"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

GPS to God

Scripture to reflect upon for Thirsty Thursday: Luke 9:24 (The Message)
“Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.”

Oh how the world is searching endlessly…for themselves.

“I’m trying to find myself…” You’ve heard this before. You may have even said it before. This is a selfish mentality of the world today. It’s an all-about-me generation that started in the late 60’s. That kind of mentality has wrecked marriages, families, jobs and eventually began the breakdown of our trust in God. And soon you find yourself lingering in the desert, thirsty and aching. Nothing makes sense. Nothing seems real. And it all seems so meaningless.

When we start worrying only about ourselves and “what’s in it for me,” we lose complete sight of God. I can’t help but laugh at people who spout out the ridiculous phrase, “God helps those who helps themselves.” Well, guess what? Today’s scripture says differently. In fact, it clearly states that self-help is no help at all! None! You need to make the sacrifice to follow Jesus. He is the only way you will ever “find” your true self.

Before I got saved in 1998, I was on a crusade to find myself and everywhere I turned I couldn’t be found. I was so lost. Half the time I didn’t even know where I was or where I was going. I was just aimlessly wandering through life trying to find myself somewhere else besides where I was.

“Finding yourself” is an excuse to escape yourself and everyone around you. It allows you justification not to be committed to anything or anyone. But quite honestly, what it really means when someone says they are trying to find themselves is that they need Jesus! Jesus said so Himself in today’s scripture. He is the only way to discovering who you are, because God created us and puts a hunger in us to find Him when we get lost. It’s God’s GPS when we’ve lost our direction.

Someone very close to me spent their entire childhood and early adulthood moving from one city to the next,  never really planting roots anywhere. This person was at the mercy of someone else who was desperately searching for something that couldn’t be found outside of Christ. Instead of running to God, they were running from Him, and dragging everyone else along for the dysfunctional ride. To this day, those involved find it hard to stay settled anywhere for too long, and they too, are running from God although they all knew Him at one point. When things get uncomfortable, their first reaction is to pack up and move. It’s all they know, and dealing with problems any other way makes no sense to them.

Trying to fix our own problems will only create more. If we are unable to allow God the opportunity to come into our lives completely, then we are missing out on one of the greatest gifts He has to offer. It’s called grace, and it coincides with mercy. Anyone who tries to sell you the idea that God will only help you when you begin to help yourself doesn’t know God! That doesn’t mean we sit around, moping, hoping and groping. It means we surrender. We talk to God about our problems. We ask Him to fix it. We ask Him to guide us. And He will surely make a way.

NOTE TO SELF: If you are trying to find yourself, you should know that you were created with a direct GPS to God. When you feel lost or confused about who you are or where you’re going, it’s because you’re nothing without Him! Learn how to make self-sacrifices. Quite simply, that means focusing on who you are in Christ instead of trying to figure out who you are in the world.

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