Thursday, October 24, 2013

Let the Soul Be Satisfied


"For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." Psalm 107:9



A small salad with feta cheese, sliced almonds and your favorite dressing. A dinner of sweet potatoes, vegetables and some grilled lemon chicken. Small portions on your plate, you feel full after your meal. The perfect amount of food. You don't feel the heaviness in your stomach of overeating and you know you ate a nutritious meal. Your stomach satisfied, your body healthy. You know you could have eaten a few more bites, even another plate---but the overly full stomach would have left you feeling poorly. Having learned your lesson, you know the satisfied, full feeling and you know when to stop eating. The meal was perfect, and it was enough. 

What if we satisfied our desire for more from this meal---a second plate, a third plate, dessert, a snack-- it's so good, maybe just one more plate? It won't hurt. Let feeling sluggish, exhausted, and with an overly full stomach we regret the seconds. We think of all the calories and the exercise we have to do the next day to burn it off. We feel uneasy, unsatisfied, we partook of too much food. Again the next night, we do the same thing. We ignore the satisfied feeling, push past it and eat more. Shouldn't all this food leave us feeling satisfied? Instead the "more" bug has bitten. The satisfied feeling is ignored, the more bug has it's grip. It's become a habit now and it's hard to break. Night after night we repeat this dinner routine.

God has put things on each of our "life plates." The things He wants us to focus our attention to---perfectly portioned by Him. Maybe it is our work, our children, outside ministry or focusing on a talent God has called us too, keeping up our home for our family, friends and relatives. Our plates will vary with our seasons of life. Instead of leaving our plate with these portions given by God, we feel we need seconds, thirds, fourths. Pretty soon the plate is piled so high with this unnecessary food, we can't even remember what the original meal was. We get used to this overly full feeling. We accept it and become numb to it.

Exhausted and unhealthy, our stomach tied in knots, we accept that this is life. We don't realize the seconds, thirds and fourths were piled on our plates by ourselves. Did God give this to us to eat, or did we feed it to ourselves? We are eating off the world's plate and not off of God's. The world's plate will leave us starving for more, God's plate will satisfy.

What are these second, third and fourth helpings? Joining things that we were never meant to join, being in this and that and every activity possible thinking it will fill our appetite. Enrolling our children and ourselves in every activity so they and we "stay busy." Planning things for every spare moment of our time. Thinking more of ourselves than we ought, we are "chairman of the board" for every thing we are involved in! Exhausted from our own self importance, we continue participating in this gluttony. Overeating is not the only form of gluttony. Having a schedule that is full of self serving, self important busyness is gluttonous.

Overextending ourselves, we are telling God the plate He has served us is not enough. We try to satisfy ourselves and we become sick and unhealthy by partaking of unnecessary time fillers. We are never satisfied and we wonder why. Our soul stirs and tells us it is not at peace.

We are never satisfied because we are eating the food that is never going to satisfy! It is not the manna given from God, so our stomachs will never be full. We want more, and more and more. We don't stop with what God has laid for us that is enough. Now we are making ourselves into God, and serving ourselves more helpings of the world. 

This world will never satisfy your appetite. We were made and created by God to only have our hunger filled by Him. Filled by God, we long for more of Him. Our longing for Him forces us to focus on Him and the things He fills our plate with. Our appetite for the world causes us to focus on more of the world, more, more, more...pretty soon our soul is heavy and exhausted from the things of this world we were never meant by God to partake in.

"Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away." 1 Samuel 2:5

 Let's take the second, third and fourth portions off of our plates that we have piled on. The exhaustion, the poor health, the anxiety, the unnecessary busyness we have served ourselves on our platter of life. Left with God's perfect portions, the things He wants us to focus on, we are satisfied. "Don't you want to eat more?" our friends ask. "Your plate isn't full enough, here is a second helping, " well meaning friends and relatives will say. "No, we answer, "I am satisfied." We may be some of the only ones eating off the satisfying plate, the plate not piled too high. But our soul is at peace with God, and we are satisfied with His food. 

Our soul is filled with His goodness. It no longer longs for more of this world. It longs for more of God. And we are full.

"They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away." Psalm 107:5

May our lives not be ebbed away by chasing after this world's hunger and thirst, but be satisfied and full filled by God.

Prayer: "Lord, fill me with you. Show me what you want on my plate, and remove the unnecessary. May I see that the plate you have served me is full of your perfect goodness. Fill me with your strength to remove the excess and give me the courage to stand out as one satisfied by you." Amen.

"The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked." Proverbs 10:3

"The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry." Proverbs 13:25

"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." Philippians 4:12



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