Fully Satisfying The Cry Of My Heart

Six short weeks ago I began a journey in satisfying the desperate cry within my heart that I've spent day after day trying to fill. My heart being prepared as I began to walk into this new season of life, leaning in close to more of Jesus alongside of Proverbs 31 Ministries. 

Before I get too ahead of myself in excitement to share my story, I want to set the scene. Finding I Am is a six-week bible study booklet by my personal favorite New York Times bestselling author, Lysa TerKeurst. Proverbs 31 Ministries as mentioned above, has some amazing resources to staying connected to God's Word and free participation of online bible studies. I've continued to return to these wonderful tools and love the active participants in the community. The announcement of this study flooded my inbox early January. Not even thinking twice about it, there I was, jumping on the bandwagon of thrilled believers. My fingers slid across the keyboard, clicking away as my heart beat with joy. Signed up and resources acquired, I was ready to dive into dedicating these next number of weeks to receiving that lifeline satisfaction my soul desired. Now we have covered the basics, let's move into the awesome movement of God through this study.

The longer I ponder about the thought, the more I become aware of God's preparation. The entire idea of Jesus reaching the deepest parts of my soul was something I truly couldn't go another day without. It took some time to accept, but let's face it, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being broken. Without realizing it, I was broken, distracted, and longing for more. The raw parts of myself, my aspirations, and my relationship with God had to be exposed in order to move forward in what soon became my normal day to day living. Was I truly satisfied? Was I living life fully of all Jesus has done for me? A simple no would begin to shape the beginning of this expedition. 

Five sessions, six videos, and one hundred and fifty-nine pages later, I began to scratch the surface in discovering more about the very person who was the key to satisfaction I was looking for. No longer was I turning to the world, the un-answered prayers, the people around me or even myself. I looked upon the One who breathed life into seven personal I AM statements in the Gospel of John. Let's take a closer look at these, shall we? 

Did you catch the idea that almost every declaration provides us with a visual illustration of who Jesus is? How astonishing is was to see, feel, read, and understand God's Words coming alive right before my eyes. The most important idea to grasp is that He is who He says He is. He wants to be all that we need, but also all that we want too. Did I desire God like I desired my dreams, goals, and even my favorite snacks? Was that sweet sorrow deep in my heart holding me back? These are the questions that captivated my thoughts. Each session was unique and special, with God's perfect timing. I've decided to park for a little while in each I Am statement one at a time, sharing my thoughts, emotions, and reflections with you along the way. Are you ready for the ride? Here we go.  

"True desperation for God will lead to revelation" Lysa records this truth on page sixteen of Finding I Am. This is a valuable sentence I will live alongside and in hopes to never forget. It brought clarity to dig deeper into the character of God. If I'm not able to fully trust Him and what He is doing in my life, it becomes impossible for me to be satisfied by Him. When we strip away all of life distractions and daily to-do lists, what I am left with? The temporary sources that might bring me joy now will never measure up to the hope I have in the Lord. 

Facing facts can be uncomfortable but, would you believe me if I told you that Jesus puts our 'wants' to rest? A great examploe of this is bread. Bread was a necessity in the Israelites diet to depend on for daily nourishment. Comparing this to a faith-based walk, it is a perfect reminder of how my time should be spent; continuing to return to Jesus to sustain me. He is the simple answer to satisfaction - not a tidy life. Believing in those words is the real work. I honestly believe people would no longer fill their spiritual hunger if all of their physical needs were continually met. This would leave no room for God to reach into our lives nevermore. What a radical shift in my thinking when I became exposed to this revelation. 

Desperate measures call for deep disclosures, right? Bread will fulfill a temporary hunger we have, but we will find ourselves returning in a short time to suffice the emptiness of our rumbling stomachs once again.This is where the I Am statement's meaning shines. He is the Bread of life who never ends. John 6:35 demonstrates this with this comment; "Whoever comes to me will never go hungry".  Hashtag, Jesus carbs. Yes, please.

My favorite sentence from session two is found tucked into the paragraphs of page forty-nine. Lysa writes, "Jesus in every way fulfills and surpasses every image and symbol of light that came before Him". 

Remember when we discussed how God through His Word has given us pictures to visualize when preparing our hearts to understand the I Am statements. We were never meant to live our lives in darkness. Can you begin to fathom the thought of living in a world that was continuously pitch-black? A world without Jesus? This is the step we choose when welcoming sin into the equation. 

The Good News is that Christ came to bring the light to deliver each of us from the dark places. He stands in the midst and breaks us free from the bondage of our transgressions. He gives us all the tools to fight back because we are more than conquerors.  This shines hope to the world and fixes our trust in God rather than what we can see now. One of my absolute favorite scriptures is out of Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart; do not depend on your own understanding." God knew we would need a fresh reminder of this in life. When you see illumination in your daily life, you can grab a hold of the great hope that this is the light of the world, this is Jesus. 

Have you ever taken a look at the special promise of James 4:8? It goes a little something like this, "Come near to God and He will come near to you". 

This is an important aspect in keeping our relationship with Him on point. God delights in our need for Him, our closeness to Him, and the truth that we can't do life alone. He is there to walk along side of us and calls us to listen to the voice of our Good Shepherd. It can be hard to hear God's voice in the midst of our busy schedules. 

Let me be the first to say I was never still enough to make time to hear, to sit completely motionless without any busy distractions or constant thoughts running through my head. Let me share an idea that might calm your troubles and excite your heart as we press into opening our ears to receive. God's Word is never silent. He speaks to us primarily through His Word. If we do our parts in reading the Bible daily, He will speak! This is where we get to truly experience Him and His presence. God becomes more of a reality when He becomes a necessity. 

Jesus is essential for us to know the Father. For that reason, He is the gate for each of His sheep. And He is also the Shepherd who has proven His great love to us by dying on the cross. The One who desires to guide us through life, grant us access to live in relationship with God, and calls us to His purpose.

I can testify to the idea of longing for that perfect "happily ever after" end to my story, but why don't we take the next moment to bring light to the truth that life isn't as neat as our favorite fairytale movie. 

Remember how I mentioned our greatest desperation brings a brilliant revelation? This one's mine. If my lifestyle was everything my heart had desired, there would be no room for God. Zip, zero, nada. Where would I now put my hope? Trying to place it in myself will continusally fail me. Putting my trust in the people around me will never measure up. Putting it into the world will always dissappoint. 

The neat thing about Jesus stating these two I Am statements, is that each word co-exists together as one. It is Truth that Jesus is the Way to eternal Life because of the Resurrection. This kind of Ressurection power only brings eminence to God alone because He is the Creator of life. Jesus's resurrecting story in the Gospel of John is a message for the entire world. Even in the "what if" moments of our daily living, redemption comes when we make room for God's additions to our stories. It's okay to come to Him with questions and concerns when we don't understand the whys of life. Jesus wants to show us the way and desires to reveal the Truth because only in Truth can we be set free. 
This had to be my favorite week of the study and of course the best way to wrap up! In John 15:1 Jesus says "I am the vine, and my Father is the gardener." 

When you start to begin to dig deeper into understanding this statement, there is grape knowledge that is beautifully portrayed through these five words ;). Did you catch that joke?

Time to unfold this statement. First things first, God has made us for producing fruit to honor Him. There are two types of fruit, good fruit and bad. The fruit God expects from His people is the good fruit of investing in people who don't know Jesus. This is an eternal gift and this is love. Although this is a job we can't do on our own. Jesus comes to the rescue! He steps in and brings completion because He achieves what we cannot do alone. This is why we must remain in Him. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing because apart from a vine, a branch is dead. Believers are the branches of the vine whom must stay connected to produce fruit. 

So what does remaining in Him look like? For me, this is being available and giving God my moments. However much time I have that day and all throughout it. Welcoming Jesus to do life alongside of me every morning. Connection with Him is personal and unique to every individual, but the goal still remains the same. If we abide in Him, we will bear fruit God expects and begin a journey into experiencing life overflowing. All thanks to the True Vine. 

As I enter into life with a new outlook, it never stops impressing me how God meets us exactly where we are. My own testimony is an example of God meeting me right when I needed Him the most. Right when my perspective needed to be grounded in Truth. When I was looking for the answer, but needed to look for Him instead. 

In just six short weeks, I've learned more about myself than I have in sometimes years. I've become aware what it means to feel more assured than ever before, that God has a good plan for me and He is working in the midst even if I cannot see. I've seen the blessing of what bearing fruit will bring joy that comes with it. Looking back from where I began, it was really much more than trying to figure out all the answers I thought I needed. It was about finding I AM. Satisfying those deep cries within my soul with Jesus alone because He is enough. 

For those of you who want to discover a new depth in your Christian walk, I want to leave you with this link. The website in which you will be able to retrieve more information about the Finding I AM study guide if you feel led to do so. This is merly for those who would like to learn more. If this is you, I pray that you would open your heart to recieve all that God has for you. If this is not for you, I hope that these past few moments together left you encouraged, strengthened, and more excited to grow deeper with Jesus. 

Welcome to Tiffany's Korner! I'm so happy you stopped by! There's always something new to read about weekly, so enjoy your stay and feel free to come back and visit! xoxo

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