For the longest time in my life, I struggled with the normal stuff. The “normal stuff” being the search for fulfillment in things outside of God. I looked for fulfillment in trying to be a good dad, my job, my kids’ accomplishments, and my wife. All of these things provided happiness at times and frustration at other times. None of them led to true fulfillment. In the midst of this, there were two things in my life that I desperately wanted to attain that I thought were unattainable: putting God first and living in peace.
Putting God First
First, I thought I would never truly be able to make God #1 in my life. I knew I was supposed to, I even knew I wanted to, but I was pretty sure that I couldn't truly do that. My hierarchy of importance on most days was (1) family, (2) God, and (3) job. I used to think about God as one segment, or part of my life. I was not truly giving up my life and my own desires to follow Him.
Living in Peace
The second area I thought was even more unattainable than putting God first, was the ability to do what the apostle Paul says in his letter to the Philippians; to be content in all circumstances.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:10-12 NIV)
This was extremely elusive to me for a long long time; it remained unattainable but something I desperately wanted. My circumstances, relationships, and job satisfaction always seemed to dictate my level of happiness and contentment.
Then in 2013, I experienced a miraculous healing. This happened at a very unexpected time. I was in a doctor's office having a minor surgical procedure done, and while the medical personnel were out of the room, I was watching an interview of a sports figure who had overcome some sin areas in his life that were similar to mine. It was as if God was right in the room talking directly to me.
The former athlete in the interview said something I will never forget, "to surrender is to win." I immediately sensed a double-meaning. First, I needed to surrender the idea that I had my habitual sin and addictions under control. Second, I needed to completely surrender to God. I was deeply touched, my chest was pounding, and tears came to my eyes. What happened in those moments was a healing by God. After that, my life immediately began to change.
I walked out of that doctor's office a changed person; changed through faith. I believed in the healing and accepted it in faith and with complete gratitude. The sinful habits I had struggled with for so many years were destroyed and taken away instantly. With the addiction and habitual sin replaced by God’s healing power, and a thought process and lifestyle now focused on Him, God was able to help me move closer to Him and understand Him better.
Was my whole life instantly better? No. But I could now begin to seek God fully with my whole heart. I did this in practical ways, like studying God's word, worshipping Him daily, talking with other men, and praying more frequently and boldly. As I did these things, I changed and I grew in my faith. I also became a better dad and husband, and I started living a much more fulfilling life in Christ.
Friends, I'm here to tell you that both of the things that I thought were unattainable, are not only absolutely attainable, they are two keys to experiencing life as the person, parent, and spouse that God has called you to be. They are two keys that will help you experience fulfillment, joy, and peace that comes from walking with God on a consistent daily basis. They are two keys that will lead to knowing that you are loved by God and will help you love others the way God loves them.
- Put God First
- Learn contentment in all circumstances by letting God be the source of your joy.
We never arrive fully in this life, but living a life of surrender and praise to God provides a much more joyous and peaceful journey!
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Written By: Brian Goslee
I am a husband, father of two, and school teacher. My greatest passions in life are God, family, baseball, and helping men grow in their faith and be great dads.
In 2015, I started Changed Through Faith LLC , a website and platform of resources to help men grow in their faith, improve as dads and husbands, and find their identity in Christ. There, you will find true stories of real men whose lives have been changed through faith. You will also find encouraging and helpful articles, recommended books and podcasts, and inspirational products that will help you live a more fulfilling life!
For more free information and inspiration, go to changedthroughfaith.com.