When Jesus isn’t Enough
Jesus is incompatible with desires rooted in the flesh. Said another way, Jesus based, rooted desires in me are fulfilling. Me based desires are weeds.
I just finished stationary biking and while I was cycling. I was listening to Scripture. To be fair even now, I am listening as I write.
Colossians specifically is where I got hit with a ton of bricks.
My head is not clear. It’s gathered a bunch of cobwebs. It’s kinda frustrating because it’s so easy these days for my cobwebs to settle in.
I don’t like my routine. So that doesn’t help. I spend a vast majority of my day doing work that my mind has deserted.
It’s not the work. Or the people. Or the bosses. It’s me. Something within me has changed.
I think it’s the famous “what do you want?” Answer that has changed. I once loved mining answers to technical problems like a bitcoin cryptographic algorithm solver.
I would get so giddy when I find the solution and the first time I see the problem intersect with my solution. That feeling of achievement and aweee.
I would pat myself on the back and remind myself that I didn’t study software engineering and look! I keep getting things done.
Now there are no highs just lows. I spend extended periods of time in the low where I barter myself with reminders of being uneducated in software engineering, of being worthless and useless, of being a fraud, of not being good enough. Then when I find the answer, there is no reward — no high.
I think this pattern might be extreme and detrimental to the psych. I think.
What does this have to do with Jesus?
I want out.
I want more.
I want to feel irreplaceable, incredible, and like a downright world changer!
These feelings have nothing to do with what Jesus is doing around me or what God has set in motion.
They are mostly rooted in my perceived need to be adored. Sit on a chair and wave my hands to a beautiful symphony of humans bowing in unison to my hand motion. And then an orchestra translating my body language into music that is exactly what my ego needs, wants, and is dressed to dance to.
In short, obsession with what I want has made me feel worthless, insignificant, and valueless. It’s because I want what I want and I measure my life and purpose against being on track to get it.
Jesus’ answer is freedom.
Oh, don’t you just hate that right? Because of course how the heck does freedom get me to not have to work a 9–5, how does freedom get me people’s adoration and affection, how does freedom get universal acknowledgment from just the people that I need respect from?
Jesus’ answer is freedom from desires that have become idols. Idols that nag incessantly to remind me not to forget they need to be attended to if I want to get off the path that will lead to one or more of emotional combustion, spiritual explosion, or physical exhaustion.
The essence of my faith is the revelation that the essence of life is Jesus.
“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. “
— Colossians 1:17 ESV
But Jesus was burnt at the cross. Beaten and spat on by his own kin. Jesus died like a Jew in Holocaust except it wasn’t in the hands of Hitler, but his own neighbors and tribe and kinsmen.
I don’t think that is what Jesus wanted for His life. Oh wait it was. He had joy in living because He released himself of desires rooted in the flesh.
“Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Thine be done.” — Luke 22:42
That sounds like spiritual jibberish. The point is not a self-help journey towards releasing everything you want!
Nope, nope. Nope!
Step one: I cannot have lasting joy when my days are measured by desires rooted in what I wanna feel now and feel in the future.
Step two: overhaul the measurements and yardstick for fulfillment and strip out anything that points back to me.
Step three: embrace loose hold on what I have and a strong grasp on pursuing how best to serve people around me.
Step four: find as many answers for how to serve people as a by-product of simply just loving Jesus.
Step five: let loving Jesus be the highest meaning of the day.
Steps six: believe in the overflow as the purest expression of love. And in so doing pursue the source of love whose waterfall never runs dry.
Lastly: don’t believe you are enough, valuable, worth something because you read it to yourself 5 times a day. Because the day you stop, you will be back here. Believe it because God says so. Which leads back to step six, let Him flow out of you — the living water. He has amazing things to say about you. That is joy that won’t change.
Jesus is the answer. But practically, it’s the faith — emanating out of a commitment to love Him — that does it.
That radical life change is a by-product of a love that washes over us, rooted in a source that is stable, constant, and true.
I don’t feel good but I know, it’s because I expect to feel _________. It’s not the sorrow or circumstance that is the issue, it’s my expectation to be at a different, better place. I have the opportunity to be in a better mental state when I embrace where I am regardless of who is there or who isn’t.
Desires come with expectations, and expectations motivate actions. The problem is not desires or expectaions; the opportunity is to desire Him whose expectations have no side effects.