Not Letting Stuff Rule


Do you try to replace God with material things?

I went through a challenging time in my life recently and had great temptation to turn to "stuff" (shopping, food, mochas, novels, etc.) to make myself feel good for the moment rather than turning to God. Thankfully, at just the right time, I ran across a great podcast by Lies Young Women Believe author Nancy Leigh DeMoss. She gave a great piece of advice that I found extremely helpful during my time of temptation.

She told a story about how she was in a down mood and didn't feel like working or doing much of anything. Instead of listening to her feelings and allowing herself to wallow in her sorrow, she went outside for a walk and sang praises to the Lord, recited Scripture, and prayed. She continued for an entire hour until she no longer felt down. Wow! I thought that was a great example of taking control of your feelings and not allowing yourself to wallow in your sadness and sorrow.

Let's all do what Nancy did and get intentional about our feelings. God's Word is powerful and can overcome the sorrow and sadness you might be feeling. So next time you feel down or sad, don't run to "stuff" to try and make you feel better; run straight to God's Word and ask the Lord for strength.

Resolution: I won't use stuff to make me feel good this year.

To see how this works, let's take a look at Psalm 100. Notice how the focus is on the Lord and not us:

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

My challenge for you is to make an intentional effort to praise God every single day. You can start by reading Psalm 100 every morning for the next week. It will help you focus your eyes on God instead of yourself. Focusing your eyes on yourself will only fuel your desire to fill your life with stuff that makes you feel good for the moment. Focusing your eyes on God and worshiping Him will fill that empty feeling inside of you and will give you short- and long-term happiness. It will bring God glory, and it will give you the long-term strength you need to endure the trial or hard situation.

Let's end with a few thought-provoking questions:

  • Have any of you ever been tempted to go out and shop, eat, watch TV, etc., to make yourself feel better when you were down?
  • When you went through a tough situation, how did you handle it?
  • What do you think God wants you to do when you feel like filling your life with stuff instead of Him?

We are all in this together. Let's use God's Word to fight the feelings of despair and the desire to indulge in "stuff" rather than God's Word. With God's strength, we can have victory in this area.

This post was written by Tim Sweetman.

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