After you have suffered a little while, here are four (4) things the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself do:

  •  Restore you.  Whatever is broken or missing, He will mend and repair so that you are complete. However long you suffered, afterwards you will be restored.  Your restoration may be physically or spiritually.
  •  Establish you. Suffering affects our mental health; our thoughts are usually focused on our condition and circumstances.  It’s easy for spirits of depression and oppression to control our thinking. God will make you stable in your mind; you will need mental stability. He will make you strong in mind. A strong and stable mindset is essential to your well-being physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  • Strengthen you.  Suffering affects you emotionally; therefore, God will make you firm in your emotions. Where you are emotionally weak and unsteady, He will strengthen your soul.
  • Settle you. Because your whole being has been shaken by your suffering, God will settle (establish) you.  He will lay again a firm foundation to uphold you so that you are stable in all your ways, not wavering, but confident in the God of your salvation.

Why would God do all this after you have suffered for a while?  Because it was never God’s intention for us live in a place of darkness, defeat, disappointment and discouragement .  Again I ask, remember Job?  At the end of Job’s suffering, however long it was, God restored him and all he lost with double.  God’s desire from the beginning has always been for our good. His will is for all mankind to live victoriously through faith in Jesus Christ (John 10:10). His desire is that we be ‘whole’ human beings in a loving relationship with Him.  All that He allows to happen in the life of His children is scripted with purpose. It is usually in times of suffering and adversity that we draw closer to Him through prayer and supplication.  Moreover, He draws closer to us. During suffering is not the time to become bitter; look to God for the better.

Yes, the struggles in life has a way of making you feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and darkness covers you like a blanket with no sign of a light.  But, we must remember the promises while traveling through the tunnel of darkness. Get in the Word of God because the entrance of His Words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130). May you be enlightened and encouraged by this post.

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Your turn..

What will you do when it seems like a ‘little while’ has turned into a long while in a tunnel of darkness?

Will you admit that you focus more on ‘how long’ rather than promised outcome after the suffering?  If you admit yes, what will you do differently after reading this post?

Meditate on this Word: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”  -Romans 8:28

My Hope is Secure

033013_2144_Bittersweet1.jpgHow do you define hopeless?  Hopeless is having no expectation of good or change for the better. I admit, there has been some “seemingly” hopeless situations since accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.  However, that was before I really grasped the magnitude of His finished works on the Cross and His resurrection after three (3) days.

Watching the last episode of the video, “The Easter Experience” made me realize that as a Christian I should never conclude that I am in a hopeless situation or condition.

Hopelessness made the disciples abandon Jesus in fear and to hide after His death. The external circumstances (Jesus’ arrest) gave the appearance that there was no hope of being free from Roman rule.  They did not expect any good or change for the better; therefore they did not trust Him based on His promise to rise from the dead, although He warned them of His impending death and assured them of His resurrection.  Their focus was on the natural; therefore they just didn’t get it until after a personal encounter with the risen Savior and the spiritual transformation that changed the course of their life on the day of Pentecost. Then hope sprang forth like the branches and leaves on a “seemingly” dead tree11090882_798945466850515_4922663398283889637_o in spring.

So it is with us. Our personal experience or encounter with the risen Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit changes our bleak outlook and we have hope.  Like the disciples, we often feel hopeless because we focus more on the external circumstances, but if Christ is our personal Savior and Lord, we have hope in spite of the externals.  We find hope in His Word regardless of what is naturally visible, or the external circumstances that are unpleasant for a season.  God always causes us to triumph in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14).

What situation have you been in that you did not expect any good to come out of it, or things to get better for you? Are things so bad that you have concluded that there is no hope? If so, I want to encourage you!  Keep believing and trusting God to keep His promises. There is always hope as long as you are breathing.

Jesus Christ is the source of our hope. He will fill us with joy and peace in the midst of difficulty if we trust in Him.

Romans 15:4 declares, “…the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”

We know that the promise of the Savior has been fulfilled (Luke 2:1-7). We know that the promise of the Comforter (Holy Spirit) has been fulfilled (John 15:26; Acts 2:1-4). What has God promised you that has already been fulfilled?  What promises are you patiently waiting for fulfillment?  Keep expecting! Don’t give up hope; God is faithful.

I pray that Easter Sunday (Resurrection Day) will remind you that our hope is eternally secure in Christ. His resurrection gives us the assurance that what God promise is revealed either in this life or thereafter.

Always hopeful,