Do you turn to excessive spending habits, eating, recreational activities, relationships, or anything other than God to meet your emotional needs or to bring fulfillment and purpose to your life? What is the root cause of this? Why are these habits so detrimental to you and to others? I believe there are many hurting people who are crying out for help and looking for answers for their lives. They want to see a difference in the lives of believers, but Christians are often just as discouraged and defeated as they are.
We, as Christians, believe that being addicted to street drugs, pornography or alcohol is unhealthy and morally wrong. However, we Christians turn to morally accepted things like food, excessive spending habits, recreation, prescription drugs, etc. to cover our pain. It is wrong for us to condemn the non believers when we struggle with the same root issue. Why do we turn to these things? Both of us are simply trying to drown our pain and are looking for significance and fulfillment in our lives. Do we think we will be able to find emotional healing or purpose in anything other than the Lord? Do others see God’s grace when God isn’t enough? Does it bring glory to Him? There should be a big difference between the way we face our difficulties and loss and the way non believers respond to their pain and loss. Is your Heavenly Father sufficient to meet your needs and provide enough grace so you don’t need to depend on anything or anyone other than HIMSELF?
I have had to examine my own heart and determine why I find it so easy to turn to food, recreation, relationships, or spending money to lift my spirits when I am feeling discouraged. When God isn’t “big enough” to satisfy my emotional needs, then it’s understandable why others aren’t drawn to Him.
In my blog last week, (“How Big is Your God?”) I shared an incident that we had with our son, Austin. We had no idea that our mountain was going to continue to get much bigger. As we are now on our journey of grief, we have experienced more grace than was needed previously. Although we still continue to shed tears and daily face the harsh reality of missing Austin, our message is that God is still good! God has given us a platform on which to stand and proclaim that HE IS BIGGER and HE IS ABLE! We still struggle and grieve, but we are also able to walk in His grace. We are excited about our future because of the hope of eternity. Some sweet day, we will again be reunited with our dear son and brother. What a glorious day that will be!
If we choose to reject the grace that God is offering to us, we would find ourselves looking for something else to help us survive our deep pain and loss. We have found that God’s grace is enough and we don’t need to rely on anti depression medication, food addictions, or anything other than God to carry us through this grieving time. It is not because we are such strong people. It’s because God has promised “…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness..” (2 Cor. 12:9)
Have you faced a loss of any kind? Are you discouraged about a situation or circumstance? Are you turning to people, possessions, activities, or other substances instead of God? If so, it has become an idol to you because it has taken the place that rightfully belongs to God. He has created you with a “God shaped vacuum” that only He will ever be able to fill. The root cause of turning to other things is unbelief in God and in His sufficiency. You should be living by a much higher standard if you are God’s child. All you have to do is claim His grace. He is anxiously waiting to carry you through this time. God is enough!
Cindi MillerPosted at 13:26h, 16 July
The answer to the question of the “why” of dysfunctional behaviors can be found in the books, “Draw Close to the Fire,” and “Wounded,” by Terry Wardle. Amazing stuff! I have seen great healing take place as a result of the Truths explained in these writings!
Duane & CindyPosted at 09:05h, 20 July
Thanks, Cindi, for sharing that information. I haven’t read either of these books but would love to. They sound great! Blessings! -Cindy
RoyPosted at 07:30h, 20 August
This is a subject that is very difficult for me. You should know that I’ve been in church for most of my life,I have been through my bible almost twice, I have done counseling with two different christian counselors, I listen to nothing but broadcast teaching ministries on my radio, and I have read many books as well.
That being said, I still struggle, (and mostly fail),to find any comfort or emotional connection with God.
We turn to other things because they provide, at least, temporary relief, because God doesn’t fill the God shaped vacume either. I have turned to God, I have begged him for his touch, for his spirit.I try to repent of the sins that I keep returning to for relief, but they are the only relief I can find.God just isn’t available, it doesn’t matter where he’s located, (inside me,beside me, everywhere, etc.), still unavailable. I know He hears me and knows my thoughts,I didn’t say I was unavailable.”Bible says” just isn’t enough,it offers no warmth,nothing personal.It is a form letter, my name is not in it, I’ve looked. Words like “whosoever” define the concept of impersonal.How does it matter how big He is.I have never even heard him say my name. “The just shall live by faith” is one of the cruelest things I can imagine God saying to me.”Just” has no value, “Blessed” has no meaning.I am starving inside. It doesn’t matter how great or”everlasting” God’s love is when it has to pass through an opening the size of a mustard seed,(probably even smaller). Help
RoyPosted at 08:32h, 20 August
If I was too transparent in my previous response and you find it to be too negative,or you are concerned that it will adversely effect someone eslse’s faith I will certainly understand if you dedcide not to post it. However, my email address is entered and I would love to hear from someone. I need all the help I can get as soon as posible
Duane & CindyPosted at 23:13h, 26 August
Thank you so much for your transparency and honesty in what you shared. My prayer is that you will continue your search for God until you truly find Him and experience Him in a way that you never thought possible. You did such a great job in describing and expressing the struggle within your heart, and MY heart was deeply touched. Let me also assure you that you aren’t the only one out there with the same kind of conflict. I’m sure you are familiar with the verse regarding finding God when we seek Him with our whole heart…(Deut. 4:29) I know God DOES NOT/CANNOT lie or break His promise so you can rest in this promise. However, I believe when it mentions seeking Him with our WHOLE hearts, it means every area of our lives and giving God every part of our heart. As you remember the account of the rich young ruler who asked Jesus what he needed to do to be saved, he walked away sad because he wasn’t ready to give God EVERY area of his life. You see, there are many so called “Christians” who have a form of godliness but actually no personal relationship with God, because they have never committed themselves (mind, soul, and body) under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Finding God consists of much more than an emotional experience or even a supernatural filling of His spirit. The hardest part of experiencing God has nothing to do with God not doing His part in showing Himself to us, but it has everything to do with US and if we are willing to present our whole hearts to God. It needs to be an act of complete brokenness and surrender on our part. God isn’t satisfied with just a fraction or even half of our hearts. He wants us to be willing to give our entire heart, soul, mind, and bodies to Him. After all, didn’t He willing give everything, even His life, for us? We may search for God from an intellectual level and never truly find Him. It is only when we seek for Him, in childlike faith and surrender, that we can have that personal relationship with God. After being born again, (this involves our mind, will, and emotions!) God’s spirit then begins to work in our lives and we are able to feel His presence and hear His still small voice speaking to us. Let me emphasize it again…it has nothing to do with God not able or willing to be found (or God not looking for you!), but it has EVERYTHING to do with desiring to give Him every part of our lives and being willing to turn from our wishes and desires and being committed to obeying Him…Are you willing to do this? Have you ever surrendered to this point or have you just been seeking for a charismatic and emotional ride through life with heaven being your final goal? These are some thoughts for you to consider…You are also welcome to send us a personal email at:email@example.com if you’d like to correspond more through emails. Please stay in touch! We are praying for you. ~Cindy