The GIFT or the GIVER
I recently had a conversation with my sister-in-law about a tough decision that she was facing in regards to her career. As she shared with me her difficult and time sensitive situation, I could sense that she was so lost and did not know what to do or what direction to go. I could feel that she was trying desperately to find an answer. She tried connecting certain situations and certain responses from people to possibly being the answer, but in my head I asked, "Has she gone to God about this?". Throughout our conversation I asked her several questions to try to get more familiarized with the situation and make sure that I was on the same page with her. Deeper into our conversation I began to sense God stirring up something within me. "I wish people would pursue me more than the answers". That statement stayed cemented in my mind and heart as we got deeper into our conversation.
I remember asking her multiple questions like, what if your answer is not in something, but in someone? Do you think God is drawing you closer to Him for your answer through this situation? What if you are looking for the answers in the wrong places or in the wrong people? I could tell that these questions were really digging deep into her heart and mind, but quite frankly they were also digging into mine. The next few days those questions kept popping up in my head.
I ask you the same similar question, Do you find yourself seeking the gift more than the giver? Are you seeking the answers more than the one who holds them? I think many of us come across this fork on the road where we forget who it all comes from and in who life begins and ends with. We navigate our lives down the wrong side of the road because we have disconnected ourselves from the source and have taken our own pathway thinking that it will be the right direction. Or even in some cases we have fallen in love with what God can give rather than fall in love with who God is.
In saying that, one thing that comes to mind is my children and their approach towards Christmas and what they think of it. I remember a few weeks ago asking them if they were excited for the upcoming Christmas season and the first thing that came out of their mouths was PRESENTS! It wasn't the Christmas Tree, it wasn’t snow (even though we live in Florida), it wasn't singing carols, and it even wasn't Santa. They could care less about all that stuff, all they associate Christmas to is gifts. I understand that they are only three year old, but how many of us are the same towards God? Jesus hits on this issue in Luke 17:11-19.
11 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. 15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”
Ain't it sad? Only one man came back and recognized that the one who healed him was more important than his actually healing.
I can easily tell you that God will provide all that you need. I could easily tell you that God holds your world and your answers in His hands, but quite honestly, I would be repeating myself because most of you already know that, but what you might not know or maybe have forgotten is that your answers don't lie in anything you do or in anyone, they lie solely in a relationship with God.
I know this might seem too general and simple, but if you allow yourself to process this for a minute, it will bring so much truth and revelation. To break it down even more simpler, let's say that Warren Buffet comes knocking at your door one morning, surprises you and tells you that he is spending one whole week with you to give you advice, provide help and answer any questions you might have. For many of us this would be a dream come true and an opportunity of a lifetime, but for the sake of the story let's just say you totally ignored the fact that he was with you that entire week. You decided to not take advantage of his availability and you continued on with your normal routine and day to day tasks. When you did need help you asked others totally ignored Mr. Buffet and went through your week, making decisions after decisions without even asking for advice or help from one of the most richest, successful and influential people on the planet.
Why did I bring that example, because many of us go through life on our own understanding, efforts, knowledge, experience and never give God the time of day. Many of us have created our own pathway in life which has derailed, delayed and put unnecessary stress, pain, and confusion on our lives. There are also some of us that only reach out to God when we need something and the moment everything is back to normal, God is out of the equation. Are we seeking God's hand or God's face? Think of the difference between approaching a king to kiss his hand and approaching a loving father to kiss his face. God is both our King and Father. He is capable of meeting your needs, answering your prayers and fulfilling your deepest desires. But He also loves you more deeply than you can ever know. When you seek His face, you end up in a much closer posture to Him.
You see, many of us fail to understand that God is looking more for a relationship with us than simply just blessing us. Many of us go to God for what He can provide rather than who He is. Do you ever wonder why you keep finding yourself in situations that are pushing you more towards God? It is simply because God is trying to draw you closer to Him. God is always fighting to bring us back to him, to get our attention and to get our focus back on Him because in Him lies everything you will ever need. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 8:6 "but we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life."
The answers that you seek for your life don't lie in your efforts, hard work, intelligence, or anything you can do. Your answers and purpose lie in a true relationship with the heavenly father. Please don't misinterpret me, it is good to have a strong work ethic and to be educated, but even the hardest workers and wisest individuals on this planet can tell you that their success goes beyond themselves.
This article serves as more of a reminder than anything else. I remind you to seek the father's face more than the father's hand. Never forget that in Him lies everything you will ever need.
So the next time you are searching for a solution or an answer to one of life's many challenges or questions; rather than looking for what, look for who, look for the One who has the keys to life. He is the source of everything you will need and will provide you with the ultimate fulfillment in this journey of life.
Take 10-15 minutes of alone time with God today and write down all the things/areas that you are seeking answers/direction in. Once you have finished, present it to God and pray this prayer.
"Father, you are the answer and the solution. You are the great I am and in You I lay all my burdens and cares. You formed me in my mother's womb and created me and all my days. You know me more than I know myself. Today I lay my life at your feet. I love you more than the blessings, I love you more than the answers and whether I find what I am looking for or not, I will trust you and love you."