Obsession

6:31 AM

We wait our whole lives for this -- the Obsession. It pulses in the back of your mind, sings in the bottom of your heart, wraps its arms around you till you're breathless. It's not forced, it's not played up, it just is -- obsessive. It wipes out and away all fears and tears.

I never thought I could have the Obsession. It was for others more worthy -- better -- beautiful -- good. It was for those who had worked a lifetime on it. It was for those who could get up in the morning at 5 AM and keep awake through page after page of genealogies. It was for J. I. Packer, A. W. Tozer, Francis Chan, Augustine and Thomas a Kempis, who wrote the books on the Obsession.

I'm talking about the God Obsession -- the relentless, deep desire to know God and then the actual knowing God and then the hope, peace and joy that lasts forever. I'm talking about living a life of faith, not nominal Christianity, of delighting in God, of tasting and seeing that He is good, of thirsting and longing for Him so much that He becomes everything.

We want it so much that we doubt it's even attainable. We feel stuck in the same rut of spiritual deadness, leaping in victory only to fall harder. Christianity seems to be a game of hide and seek that we always lose.

These past three weeks -- two really hard ones coupled with one really awesome one -- brought me to my knees. The last defenses of pride and bitterness came down. He cut through a thick veil of quivering, fearful flesh that hung between me and the holiest place of God's heart. I prayed every day, off and on, faulty but determined: "I want to want You."

I'm obsessed now.

I know God -- a full-frontal, nothing-held-back relationship. He's changing me so rapidly that I can barely keep up. Everything reminds me of Him. Nothing seems as interesting as speaking His name, talking about what He's doing, devouring who He is. I've been dying to write this blog post for the past few days now, but I just couldn't put into words the crazy, upside-down concept of the least-likely person in the world actually knowing God.

The peace -- the joy -- the love that courses through me right now -- it's insanely real. It's not an emotion: it's a promise. A promise that I clung to, that God is not far from each one of us, that He gives us the desires of our hearts, that whoever asks receives.

It took the surrender of everything. It took stripping naked and empty, peeling off layer after layer of sin, bitterness, fear, hurt. It took almost a full year when I first stopped playing the game of hide and seek and begged God to show Himself to me. Jesus wasn't kidding when He said that whoever wished to follow Him must take up his cross -- it took a horribly long, spiritually bloody death to finally say yes to following Jesus.

But He did it. He was faithful, one hundred percent. And now I'm Obsessed.

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12 impressions

  1. Ah, bailey. This is so cool. I'm so glad that you could grow in this way.

    Although I admit to slightly jealous feelings whenever I read thing like this. I know that it's about prayer and faith, but I just can't seem to get over the hump. I want to be Obsessed... but I just can't seem to get there.

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  2. Praise the Lord.

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  3. Lindsey, I've been thinking about your comment...because, of course, I was once you, jealous for the Obsession. I don't know your story so there's no way I can give you a "pat encouragement" to discover this crazy Jesus love.

    What I do know? It's going to cost everything. You can't just want it. You have to want it. It's going to take the total crucifixion of self. And that's ugly and scary. It really does take discipline, change, sacrifice. I never understood this -- I thought my desire to desire was enough. But you have desire. Keep pressing in to Him, Lindsey. Don't give up. If you want it bad enough, you will get it -- this Obsession.

    Because if I have it, anyone can have it.

    (And feel free to email me if you want to talk more in-depth. I'll pray for you, sister! You're about to discover something amazing.)

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  4. By the way, the most Obsessed girl in the world is named Lindsey Marie. She's my best friend of all time. I think that's a very interesting coincidence. :o) I think I told you this before...but it's worth repeating. ;o)

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  5. Tell us more, Bailey - can you tell us more details? Did it happen all at once, or was it gradual; and if it was gradual, what were the steps; and if it was a specific verse, which one was it ... right now you're giving me as much information as Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret - enough to be tantalizingly encouraging, but needing more to be applicable. I know that each of our paths will look different, but I've never personally known anyone who got "over the hump", as Lindsey called it, and I want to know more. Can you help me out? :-)

    Love,
    Vicki

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  6. So happy you have finally found this, Bailey. [:

    I'm still searching for it. I want it...I'm yearning for it...I'm grasping frantically for it. Honestly, I do have an Obsession- but it's with finding and being filled with that Obsession.

    xoxo
    Alexxus

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  7. Vicki, I've been searching for words. I'm still in awe of God...so overwhelmed right now. He's working revival in my circle of friends and family, and it's so crazy what He's doing that I almost can't take it. There are hundreds of layers to my story. But I'll try to find words this week for what exactly happened. Because honestly...it's just all God. And trying to describe my relationship with Him seems as impossible as pinning Him down.

    I so want you sweet girls to get the Obsession too. We're all in this together.

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  8. YOU LIKE JAMIE GRACE TOO!? :D I *love love love* that video. :)

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  9. Thanks Bailey ... you're a pal. ;-) I can't wait to hear about everything that's going on, both for you and for your family - how exciting!! :-D :-D :-D

    Love,
    Vicki

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  10. When are you going to post again? It has been 6 days!

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  11. This is a beautiful post, Bailey. I so enjoy your in-depth, personal posts. Your resolve, courage, and strength, is amazing. It's inspiring. Thank you for sharing, praise God for your willingness and joy!

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  12. Oh, Bailey! I love this so much. I'm *so* happy for you! One of my favorite quotes by Jim Elliott is: ‘Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth!’

    The thing is, I'm not obsessed right now. I had a summer several years ago, where I knew exactly what you're talking about. I'd get up at 5 in the morning at spend at least an hour praying--just talking to my God. Reading His word. Loving Him. Thinking of Him all throughout the day. But, it's not like that anymore. Oh yes, I still love Him, but something has changed. Believe me, I want it back so bad.

    Your post made me miss it even more. And it encouraged me to keep seeking. Thank you. I know it won't be easy, but God gives me hope.

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Hit me with your best thought! I'm very interested in your unique perspective. If you'd like to discuss things in private, feel free to email me! :)