One of my favorite things about traditional holiday feasts is the abundance of leftovers that follow. The leisure of having an ample supply of delicious food to pull from to satisfy any outcries of hunger that may arise is very appealing to me. I have always balked at women who tell me that their husbands refuse to eat leftovers. The afterthought in my brain has always been that were that the case in my house my family would starve to death or at the very least be seriously malnourished.
“Leftover lover” that I am, I have found that there are places where spiritual leftovers will not do.
For many years I struggled with the task of spending time with the Lord on a daily basis. In that season it wasn’t that I was too busy or overburdened with the demands of life, although I used that as an excuse to myself or others when confronted with the question. I was a young, stay at home mom and between nap times and contented playing toddlers I actually had plenty of time to be with the Lord. The truth however was that I was not disciplined enough to use the time that I had for that purpose.
Prayer was boring to me and my relationship with the Lord consisted of going through the motions, lacking real intimacy. I lived off of and was sustained by the crumbs of spiritual encouragement I received from other Godly women who, more mature than I, had invested in that time with the Lord and therefore had much to offer others in their sphere of influence.
When I found myself feeling lonely, desperate or hurting it was much easier to pick up the phone or visit with a friend who was filled with the Word of God, His spirit and His wisdom than it was to invest myself into those things. The recipient of much love, kindness, encouragement and truth poured out, that was sufficient to get me through…for awhile. The problem however was that no matter how many times I would be “filled up” by someone else, I always found myself empty again. Never truly satisfied, I always walked around kind of hungry, needy and longing for more than I was getting. I was truly undernourished when it came to my relationship with my Father… In fact, I was starving.
The only solution to this problem was to learn how to fill up, on a daily basis, with the banquet that the Lord had ever set before me. Always available to me, it was I who had to choose to sit down, scoot up to the table and eat. This required first, the admittance that in my own strength I didn’t even have the ability to discipline myself in this area. I needed Him to help me satisfy my need for more of Him. Secondly, it required a choice to make my time with God a priority no matter how boring it seemed or how inadequate I felt in His presence.
As is His way, as I drew close to Him, He drew close to me. It was the beginning of a beautiful, intimate and satisfying relationship.
As I grew and my relationship with the Lord matured, I was no longer satisfied by what others had received in their time with the Lord. I longed and hungered for my own time with Him, to seek his face and hear His voice for myself. Anything besides that became insufficient and unsatisfying.
Are you completely satisfied with your level of intimacy with your Lord? Are you hungry for more? Something fresh? Sit down, scoot up and dig in…He is waiting.
Father, help me always to seek first your kingdom.