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Teeming With Passionate Desires For Fullness

“I do not believe that we hear Papa’s voice until we discover an empty, desolate void within us that is teeming with passionate desires for fullness. Until we cut through all the legitimate happiness and pleasure in our lives, until we look beneath every sorrow and heartache that comes from living in this world, and until we enter the deepest space in our hearts that is painfully, horribly empty, we will not discover the beautiful sound of our Father’s voice. At least not as clearly as we want to.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Page 144-145

Questions for Reflection:
• What pleasure or sorrow is distracting your attention currently from feeling the depth of your hunger for God Himself?
• Take some time today to sit with God and offer to Him all that you are, to enter that deepest place of emptiness before Him and to wait to hear His voice.

Jesus Revealed His Highest Dream

“Jesus revealed His highest dream for all His followers when in prayer He defined the true abundant life in these words: ‘that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.’ (John 17:3)

The exact center of Christianity is the opportunity it provides to enjoy God, to be more satisfied with Him than with anyone or anything else.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 174

Questions for Reflection:
• How have you been defining “abundant life”?
• What might change if you instead embrace the truth that enjoying God above all else is abundant life?

Where Are You Looking For Evidence Of God’s Goodness?

“If you look for evidence of my goodness in what you see around you and inside you, you will reach a terribly wrong conclusion. You will conclude that sometimes I am good and sometimes I am not. But if you look for evidence of my goodness in the way things will be one day, if you are willing to believe that I am at work now to prepare for that day, and if you ponder the meaning of my death, then you will realize that all the badness in the world…can no more conquer my goodness than a child can outwrestle a man.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Finding God, Page 189

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways have current or past struggles distorted your view of God’s goodness?
• How does pondering Christ’s death impact the way you experience the challenges you are facing today?
• Take some time to consider the eternal hope that is ours in Christ. What promises anchor your soul as you wait for the day when He has made all things new?

Looking After Ourselves

“Because we live with imperfect people, we assume that total trust would equal suicide.  Devoting priority energy to looking after ourselves seems necessary and, therefore, moral.  Our sinful commitment to looking after ourselves is always a more serious problem than the wounds we suffer at the hands of others.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding Who You Are, Page 10

Questions for Reflection:

• Do you agree that devoting priority energy to looking after yourself is a more serious problem than the wounds you suffer at the hands of others?

• How does following Jesus both collide with your self-protection and provide hope for transformation?

We Are Purposeful But Not Programmed

“We are purposeful in our choices; we are not programmed by past or present influences in any manner that relieves us of responsibility for the directions we choose. We move through life toward chosen goals that we think are reasonable and justified. Therefore, behavior can better be understood by looking at what it achieves than by studying its background.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding Who You Are, Page 10

Questions for Reflection:
• In what areas of your life does bondage to sin feel programmed by your past or present circumstances?
• What self-centered goals might be fueling patterns of sin in your life?
• Share with God any area of repentance and of holy desire that rises in your heart as you ponder the goals you have been pursuing.

In His Mercy, We Find Confidence

“To the degree that pain teaches us that our deepest desire is for God, we will abandon ourselves to Him.  We’ll do whatever it takes to create an awareness of space in our souls that only He can fill.  And in His mercy, we’ll find a confidence developing that He is there, that He has indeed entered our space. “

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 105

Questions for Reflection:

• In what life circumstances has pain made you aware that your deepest desire is for God?
• How were you impacted by that fresh awareness?

We Hurt In Ways That Cannot Be Fixed

“We are relational, not mechanical.  That means we hurt in ways that cannot be fixed.  It also means that our only hope is to develop a relationship with someone who can support us in our pain, someone who will lift us to a sphere of living where something matters more than pain, until a day when we will hurt no more.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding Who You Are, Page 18

Questions for Reflection:

• Do you feel relief or distress at the realization that we are inescapably relational, not broken things needing to be fixed?
• If you come to God relationally today, instead of asking Him to fix what is wrong in your life or your heart, what do you most want to say to Him?
• As you quiet your heart before Him, is there anything that matters more to you than the pain of what cannot be fixed?

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