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Breakdown In Relationships

“Satisfaction found in a false god will inevitably lead to a breakdown in relationships. We become demanding rather than sacrificial, self-occupied rather than other-centered (James 4:1-3).”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding People, Page 133

Questions for Reflection:
• Consider a time when you experienced relational conflict as a result of seeking satisfaction apart from God.
• What did the Holy Spirit use to bring conviction?
• Take some time today to allow the Holy Spirit to expose the empty things that you’re currently pursuing and to draw your heart to enjoy God more deeply.

In Order To Find Satisfaction

“Whatever we turn to in order to find satisfaction becomes our god. Our determination to fill the Hollow Core becomes our tyrant, and we revolved our lives around whatever we wrongly believe will provide the fullness we desire.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding People, Page 133

Questions for Reflection:
• What do you believe is the cause of emptiness in your life?
• What do you think will fill it?
• How does pursuing God’s glory instead of our own fullness result in our freedom?

Failure To Pursue God

“In their right mind, human beings will pursue God as the source of satisfaction. But we are not in our right mind; no one seeks after God. And that failure to pursue God reflects humanity’s foolishness.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding People, Page 133

Questions for Reflection:
• Where do you tend to seek satisfaction apart from God?
• How does the reasoning behind this foolish pursuit mirror the decision Adam and Eve first made to seek fulfillment apart from God?
• Take some time to repent for the specific ways you fail to pursue God as the Source of life and joy and to thank Him for providing forgiveness and new life in Christ.

In Touch With Our Longings

“God appeals to people to enter into relationship with him on the basis of their longings. Therefore, knowing what our longings are and experiencing them deeply is important. Those who are not in touch with their longings will not be drawn to the source of their satisfaction.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding People, Page 133

Questions for Reflection:
• What longings have you refused to acknowledge, rather than wrestled with, in the presence of God?
• What is lost when you attempt to minimize or manage your inner emptiness rather than dialogue with God about it?
• Take some time today to bring before God any desires that you’ve attempted to shut down or have convinced yourself you shouldn’t feel.
• Wait in His presence and allow Him to meet you with Himself, as only He can.

The Tension Between God’s Kingdom And Your Own

“Praying the PAPA prayer has helped me feel less powerful. I sense deeper brokenness when I realize how strongly I don’t want God’s kingdom to come if it interferes with the arrival of my kingdom. That becomes clear when I look at the motives that direct how I sometimes relate to people I love. And then I realize that my weakness and brokenness are God’s opportunity to release His life more fully through me.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Page 50

Questions for Reflection:
• In what areas of your life are feeling the tension between God’s kingdom and your own?
• Take some time to offer your weakness and brokenness to God, asking for His life to be released more fully through those areas of struggle.

Getting God

“Christ’s relationship with His Father was the driving passion behind every request He made. Relationship preceded petition. His life is a profound demonstration of the point I’ve been making: that getting God is worth infinitely more than getting the things we want from God.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Page 49

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways are you deliberately choosing to pursue relationship with God as your primary passion?
• What things do you tend to believe are necessary in addition to God Himself?
• What does trusting in other things for life cost you?

No One Else’s Pain

“Even there, in Gethsemane, [Jesus] trusted His Father with all His troubles. Their relationship, a brutally honest one, was everything to Him. Like any other human being, Jesus didn’t relish the prospect of torture. Unlike any other human being, He was prepared to experience the agony of ultimate loneliness because (and I’d never dare say this if it wasn’t clearly said in Scripture) it pleased the Father to bruise Him (Isaiah 53:10). Never was the Father pleased to bruise anyone else. No one else’s pain could get us into the family where God could reveal Himself as our Papa.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Page 49

Questions for Reflection:
• Is there any need you’re praying for God to meet that you’ve made an affirmative answer the litmus test of His goodness?
• What does Jesus’ heartfelt plea and His trusting acceptance of His Father’s “no” call us to believe being in relationship with God means?