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.

 

 

 

 

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,

When you don’t understand the “why”

cryingwomanseyesFor Christians, what matters most is learning to trust God regardless of whatever we face in this life even when we don’t like or understand it. Like me, you have probably thought I don’t understand what God is doing. Or perhaps, you have asked, “Why God allowed this to happen?” Whether you thought or actually voiced your issue with God, it’s really not significant.

Truth is, it is impossible for our finite minds to comprehend God’s sovereignty.

Holy Scriptures makes it clear: Romans 11:33-34: “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?” Also in Isaiah 55:8-9, God spoke through the prophet, saying, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways… For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

In essence, our limitations keep us from grasping things that happen in our personal life and in the world. Therefore, God does not tell us everything nor does He owe us an explanation. Because He is sovereign, all-knowing and all-powerful, He only reveals what He wants us to know as it relates to His purpose and for His glory. Think of it like this: If He told us or reveals everything to us concerning His plan, we would have no reason to believe, have faith in, rely on and trust Him. He wants us to trust Him! He reveals Himself to us on an as needed basis and by our faith. For example, if we need peace and have faith, He reveals Himself as Jehovah Shalom; if we need healing and have faith, He reveals Himself as Jehovah Rapha.

I have learned this: As painful as challenges and events may be in my life and family life, I must trust God and believe His word. I stand firmly on Romans 8:28.

In the words of Babbie Mason’s song, “Trust His Heart”:

He alone is faithful and true

He alone knows what is best for you

When you don’t understand

When you don’t see His plan

When you can’t trace His hand

Trust His Heart

I have concluded that I may never know or understand the why, but what I am learning to do through life’s challenges is trust Him completely; knowing that if I belong to Him and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, He will never leave me nor forsake me. I am confident that He will care for and comfort anyone who turns to Him in faith to be their loving Father. It is easy to blame God for the negative and painful things that happen in this life. But it does not change anything—God is still God; He is still good, faithful and true, and if we look closely at the situation, chances are we will find a reason to be thankful.

Recently, I watched Myles Munroe, Jr. make a public statement just three days after his parents’ death in the plane crash; he said with conviction, “Although God may never explain himself, He will reveal himself.”

For Christians, what matters most is learning to trust God regardless of whatever we face in this life even when we don’t like or understand it. However, the tough question is, will we be in a position see Him when He reveals Himself and then gladly receive what He offers to meet us at the point of our need?

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It’s Personal

 Peter turned around and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them — the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who among us will betray you?”  Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”  Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You follow me.”   —John 21:20-22

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God’s plan is personally designed for each of us.  Although we all travel life’s journey according to the roadmap God has personally planned for each of us, our experiences will be different; for some the road may seem easy and for others it may be rough and less traveled.   Yet, there is a natural tendency to want to know God’s plan for others in your inner circle and the road to destiny they must travel. Many even go as far as to speculate, evaluate, and assess someone else’s qualifications and anointing to carry out their Kingdom assignment. For example, you can probably relate to Peter’s concern in the above scripture. Imagine the scene.  It’s time for Peter’s restoration due to his denial of  being in relationship with Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75).  During the process of restoration Jesus quizzes Peter about his love for Him and gives him specific instructions, “Feed my sheep.”

After being asked the third time, Peter obviously grieved and disturbed by Jesus’ persistence and responds emphatically by noting Jesus’ omniscience.  (The third time signified his restoration, which eradicated his three-time denial of Jesus).   Jesus continued by revealing to Peter his death, and how he would die as a martyr for the glory of God.  Really!  You can imagine that was not the most exciting news to receive after being affirmed and restored for ministry!    However, it should remind us that Kingdom assignment is not always THAT glamorous—there is a cost!  More important, it reminds us of God’s grace when we fail in our faithfulness to Him.  He is a God of restoration.

After receiving “in part” his revealed destiny,  and God’s will for him, naturally, Peter wanted to know if he was going to be the only one to encounter such unpleasantness, to say the least.  Since the beloved disciple was nearby, Peter asked, “What about him?”  In other words, what is your plan for John? What’s going to happen to him? How is he going to die?   It was no secret that John was referred to the “beloved” disciple.  We had a name for it back in the day: “Teacher’s pet.”

Beloved, this is the perfect example of childish and immature behavior when it comes to Kingdom assignment and God’s agenda.  Jesus’ perfects everything that concerns us individually while orchestrating life events to bring His plan and purposes to pass.  He wants us to focus on our own personal relationship and obedience to Him. Basically, (paraphrased) Jesus was saying to Peter,  this is not about John. This is about my will for you. My will for John is none of your business. YOU follow me. I’ve given you your assignment and revealed my plan for you.  So don’t worry about him. What I have and want for John is between him and Me.  You just stay focus on what I’ve assigned to you, and follow my plan for you, Peter. (Italic is my paraphrase). Wow! Talk about a slap on the wrist (rebuke).

In today’s Christian culture  some church leaders would have been highly offended if the senior elder (pastor, bishop) had rebuked them like that.  Many would have gotten so upset that they would have moved their membership.  Ha! You know it’s the truth!

Although it’s the natural human instinct to be inquisitive about God’s plan and purpose for others, it’s not what God wants.  We are too easily distracted from our personal relationship with God, or what He has destined for our life when we focus on His will and plan for others within our circle.

Knowing the details of God’s plan or will for others stimulates the fleshy appetite for covetousness, jealousy, envy and even strife.  We should never compare personal ministry gifts or assignments to others. Looking at others and questioning God’s will and plan for their lives distracts us from what God has destined for us individually. You’ve heard the cliché, “It enough work for everybody.”  The truth is we should all be about God’s business— working together to advance His Kingdom, all for the glory of God.  There is a song, “What God has for me is for me.”  This is true, but do we really believe it?

Perhaps Peter’s curiosity about John was out of genuine love and concern since Jesus assigned him leadership responsibility for the church.  Yet, leadership responsibility does not justify questioning  God’s will and plan for someone else in comparison to yours.   Think about Jesus’ reply to Peter, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”  YOU follow me.” 

This lessons teaches that it’s about your personal relationship with the Lord.   Your primary focus should be doing His will…carrying out your assignment, and fulfilling your purpose and destiny regardless of what it is, or how painful it may be.  And the good news is that He will never leave you nor forsake you.  However, you must trust Him; follow His lead, and obey His commands.

Consequently, Peter carried out his assignment.  He preached with power and authority; he wrote with inspired conviction about suffering for the glory of God. It’s obvious in his epistles ( 1 & 2 Peter) that he accepted God’s plan and will for his life.  Also, John carried out his assignment (Gospel of John, the epistles: 1, 2 & 3 John, and Book of Revelation), being the “beloved” disciple qualified him to convey the message of love.  As a matter of fact, the other disciples, even Judas Iscariot carried out their mission.  And now, we can all benefit and learn from them through the inspired Word of God.

Although it is a natural tendency to be concerned about God’s plan for someone else’s, I encourage you to stay focused on what God has planned for you.   It is my prayer that God’s plan for YOUR life is revealed, and that YOU complete YOUR personal assignment in the Kingdom to the glory of God alone.

Shalom.

(c)2010. Originally posted, “Not your business”

Revised post (c) 2013. All rights reserved.