I'm getting to it kind of late this year, but that is the kind of year I've had. The deadline is fast approaching to get our controlled hunt applications in here in Oregon. So the other night I sat down with the synopsis and began looking over the hunt options. When I started looking through all the possible adventures to be had it was like a switch was flipped in my soul.
Suddenly there was this deep and heavy longing for adventure that I havn't felt in years. I dug out my laptop and my cell phone and I was internet searching the Steens on one device and google earth scouting on the other...the whole time this thick and heavy desire for adventure is just heating up to a rolling boil in my heart. In that moment I was caught off guard by the sudden longing and I found myself agreeing with the lies. "You deserve this. You need this. This will fill you up again and make you whole. Your happiness depends on this." It felt true, because some of it is. I have been working hard. It has been a tough year, and I do feel like I need to get outdoors and spend some time there adventuring. But a casual adventure is not going to fill me up, make me whole, or replace my emptiness with happiness.
And so I caught myself. And then I prayed, "Jesus, what is this all about? Where is this deep longing coming from?" And the Holy Spirit confirmed to me what I already knew in my heart. I had let my tank run empty. A dangerous place to be because an empty tank seeks to be filled any way it can. And the couterfit fuel this time was adventure. Which by the way is a very sly and cunning scheme!
I am a former outdoorsaholic. Years ago, fishing and hunting and adventuring is all I could do and think about. I found validation out there and my tank was running on the adrenaline of adventure. It was part of my false self that led me away from my true strength and real contentment, and replaced it with an imposter that did not satisfy. Like empty calories. It tasted good but didn't fill me up. Then I felt like crap, so I kept eating more and more of it!
Do you see the cunningness of satan in this? He is taking something very good...adventuring outdoors in Gods creation...something we created a ministry around for heavens sake, and trying to twist it into a promise for life.
Holy Spirit, yes you are right. I confess my emptiness and my need to filled by you and by you alone! I reject all false fillers that come and promise life and wholeness and happiness. I need you. Please lead me into what I need today to be filled by you.
And then the wise counsel comes to me out of Ephesians 3.
For this reason I kneel before the father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (vs 14-19).
That is what I need right there. To be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Nothing else will satisfy. And so I find myself praying through Pauls prayer for the Ephesians.
-That God would strengthen me with the power through his Spirit in my inmost being...
-That Jesus would really fill and dwell in my heart...
-That I become more rooted and grounded in His love...
-That I would have the power to really comprehend the height, depth, length, width of His love...
-That I don't just know about it but experience it to the point that it surpasses knowledge...
-That my tank, my life, might be filled to all the fullness of God.
Thank God! There is a path to fullness. I lose my way on that path more often than I care to admit! But I'm thankful that the Holy Spirit is there to guide me back time and time again. -Scott