To a perfectionist, the word “satisfactory” is downright disgusting. So the root of that word, “satisfy,” is not much of a promise. To those of us who have the need to make it sparkle, we don’t want to satisfy, we want to drench — to stuff — our audience so that their love and entertainment tanks are full.
For those of us who do it well, it’s one of our biggest downfalls.
The reason it’s one of our biggest downfalls is that to be satisfied IS to be full … our desires, expectations, needs, or demands are met. Anything more is just a distraction from our real needs.
God’s promise to me yesterday was that He was going to redefine the word satisfy for me. Take away the fears that I had that satisfy meant sacrifice. That it really meant to go without. To be less than content. It exposed an agreement that I had made — a very important lie — that I felt that God was mean and that He would treat me like some strict sensei, removing food or drink or sleep to prove to me that I can survive without them. It’s a lie. It’s not God’s character. And Isiah 55 reminded me of that this morning.
1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples. 5 Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.”
When God talks about allowing Him to satisfy, he’s talking less about sacrifice and more about submission. He’s offering to take care of the details. The allow us to live free. It’s an invitation to the glory of the Lord. It’s an invitation to develop our relationship with the Lord more so that all the other things we do are not controlling us, but we control them. He’s done it for me in other areas of life, and now I’m allowing him to do it in some really significant areas. my part is to come. To turn from where I’m looking and to seek Him, while He’s offering the invitation. That’s where I’m at this morning — not convicted, not convinced, but knowing that this is just plain common sense that I’ve been ignoring.
P.S. I gave up being a perfectionist a long time ago. And I’m never going back.