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.

Help the Others

When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” That ended Paul’s discussion with them, but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

—Acts 17:32-34

 

The above Scripture passage really caught my attention and inspired this short word of encouragement and insight.

Everyone may not take what you have to say seriously, and receive it in faith.  You shouldn’t take it personal. You are the messenger carrying the Light of hope to help others. You are the bearer of “good news.” So what if they laugh in contempt at the good news of the Kingdom? Don’t be offended.  There are others who want to hear more about it, and will receive it in faith. Tell them. They will believe. Praise God for the ones who are drawn to the Light the world—Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, you don’t know who will laugh and who will listen; therefore, you should keep telling the story of hope and redemption. Don’t lose heart and stop being a witness because you fear of rejection. When people don’t receive the message of hope, they are not rejecting you. They are rejecting the Christ—the One able to rescue them from eternal torment.  

Focus on the ones who will join forces to advance the Kingdom of God. They are the others; help the others that want to hear what you have to say about Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, and His unconditional love that will transform their life.

Pray for them. Encourage them. Help them. Also, pray for those who will respond negatively and in contempt and laughter. Pray for their souls; they are also the others…help them by interceding on their behalf. Why? Because all things are possible with God.

 

Keep running!

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnare us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.                         —Hebrews 12:1-2

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I’m certain several of you watched the 2012 Olympics and enjoyed seeing the athletes compete. Consider, in particularly, track and field.

Did you see any of the athletes stop running prior to the end of the race? Although they knew the possibility of coming in last, no one gave up. They kept running to the finish.  At least I didn’t see anyone give up. Did you?

 In order to make it to the Olympics they had to have a “made-up” mind…an absolute resolve that said I’m in the race to run, and I want to win. It’s a chance of a lifetime to win the gold! Therefore, they trained and exercised to be physically fit. They worked hard to achieve their goal. They believed in themselves; others believed in them and cheered them on.  They remained focused and motivated. They didn’t allow negative thoughts, doubt and unbelief to keep them from running. The spirit of defeat and hopelessness didn’t overwhelm them to the point of giving up. Of course, they knew from the start that everyone couldn’t win the gold, but they didn’t lose hope.

The above is an analogy with spiritual significance and truth. However,  I’m convinced that as Christians, we have an advantage in running our race. In the above passage, Apostle Paul encourages us not to give up by reminding us of all those before us who are now in the Faith Hall of Fame (chapter eleven). Their faith should motivate and inspire us. They are our invisible witnesses cheering us on. However, they did not have the advantage we have today—the Cross.  You probably never thought about Jesus’ death on the cross as being an advantage for us.   Relating to Jesus’ earthly race of endurance that ended in death on the cross, but resulted in victory for us through His resurrection is our greatest motivation to keep running in life’s Christian race. He is the Source of our faith, and the only One who completes it. He empowers us to stay in the race! Once we make up our minds to stay focused on Him, not get distracted by the naysayers and spectators on the sidelines, but instead stay in spiritual shape, we can keep running to the finish line. Still, it is our personal responsibility to do whatever it takes to stay in life’s marathon of faith—such as rid ourselves of everything that weighs us down, and the sin that trips us up and causes us to fall. If we fall, get back up and keep running! We must believe in Jesus Christ and remember all those in the Hall of Faith are cheering us on.

Best of all, in this race, we are all winners if we keep running. Stay spiritually fit through much prayer, praise, worship and the study of God’s Word.  Jesus is our role model. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Study Him. He stayed focus on His goal—He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside the Father’s throne.

Keep running! The Holy Spirit will remind you of the glorious future that awaits you when you finish the race, and receive your reward…a gold medal? No! better than that…eternal life!

 Here’s the truth: You are in a win-win race! Keep running!