Personal Challenge #13 The Desert, Part 2

My Christianity had taught me that Jesus was very important to my daily life, but I always had my mom, my sister, my boyfriend, my best friend who would answer my phone call when I needed to talk. Often I would ask them to pray for me, but I was missing out on forging my own personal relationship with our Invisible but Ever-present God. When no one was there, I was desperately alone. Because I had not learned that Jesus was always there, for me to run and take refuge in His arms. In His wonderful wisdom, through difficult circumstances, He brought me into a wilderness season, where I learned, out of desperation, that He was always there and that He is sufficient for that First Relationship in my life.

We are told that if we are single we are alone. As time goes on, our best friends, one after another, get married, and their spouses turn into their new best friends, we see that there is no one in that First Relationship in our life. We want a spouse to fill that place, thinking then that all will be right in our world. But humans cannot fill that place in our hearts. They can never fully satisfy that position. No person can be there for you in every way that you need. There will always be disappointment with unmet expectations.

Once Jesus is known as our First Relationship, everything falls into place. Our hearts will be firmly established in His love, we can walk as healthy individuals in the communities He has called us to. We can love one another, stand with each other in times of adversity (Prov 17:17), be sharpened by one another, laugh together, “bear each other’s burdens”.

Go to Jesus, my friend. Be filled by His hand. Don’t let another Christian take His place. Know the Joy of sitting at His feet. Know Him as First Place, whether in singleness, or in marriage, and know abundance of life.

That’s the biggest thing that shifted for me. When I began to take responsibility for my own faith, when I directly went to the throneroom of God for what I need. Not waiting for, or depending on another to bring something for me, but going to get it myself. Knock and keep knocking. His promise is that you WILL be met by Him and find what you need.

Personal Challenge:
Who do you turn to first? Do you put human relationships before God? Be it a friend, a parent, your child, your husband or boyfriend, your church community…. Are there things you are holding onto, that you need to let go of, surrender to God, in order to make space for Him to become First?

You are my Shepherd.
You take care of me. I’m always safe with You.
I shall not be in want.
I shall not be in want for provision.
I shall not be in want for companionship.
All my needs and desires are met in You.
Where You take me there are green pastures.
Lush. Not dry. Quiet waters. So much living water – whatever I could need.
You restore my soul. Where I am so empty, You fill me. Where I don’t even feel love for others, You give me love.
Where the enemy tries to plant fear, You restore to peace. When I am so weary, You surround me with Your love. You hold me close to You and I soar with You. You guide my path. For Your sake!
You’re invested in leading me so I don’t need to fear being on the wrong path.
Even though I walk through the darkest, scariest valley, I will fear NO EVIL, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME!
Your rod and Your staff are for my protection and correction, because You love me.
They comfort me. You comfort me. You are my comforter.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. I eat with You, from a table of wonderful abundance, in the presence of my enemies, so they know that I am loved by You. They know I am with You and You delight in me and You are FOR ME, and all they can do is watch.
You anoint my head with oil (oil of intimacy, like the wise virgins in Matthew 25), and my cup overflows. When I come to You, You give me more than I need. I never lack.
Goodness and love follow me all the days of my life – every day.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23, paraphrased.

“We are Yours – the sheep of your pasture.”
Psalm 100:3