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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
Welcome back to a new series inspired by a video of Matthew Kelly titled How does God speak to us?
The lay of the land in this series:
- review the video below today's text (scroll down)
- all comments made by Matthew Kelly are in quotations
- [how I see it] denotes personal take-away
- followed by an invitation to journal: What do you see about yourself/God/others that you didn't see before?
Recap of series to date:
Series 1: Video by Matthew Kelly: How does God speak to us?
Series 2:How God Speaks to Us Through Our Legitimate Needs
Series 3: How the Enemy Speaks to Us Through Our Illegitimate Wants
Picking up where we left off, Matthew Kelly goes on to say:
"Our needs call out to us. Most of us don't have the foggiest idea what our legitimate needs are. Our culture, our world, and our lives are almost completely focused on our illegitimate wants."
"We think that if we can find more of the things we want we will find happiness and peace . . . and so we chase. All the time ignoring our legitimate needs, which are in fact, the key to the balance and the happiness that we desire and that God desires for us."
"You never can get enough of what you don't really need."
[How I see it] If God speaks to me through my legitimate needs who's doing the talking through my illegitimate wants?
Before we examine "illegitimate wants," let's define illegitimate.
1. not authorized by the law; not in accordance with accepted standards or rules. (www.merriam-webster.com)
"Not in accordance with accepted standard" peaks my interest. If God speaks to you and me through four legitimate needs: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual, then it stands to reason that these needs must be met in accordance with God's standards. Int other words, they must be beneficial. (God is for me--not against me.)
The flip side is that I have a very real enemy against me who's up all hours of the night printing illegitimate wants in the basement. For every legitimate need there is a counterfeit want. It looks legit until I hold it up to the light and quickly discover it adds no value to me physically, emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually.
What makes my illegitimate wants so desirable is that they either a) offer fleeting feelings of relief with no real effort on my part or b) distract me from the reality that procrastination is a form of avoidance when I lack the confidence to move forward. (A pacifier in the mouth of fear.)
My legitimate needs VS my illegitimate wants
physical needs for sustained energy, optimal heath, and strength
|sugar, caffeine, carbs (energy surge with a guaranteed crash)|
|emotional needs for connection through authentic friendships, acts of service, and exercise for serotonin release in the brain||
reach out to "filler-friends" to avoid real connections, rearranging the furniture gives me a fleeting sense of well-being, having a few drinks to take the edge off of loneliness with no desire to be drunk.
intellectual needs for personal growth and development. Read a book, ask for help, seek professional coaching, join a book club, take classes
Service to others as a means to avoid addressing areas where I need further healing.
Procrastination fuels feelings of guilt and shame.
|spiritual need for time alone with God. Set aside time to study, and also simply sit in stillness and in quiet.||Over-serving in church/outreach to avoid the quiet time required to see underneath intentional isolation or busyness.|
Matthew Kelly poses the question: "How do we discover what our legitimate needs are? Only by stepping into the classroom of silence and becoming reconnected with ourselves and reconnected with our God."
When I spend time alone with God, He reveals my legitimate needs and how they are best met in ways that edify. He also illuminates my illegitimate wants and offers me a way to avoid the chasing of what I do not need. "The classroom of silence" is not an easy gig at first. Connecting with God and self is an exercise in vulnerability bearing the fruit of intimacy, my deepest need.
The list I shared is my list. What would your list include? What do you see about God, yourself, and/or others that you didn't see before today? Before we wrap, I'll leave you with a great quote by Elizabeth Gilbert:
"When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings."
Published on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 3:22 PM CDT