Healthy Obsession

Kelsey Alexander
12/11/16

As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go meet with God? Psalm 42:1-2

We all have an innate desire to be loved, to be known, adored, and cherished. There is something that burns deep within our most inner being, stirring up this feeling. Welling up inside of us is this curiosity if we are even deserving of such a thing to quench our thirst. We begin to fill our need with friends, work, boys, things, food, objects and ideas that are fleeting and not eternally satisfying. We become so obsessed with these ideas that we often lose sight of what should be our heart’s obsession: Jesus. He is the sole entity we have permission to be obsessed with.

Somehow, most of us have bought into the lie that if we have all of our ducks in a row we will be truly content. You think we’d learn every time that the very things that give us instant gratification tend to trick us. These things take priority filling us with a false sense of hope and trust and within moments the very thing that fulfilled our need, so quickly fails us. It is because of its temporary, imperfect nature we experience failure and heartbreak.

After graduating college, I found myself putting my worth and value in things above Jesus. I sought out attention that was for my gain and not always for the Lord. In my pursuit for the ideal life, I became more and more anxious about my future. Where am I going to work? Who is my community? Where will I meet my future husband? How can I learn to love him well? Should I move? Should I stay in California? Am I a failure? Am I good enough? And as my mind continued to race with question after the next, I realized I was not fully giving control to the Lord. My anxious heart became heavy and internally out of control.

One afternoon, while I was on a walk with a pastor and friend I was reminded by her of the invitation we have to give control to the Lord. She later encouraged me to consider rededicating my commitment to Jesus through baptism. At first I was resistant, because being baptized already as a child, I did not see the need to do it once more, but instead, Christ melted my heart and ignited my love for him into a wildfire. It was an obsession I could not resist. There was a desire to surrender my heart to him through adult baptism. I spent the afternoon after our walk in prayer, reading through Romans 6 and I was reminded of Christ’s love for his children. He died for our sins so that we may taste a sweet eternity with him. When we surrender our pride, control, and whole being to him he continues to smother us in his love, grace, and truth. We are freed from bondage and invited to live in freedom, with full abandon.

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin —because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” Romans 6:7

There was nothing magic in the water when I was baptized. Nothing special about the date and time, or out of the ordinary about the guy that dunked me under the water, but instead, there was something extraordinary in that moment that allowed me to feel the freedom to give my anxiety, control, and love to Jesus. My life hasn't become easier after that monumental moment, but it has become more gratifying and life giving. More and more God is turning my heart from being obsessed on the material things and more infatuated with him and his precious children. Each day Jesus is refining my heart to have eyes set on his kingdom.

Precious one, lift your gaze upward and recall who is holding your hand so tightly: Your Shepherd, Creator, and Savior. The One who breathed life into your bones and uniquely designed you. In Jesus we can retreat. He is the only one who our lasting peace can come from. In the midst of our distress, or unspeakable joy, He takes time to lead us beside the quiet, still waters, allowing us to refresh our souls.

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

Even in times where we do not see God answering our prayers, Christ recognizes our desires. He has a mad love for each of us. He knows what tugs on our heartstrings. The beauty behind him knowing us better than we even know ourselves is that if we align our hearts with his he will guide our path to meet our desire. He is the only one that will not fail us or abandon his children. I am not as concerned now about who I will end up with, where I will be, or what I will be doing because I know that if I keep my mind set on the Lord, he will continue to guide my steps, drawing me closer to him and with that I should not need to worry.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Dear heart, be encouraged by this: Jesus has brought you this far in life and he certainly would not abandon you now, because his love is relentless, his plan for you is glorious, and his promises reign true.

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