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Lets face it, we need it all!
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Like many people, at the end of every year I spend some time reflecting on the events of the past year and from there consider what I need to focus on for the upcoming year. To help me with this, I usually pick a scripture or spiritual statement that sums up what I desire for myself then I write it on sticky notes, journals, notepads, and scrap paper, so that my spiritual goal will be in front of me the whole year through.

At the end of 2007, I concluded my annual reflection time with great excitement. Not only was I certain about my spiritual focus for the upcoming year, I assumed I would never need to pick a new focus again.. I felt as if I had been enlightened to a crucial spiritual goal, the ultimate focus for a Christian which I came across in a little devotional book. After reading the brief and powerful statement, I just knew that I would never desire anything else a believer but what the statement said.

“My goal is God himself, not joy, nor peace, nor even blessing, but himself, my God. Tis His to lead me there, not mine but his.”

Is that fantastic or what? To only desire God. Not exuberant joy, super-natural peace, godly goodness, or bountiful blessings, just God in all his glory, simply because he is God. Better still, to leave it up to him to draw us to that place of spiritual intimacy instead of always struggling to get there. Wow!

As I said, when I first read the statement, I was elated.. My spiritual light bulb clicked on and I felt as if I had uncovered a secret sacred jewel that no-one else had yet discovered. Now that a year has come and gone since uncovering this precious mystery, I can honestly tell you, “Boy was I wrong!”

2008 was filled with joy as well as stress

While 2008 was filled with laughter, joy, friendship and growth at times for me personally, it was also filled with uncomfortable change, stress, anger, challenges, disappointment and loss. Now that the year has come to an end, I’ve had to reevaluate that statement and it’s meaning for me. When I originally chose it as my spiritual focus for 2008 I wrote it in big bold letters on a white board in our den. I wanted to see it, read it and believe it every day--but can I tell you a secret? Now when I walk by my white board and glance at the statement, I actually want to growl. Really! Every time I read the once profound secret jewel of a statement, I want to tighten my jaw, bare my teeth and make some sort of a definite “Grrrr!” noise. When I think about how noble the statement sounds and how hard it’s been to live up to, I just can’t help but react in a growly-sort-of-way.

What was I thinking? Yes, my goal is God and without question he is the one who leads us into a deeper relationship with him but the whole no need for joy, peace or blessings, is simply ridiculous. Better yet, as the teenagers say its “Ridonculous.” That’s the term teen’s use when something is even more ridiculous than ridiculous.

Thinking I only needed God and not his joy, his peace or his blessings is about as “ridonculous” as it gets.

I need every possible blessing

My 2008 focus sounded really good (for a minute) but the truth is, I want more of God and I also want, no need every possible blessing, happiness, inner peace, joy, provision, spiritual goodness that he has waiting for me.

I tried the well-meaning “I only want You and nothing else” in 08 but didn’t do very well. Mainly because, as I realize now, that limited God by thinking I didn’t really need all the extra goodies he has for me. That would be like a little child saying to his mom and dad, I only need to hang out with you but I don’t need your hugs, kisses, encouragement, support or special ways that you show me love because that’s not necessary. Sounds “ridonculous” wouldn’t you say? A loving mom and dad will always have so much more to give their child then just being their parent.

So why share this with you? Because perhaps some of you might also mistakenly think that you only need God but his extra goodies of love. Let’s face it, we need it all!

Take a look at just a few of the scriptures that let us know how much God has for us if we believe.

Every good and perfect gift is from above -James 1:18
The Lord gives strength to his people; (and) blesses his people with peace - Psalm 29:11
I will bless her (and him) with abundant provisions - Psalm 132:15
My people will be satisfied with my bounty - Jeremiah 31:14
He provides plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy - Acts 14:17
God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. - 1 Timothy 6:17
How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him - Mathew 7:11
This year, 2009, I’m inviting you to join me in my NEW spiritual focus: My goal is God himself along with EVERY good and perfect thing He has waiting for me.