Seeking Answers or Looking for Validation?

Seeking answers and looking for validation are two different quests. Answers are for going and growing; validation is for parking and barking. Love seeks and lets God take the lead. Lust looks for a pat on the back and follows self satisfaction.

I’ve looked for validation far too often in my life. The need to be right, to be loved, to be needed have kept me from the kingdom of God and held me in the confines of selfish need. Validation placates; answers bring peace. They may look the same on the outside, but they lead me in opposing directions. Seeking answers helps me break free and find His desires. They are so much better than my wants:)

Self is strong and pulls me off track, but God is stronger and pulls me back when I cry out to Him. I found myself wheezing and unable to sleep at three this morning. God is faithful and will use my tossing and turning as a teachable moment if I let Him.

Tossing is a sign that my mind is too busy to return to sleep, and that is a sure sign that I’m looking for validation. Satan is in charge of validating, and he knows a busy mind is connected to a busy body:) He gets me into placating mode and brings out his rationalizing gear. Between the two of us, God cannot get His Word in edgewise. God doesn’t push. He waits.

Conversations with Satan soothe and pacify. They contain mostly I this and I that. Capital I’s make wonderful fenceposts, and soon a white picket fence surrounds me, and I’m right in the middle. I like to be right, and that’s what validation is all about. Being right makes me feel safe and sound and satisfied, but God knows it doesn’t provide answers or make the changes He desires in my heart.

God’s answers tear down fences forged with I I I I I! He silences the me me me me song! He bids me to sing a new song and live a new way. He asks me to love as He loves. If I listen, I learn that forgiveness replaces my need to be right with a desire to be light. The world has more than its share of those who are right but is in need of those who will be His light.

The choice is mine, and that causes me to toss and turn at times. Validation is tempting because answers are not always what I expect or want to hear. Answers lead to more questions, and that is what life-long learning and walking in God’s kingdom is all about. Those who have all the answers stop learning, and that is worse than death. I pray that I will leave validation to parking tickets. I’m not ready to park or pack up and pray I never am. I am ready to move forward, seek answers, and trust God to continue teaching His lessons in love:)

Tedious Trudge or Joyful Journey?

What’s the first thing you seek when you awake? If you’re like most, it’s a cup of coffee or something to eat. I like to linger in bed and talk to God before I start the day. My day is much better when I start it with Him. If I am worrying or whining, our time together isn’t time together at all. Worry makes it all about me, and that ruins the moment. The day goes from bad to worse. If I seek Him first thing in the morning and thank Him last thing in the evening, I find myself walking in His kingdom throughout the day.

Yesterday was a perfect example of being in His presence all day. I didn’t worry once, and God showed me how beautifully that affects my journey. Anytime I end up doing the children’s story, I know there is a lesson God is trying, without success, to teach me. I have the story today, and it’s about worry:) I’ve read and prayed over the scriptures for two weeks, and Pastor John shared the message God gave him about the powerful passage on seeking. I finally get it, and it is a transforming lesson indeed!

I hadn’t thought of the connection between worrying and seeking until John shared the message with me. Worry and trust are closely connected. If I worry, I don’t trust. If I trust, I don’t worry. It’s a simple message, but one with which I’ve struggled my entire life. Christ knows that worry causes me to miss God’s kingdom, and that makes life a tedious trudge instead of a joyful journey. God lets me decide which path to take, but He prefers I let go of worry and embrace the joy God’s kingdom has for me. Holding on to worry keeps me from seeking God’s kingdom; that makes me let go of worry as if it were a hot coal and seek God in a whole new way:)

Last night, I was getting my sparrow and lily ready for the story this morning, ¬†and I was struck by the notion that worrying forces me to live life in a backward way. If I focus upon food, shelter, clothes, taking, making, getting, and doing, I don’t have time to seek God. Can you imagine what God’s world would look like if we all sought Him first? It would be His world and not ours. It would be His life and not mine. It would truly be “His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven:)” That was part of the powerful lesson this week.

So why do I worry? I worry because I don’t trust God. It’s as simple as that, and God will not let me add any ‘if’s, and’s or but’s to that lesson. I have been known to take a perfectly wonderful lesson God teaches and add a little something to it, and that’s worse than worrying. That’s playing God, and it gets me into more trouble than not trusting Him. I’m humbled when I think of His patience with me and very thankful He sees me as a child learning to walk in His kingdom. Otherwise, I’d be in big trouble.

There is nothing worse than worry. It causes the past and future to invade my present. It makes me old, wrinkles my face, sours my stomach, disrupts my sleep, ruins my health, and keeps me from God’s presence. Wow, do I need any more convincing? I finally got God’s message on Thanksgiving day, and that was perfect timing on His part. Seeing Ali after seven years was icing on the cake yesterday. I told her she was my sticker this week, and what a wonderful blessing it was to hug her tightly and reconnect beautifully.

Worry causes me to look at the clock, think about the cost, wonder if I’m able, etc… Thanksgiving 2012 will go down as the week God put worry in its proper place-behind me! I pray I will remember the lessons from Matthew 6:25-33 as long as I live. I know I will as I seek Him in prayer, look to His Word, and see His world as He desires. God certainly did His part in making the lesson this week memorable, and I know if I will put Him in His proper place-in front of me, the journey will be a joy-filled walk in His kingdom that will help me draw nearer to Him and those He places in my path:)

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