Today we visited the Swan valley, which is a region near to where we live. We visited lovely wineries, gardens, art galleries, museums, the honey shop and finally the two chocolate factories in the area. We love chocolate; especially when we all get free tastings. It always makes for a happy car ride home.
Today was no exception as five of our six children, plus our little grand daughter blissfully consumed those little drops of yummy goodness. One of our daughter’s however is usually particularly careful about what she eats, and especially stays away from sugar – except when she visits the chocolate factory. She is hilarious when it comes to being surrounded by chocolate, especially free chocolate. Today however she might have had a little too much, and was what we termed “sugar drunk”. She was laughing and chattering to everyone, with not a care in the world. She was quite deliriously “blissed out” on chocolate.
As I watched her I was reminded that this is in a way, how God wants us to be all the time. We so often walk around with the weight of the world on our shoulders; stressing, striving and living broken on the inside. But there is a solution and an antidote to living under all those weights, and worries. Plus its also free and “better than chocolate” or any other “fix” the world around us has on offer.
When we are hungry and open to God’s presence He comes; He comes and pours into our lives blissful joy and peace. In our house and community we call it being “whacked”, and its benefits far out weigh any of the highs of sugar, success, power or fame, and there are no negative side effects.
However Gods presence is addictive, because once you’ve tasted that joy, peace and the blissfulness which encompasses your whole being, you just want more. You just want to stay close to Jesus who has the bottle open ready to pour rivers of joy into your life.
There are however some things that will take you out of that place of receiving from heaven in this way.
Some of those things are:
Disobedience to what God says in His word. This will harden and distance our hearts from God, so we feel unable to receive from Him.
“ Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46)
Un-forgiveness – it shuts down our ability to even get close to God. It’s like a blockage and barrier in the way on our end. (Mark 11:25; John 10:10)
The cares of the world, and all the concerns, worries and desire for other things more than God will cause a resistance and dullness to Gods presence, and the joy we find in Him. (Mark 4:19)
But all of these things are not too hard for God to break through. He simply says “Come near to me; turn away from all that keeps you from knowing me more; come up here and receive all you need. There is joy in my presence, and secrets I want to share with you.”
It’s really up to us what we want to spend our life, energy, time and money on. Do we keep chasing after the “quick fix, sugary highs” that don’t last, and which bring no real long term benefit to our lives; Or do we seek after God who has the real answers to our emptiness, uncertainties, worries, boredom, spiritual dryness, and need for joy and fulfilment?
Today, ask yourself the question, “What am I spending my life consuming and chasing after”. Chocolate, great surroundings, a nice house, car, boat, holidays are not bad, but if they are primarily the things we seek after we are allowing ourselves to be satisfied with cheap substitutes, when God has the “stuff” of heaven to share with us.
Jesus says, “Why spend your money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare”. (Isaiah 55:2)
Choose wisely what and whom you spend your life and day focusing on, because God has something for you today that is far “better than chocolate”. You just have to ask and make room in your heart, and He’ll freely pour it out.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-30)
“Now its time to change your ways! Turn to face God so He will wipe away your sins, and pour out showers of His blessing to refresh you”. (Acts 3:19-22 The message)
Prayer: Jesus thank you that you have something better for me than chocolate, or any other thing the world might have on offer. I want, and make room in my life for the “good stuff” of heaven to be poured out in my life today. In Jesus name Amen.