No Rivals.

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Recently, I read the book Without Rival by Lisa Bevere.  Without Rival highlights the destructive nature of comparison and points to Father God, who loves us all uniquely and individually.  I read this book because there have been seasons in my life that I have struggled with the tendency to compare myself to others and measure myself up against those around me.

As I read the last page of the book, however, there was another message stirring in my heart.  Deep within me, I heard the Father say that He wants to be without rival in my life.  Recently, the Lord has caused me to evaluate what my priorities have been and where my treasure truly lies.  The Lord has pointed out to me various areas of my life where other things have vied for my attention and sought to take His place.  There have been times where I have counted my blessings and certain fixtures in my life as my treasure.  I can tell because my sense of happiness, joy and fulfillment became linked to the presence and security of those things in my life.  My emotions were too easily altered by changing circumstances, rather than firmly rooted in the unchanging unmovable Father.

God has taught me so much about me in this season.  He has taught me that I have deep longings and needs that only He can fill.  I was designed and created to love and be loved.  To know Him and to be known by Him.  These needs and longings, He planted in me intentionally, to constantly point me towards Him.  He enjoys and delights in intimacy and relationship with me.  He loves to be my constant, my everything.

Again, I am reminded of the story of Jesus and the Samaritan women at the well.  Jesus was well aware of the depth of the well in this woman's soul that cried out for love.  He was well aware of all the places she had been to water her need.  She had five previous husbands and the man she was with, was not her husband.  Six men yet she was still searching.  Jesus lets her know that the search could end with Him.  He offered her living water.  He offered Her water that would totally fulfill and satisfy, every need and every longing once and for all.  He knew her personally.  He could speak her language and understood every complex facet of her being.  He invites her into the adventure of choosing Him above all else.  Love personified looks this woman in the eyes and invites her to lay down her search to embrace Him.  Here standing in front of her was the greatest treasure she would ever know.

Making anything or anyone else our heart's treasure results in misplaced focus.  Misplaced focus creates a situation where we are overwhelmed by the waves, instead of looking at the God who calms the storm.  In a sermon titled Fix your Focus, Steven Furtick draws attention to the fact that when are eyes wander from our first love, Jesus, we have no center of gravity for everything else in our lives to revolve around.  There is a reason we are instructed to "seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness."  When we put our focus on Him, He holds all else together.  He never intended for us to manage it all on our own.  He is capable of bringing you joy in ways you've never imagined possible!

Today, where is your treasure?  Have you wandered away from your first love?  Choose to put your eyes on Him, moment by moment.  Allow Him to be the King of your heart.  Drink deep from the well.  Let your soul find rest in Him.

 

Theresa Flood