Throughout the past few weeks, the Holy Spirit has repeatedly directed my attention toward the topic of where I turn when I am at my very weakest. So I have, in turn, asked myself, “Where do I turn when I am fearful, stressed, confused, hurting, lost, or broken?” As much as I would love to say that that I always turn to Christ, I don’t.
There are many places I have turned to first without even thinking about turning to Christ.
As I turn to these “many places,” I’ve realized they all have one thing in common: None of these places have given me comfort or made me less fearful, stressed, confused, hurt, lost, or broken. They may fill places in my heart during the moment I’m feeling weak, but ultimately, they leave me feeling as empty as I was when I turned to them.
This truly pains me. WHY do I turn to places that don’t satisfy my deepest longings when I know in my heart that I have a Savior who has already promised to fill my every longing? If I already know that God’s perfect love drives away any fear in me (1 John 4:18), then why do I dwell on my fears and expect my mind to be able to banish it by itself? If I already believe that God takes my burdens (1 Peter 5:7), then why do I try to take on every burden myself?
I find myself forgetting that God is the truest, purest, and most satisfying source. So, instead of gaining my strength from Him, I attempt to wake up each morning and live each day out of my own strength. Thus, I become weak…SO very weak. In my weakness, I look for an outlet–anything that will make me feel stronger. Yet, nothing will ever satisfy me like what Christ has to offer me. Nothing.
I have the notion that human beings will carry into excess whatever we turn to first in our weakness. When we don’t have Christ filling our lives with His strength each day, we allow ourselves to plug into other sources like food, television, exercise, alcohol, lust, gambling, or other things that temporarily set our hearts at ease. And when we turn to these things to satisfy our deepest longings, they become a part of us–something we can’t live without. Because we believe they set our hearts at ease, we believe that these are the places we should turn when we are weak. Thus, we become dependent upon or addicted to such things–they control us because we have allowed them to become our sources.
Yet, when we are controlled by the Spirit, we are able to experience the fullness of peace and satisfaction in God’s presence. Romans 8:6 says, “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” And when we turn to Christ, an excess of His Spirit allows us to walk in the fullness of His Spirit–among these are the fruits (Galatians 5:22, 23) and the gifts (1 Corinthians 12). As we walk in the Spirit, we don’t walk in weakness, but rather abundant and unlimited strength that comes from Him.
Yes, we are weak on our own. But Christ is stronger still. And as we turn to Him first to be our source, we are made strong by His strength.
I’m excited to hear how God continues to speak to me concerning this topic, and I’m also very excited to start consciously turning to Christ first instead of things that never fully satisfy me. I’m thankful the Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:13), and as He leads us into truth, He allows us to walk in amazing and breathtaking freedom (John 8:32).