Our thoughts impact our feelings, our feelings impact our actions, and our actions set the destiny toward which we’re headed.
When it comes to our journey with Jesus, we often have a very narrow perspective. Thinking only of ourselves, we aren’t thinking about the impact that our relationship with Jesus could have on everyone around us. When we read God’s Word, we shouldn’t just be thinking about how the truth is impacting us personally, we should be considering how it impacts the circles of people around us as we live out its truths.
If we make a really bad decision, we can see the immediate, negative impact that that decision has on others around us. As we seek Jesus, and He’s impacted our lives, what does that look like to those that He’s put around us? If we have even a slightly wrong thought of God, how is that going to affect our actions and feelings, and ultimately, what path is that going to set us on?
It’s so critical that we have right thoughts about God, right thoughts about who we are in His eyes, and right thoughts what purpose we have been given in this life. These thoughts are going to affect our feelings, which will then spur us into action.
There may be a lack of action in our journey with God because our thoughts and feelings are incorrect. Maybe we think God is meant to serve us. If that’s our central mentality—if we’re looking at our lives thinking that God is simply there for us—anytime we have adversity it’ll throw us for a loop. When trials come our way, our whole view of God will crumble.
For a baseball player, it’s easy to look to the game itself to give you something it’s incapable of giving. This will only leave you frustrated, thinking that if you had a better day, or a better contract, then you would be satisfied. With this mindset, we are trying to extract from the created what can only be given by the Creator. Riding these highs and lows, and facing the adversity that comes with them, will always lead us to a betrayal moment when we realize that they ultimately cannot satisfy the longings of our hearts. When that moment comes, we can either move towards the Creator or continue to search for something that might fulfill that longing.
But when we understand the satisfaction that comes with a relationship with Jesus, we don’t have to ride the highs and lows of performance or circumstance. We see this truth played out in the life of Solomon. Solomon had everything at his disposal; he exhausted all the resources of creation, and afterwards said that nothing on earth can satisfy.
“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” —Ecclesiastes 1:14
Instead of relentlessly searching for the next “high,” we can find endless joy in our Creator God.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” —Matthew 13:44
For a long time, I thought that this verse meant that God wanted me to give up everything, going after Him and trying hard to please Him. But I realized that I had this backwards. I am the treasure for which Jesus gave up everything. That realization completely changed my life! Now my actions are not done to gain His approval but they are motivated by the great love that He has for me.
Our situations and our own performances are eventually going to fail us. When they do, what are we going to do next? Where will we look for our hope?
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” —Philippians 4:12-13
—Brian Hommel, Arizona Diamondbacks Chaplain
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