Monday, September 28, 2009

Desperately Seeking Significance By: Heidi Avery

Imagine with me for a moment…

In today’s Faux World Times Newspaper a personal ad has been placed…

Desperately Seeking Significance

“MMO3 (married mom of 3) seeks personal self-worth. Must “feel”…highly educated and sought after…fun, funny, pretty, thin and sexy…friends with everyone and invited to everything…intellectual, engaging and encouraging…adored and appreciated… respected and revered... loved, loving and lovely… worth her weight in gold… important and irreplaceable… above all content and at peace with her fabulous position in this world.”

MMO3 is feeling insignificant and she’s asking the world to fill her desperate need. It looks pretty ridiculous when you see it written in black and white (or blue), but I think we can all relate to her a little.

I’d be very surprised to hear that any woman doesn’t struggle with a lack of personal self-worth in one or two of the areas mentioned in that ad. The desires of our flesh can have a powerful hold on us, especially if it’s left un-managed.

If you could measure your level of worth in a cup what would that look like? Maybe you’d cheerfully say to me that it’s completely full, spilling over in fact! Or, perhaps you’d say it’s sometimes slightly filled, but occasionally it’s dry and empty? I would honestly say that my cup is usually just under half-way some of the time, but all it takes is a little bump off the table to be spilled out completely and emptied… soon to be dry as the Nevada air.

Where do we go to find this cup filling significance that we so desperately long for anyway? I know we all know the right answer… it’s in God of course, but is that really where we go to find it?

I for one have certainly been guilty of letting the world define me and subsequently accepting that my worth is not really worth much at all. When we are so quick to fill that empty need for significance in our lives we put ourselves in a high risk position. Satan is in the very lucrative business of answering our desperate want ads and using the very available and equipped world to do it.

Just take a look around this world we live in, it offers up self-worth solutions at every turn. We’ve got pills that promise “more energy” or “lose weight now.” Self-help books that boast “be a person of influence” and “how to make more money.” People, successful, beautiful people of great significance (so we think) every where swear… “try this and do that and you’ll be happy, or you’ll feel better and look better.” I’m not saying it’s all bad, but if we are seeking significance and looking for it any where other than God we are probably going to find “something” to fill our cups, but is it the right “something” that’s going to give us what we really need?

Look, we’re not going to submit a personal want ad looking for self-worth like MMO3, I know. But is it really any different than meeting our husbands at the door and secretly asking… “will you fill my cup?... show me that you need me!” Or looking deeply into our children’s eyes… “how about you, will you fill me?... prove to me that you love me!” We call our friends up on the phone… “please, fill my cup… tell me that I’m good, affirm me!” We give our very best at our jobs and examine every word our boss says hoping that they will fill up our cup of significance… “tell me that I’m valuable, irreplaceable!” We give our money to a cause not only hoping we’ll “feel” significant, but to be able to say to others “my cup is filled, I really am important, don’t you see it… oh, please say that you see it!”

Sadly, this worldly treasure hunt only produces fools gold. It’s shiny and promising, has the feel of significance, but really it’s worthless.

Let’s compare it to an ice cream cone on a hot day. It’s July and 102 degrees outside, it’s hot, really hot and you’ve decided to have an ice cream cone. It brings you quick, cool satisfaction, so very yummy. Sounds great, right? It seems to have worked, you are suddenly, cool and happy and enjoying it down to the very last bite. However, it’s still 102 degrees outside and now the ice cream cone is gone. You find yourself not only very hot once again, but now you are very thirsty too.

You see the significance you can find in this world is a lot like that ice cream cone. It provides temporary relief from your present condition, but it is quickly gone leaving you wanting, no desperately needing more. Secretly you know that there will never be enough. There can never be enough of something that doesn’t really exist to begin with.

People can’t make us feel significant and the world can’t make us feel significant. They can try, but it’ll never stick. Our desire to “feel” significant is purely of the flesh and when we submit to it we are taking our eyes of off the One who finds us very significant. Just look at Psalm 139…

“you know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” God knows us intimately. No person could ever know us so intimately.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the sea, even there your right hand will hold me fast.” We don’t have go searching for anything, He is there, where ever we are what ever we need. He is the key to our significance.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Did you hear that? He created us, fearfully and wonderfully He created us! Isn’t that significant?

Psalm 139 is a beautiful display of just how very significant we are to and in Him. Read it, write it on your heart, never forget and never be empty again!

The last verses in Psalm 139 say “search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” We all know that feelings can deceive us. When we are anxious about anything, worry, fear, doubt, significance, whatever… He knows! He knows our anxious thoughts and IF we ask Him to show us where we’ve gone wrong, where there is sin, He is ever faithful to show us. He will deliver us. He will lead us in the way everlasting!

We will not ever “feel” significant in this world. Why would we? Paul reminds us that this is not our home… "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philippians 3:20) We don’t fit and we aren’t going to. We don’t even want to! We have the promise of Jesus, what’s more significant than that? How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3)

The search for SELF-worth in the world is a dead end. But, the search for significance is found on the narrow path, as we follow Christ and because Christ is significant so are we. Thinking anything less makes what He did for us seem insignificant and it keeps us right where Satan wants us stagnant and unable to continue with the work of the Kingdom.

Fill your cup with Truth and it will always be full, spilling over in fact :)

Here’s my personal want ad, written here and on my heart…

TCOG (Treasured Child of God) seeks the love of her Father and finds it at every turn. She enjoys being sought after, encouraged, adored and loved. She loves because He first loved her. She’s important and irreplaceable in the work of the Kingdom, but does it for His glory. She’s content and at peace knowing her place in heaven is secure. She wants nothing, fears nothing, desires nothing short of the promise she’s been given in Christ, her Savior.

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