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Next Steps

Next Steps

Next Steps

Jesus is Better

HHBC_Jesus_Is_Better_Mark_Wood

 

I co-lead a Step Study through Celebrate Recovery, where people are dealing with life’s hurts, hang-ups, and habits that have led them to painful dead-ends. I went through my first Step Study last year because I wanted to try to understand the powerful testimonies I kept hearing through so many of our church members. My first time through the study, I soon discovered that God wanted to show me some things that I needed to deal with: roots of bitterness and a destructive pattern of co-dependent behavior, to name a few. God used that class to show me His powerful work through this ministry and to continue His work of sanctification in my life. 

Recently I was going through my second Step Study with a new group of men, and God emphasized a truth that I am sure most Christians can attest to: God’s plan is better for my life than anything else in this world. In Psalm 63, when King David was in the wilderness, perhaps fleeing the revolt of Absalom, David cried out to God:

1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; 

my soul thirsts for you; 

my flesh faints for you, 

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 

2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, 

beholding your power and glory. 

3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, 

my lips will praise you. 

4 So I will bless you as long as I live; 

in your name I will lift up my hands. 

In the midst of intense suffering, separation from his daily routine, and the threat of death, David proclaimed the heart-cry of the person whose faith is in God. “Your steadfast love is better than life…” What this means is that God’s love, God’s plan for our life, is better than our plans. God’s plan for our anger and bitterness is better than our plans. God’s plan for our hurt is better than our bad habits. 

God’s plan results in a life that rests in deepening fellowship, soul satisfaction, spiritual insight, joy in the midst of hardship, and relief from the burden of our hurts, hang-ups, and habits. This does not mean that God will, in this life-time, relieve all pain, make me wealthy, or heal all diseases. Acknowledging that God is our God, seeking Him, and thirsting for Him in the midst of our troubles is better than the dry and weary land around us, which does not satisfy our thirst. 

Are there any plans that you have today, that are not God’s plans? Psalm 63 reminds us that His steadfast love is better than life. In order to experience His plan, we have to acknowledge Him and lift up our hands to Him in worship, submitting our hearts and plans to Him. 

Prayer

God, my Father, thank you for knowing me for all eternity. Thank you for your eternal love that is so clearly pictured in Jesus, my savior. I am looking to you alone, because your love is better than any of the false gods around me; even better than life itself. I praise you, and I will bless you as long as I live. 

In Jesus name I pray, Amen.