substitutes


there was heaviness in my heart as i waited on the Lord. i missed Him badly. this week has been particularly busy. i cancelled an appointment to be able to have quality time with Him this morning. i wonder what He has to say – there must be a lot… yesterday morning, first thing in my head as i woke up were words from Jesus, “riza, you have to listen.” then, i realized, i need more time to quiet down and wait on Him.

“what is it Lord?” i kept on asking Him this morning… my heart just didn’t feel right. i needed Him badly but something was in the way…

stop feeding your soul.

whoa. i didn’t expect that God would make such a big deal out of it. see, when you’re waiting for the fulfillment of a promise, it’s tempting to cater to substitutes that present themselves during your time of waiting (and wrestling for your promise). fulfillment that is supposed to come from that promise can be feigned in forms that seem harmless and acceptable. they feed that desire to be there – right where God has promised you to be. but they can also shift the eyes of your heart from the ONE THING to OTHER THINGS.

if you’re on your way to eat a sumptuous dinner, do you think it would help your appetite if you first eat junk food before dinner time? i remember a classic picture of a parent withholding from his child snack food in order to preserve his appetite for meal time. well, i’ve been JUNKING of some food that is not meant for me to feast on. and the Lord rebuked me.

“riza, stop feeding your soul. do not spoil your appetite for the REAL thing. do you think teasing you flesh will make things better and more fulfilling during your wait? IT is shifting your eyes from the promise. the next thing you know, you have lost heart because the lesser things have taken away your wholeheartedness. it is still compromise riz. when you feast on gratification that you know do not have eternal value. are you telling me, ‘in the mean time God, let me satisfy my flesh with a fleshly affair while waiting for the promise of the Spirit?’ do you understand how that attitude is defiling your heart?”

i’m finding it difficult to believe. God knows. and i have wanted (have been already…) to run away from the fact that i have to face the battle that comes before the promise. it seems too darn difficult just to carry the word in my heart. it’s more difficult to persevere in consistent faith that dies to doubt every day. so i succumbed to substitutes that made me feel a bit better but made my heart more distant from the promise. in short, i pretended to be obedient when my heart was really running away.

but God is calling me back.
and the only way to stop feeding the wrong parts of your being its by dying more.

tears on the altar.

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