God Can Satisfy the Deepest Longings in Your Heart
Taking good things and trying to make them God things doesn’t work.
Life is hard, and it’s stressful, and sometimes it gets us looking to escape and somehow get away from it all. There are times when escaping is a healthy form of self-care that Jesus did--he would pull away and spend time with the Father, to reset and get his head and heart right again.
Then there are times when you try to escape from the stressors of life, and it can be in an unhealthy way. Maybe you escape to things that you’ve learned can provide some type of temporary relief and are soothing for you. To numb some of what you’re not really excited about feeling, to relieve the pain, that will help you forget about something for a little while. Unhealthy escapes seem to start innocently enough and they promise they are going to make it be okay, but they never actually provide the relief that you’re looking for, but you keep trying and then... your unhealthy escape escalates.
Unhealthy escapes feed sin patterns and establish strongholds. The enemy grips your life and you can end up living an almost life--a hollowed out life. It’s how addictions start and how lives are wasted.
Some examples of some Unhealthy Escapes include (but are not limited to):
How do I know if something is an idol that I love?
- It gives you a sense of being in control.
- If you lost it, you feel your life wouldn’t be worth living.
- You sacrifice things in your life in order to have it.
What Unhealthy Escapes Are You Seeking Right Now?
Take some time to reflect on the questions below. Identify your unhealthy escapes and then begin to think about what boundaries you need to set.
Think About Your Triggers | Where are you and what’s going on when you start feeling bad, sad, or mad? What’s your trigger?
Identify Your Escape | Ask yourself: Where do I turn when I want to be comforted, refuge, soothing or escapes? To shut out the world and deal with your pain. Where do I go to numb my pain and escape the hard things in my life?
What Are You Putting in Place of God? | It's where you’re consistently spending money and time and conversation. It’s the thing you’re having a hard time letting go of. These are clues that this thing is going to leave you empty even if it feels good for a moment.
As you go about your week, hold tight to these words. Repeat them as needed to eliminate negative or unhelpful thoughts or actions that may be holding you back.
Lord, I want you more than I want the temporary relief
that my [insert your unhealthy escape] is providing.
Consider praying these two short prayers as you work to cultivate a quiet heart and to slow down.
Jesus, I give everything and everyone to you.
Jesus, I need more of you; fill me with more of you.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11:28-30 | MSG
Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:19 | NCV
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
John 4:13-14 | NLT
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