• Paige Barker

Page 24: Are You Full?

Have you ever been so hungry that your stomach is in excruciating pain so you just grab the first thing in sight? And then you eat until you're more than satisfied... or as the common saying goes, "Your eyes were bigger than your stomach." This happened a handful of times a few months ago and every time I would find myself in discomfort and quickly regretting my decision to even eat. One time I was sitting in my chair at work with an extreme stomach ache, asking God why I was in so much pain. I quickly heard the Holy Spirit whisper:

"Because you're not filling yourself with the right things first."

Woah. Instantly, I realized that I wasn't putting God in His rightful spot in my life: FIRST. And when you're filling yourself with the wrong things first, it causes discomfort and pain. You open yourself up to more worry, more hurt, more chaos, taking offense more easily, being irritable, etc. However, when you fill yourself with the right things first, it creates peace, healing, confidence, flexibility, patience, joy, and so much more. What is the right thing? God. Getting in His presence with worship, reading the Bible, or even listening to a sermon. Every time I choose to reach for my Bible instead of social media or listen to a sermon instead of watching Netflix, I'm filling my spirit. Therefore, my spirit is getting stronger. But let's be real, Netflix is easy. Social media is easy. Because it seems mindless. It seems mindless because neither of those things challenges you. But whether you realize it or not, every episode and every social media post are filling you...filling your flesh (Don't get me wrong, there is stuff on social media that can be uplifting and encouraging. But take inventory of who/what you are following. If you often get on social media and feel worse than you did before you started scrolling...it's probably time to reevaluate). The more you give in to what your flesh desires, the more you want to do what your flesh craves. Because the more you eat a particular food, the more you'll crave that food, right? However, a lot of things I naturally crave aren't the best for me. They're okay to have every so often, but if I am filling myself up on them as a meal, I'll pay the price later with a stomach ache. I'm not saying God can't speak to you through an episode on Netflix or through a social media post, because He most definitely can. He can speak to you however He chooses. What I am saying is when you choose what's easy, you're missing out on the opportunity to grow. When you choose to fill yourself with those things FIRST, you're leaving little to zero room for God to fill you. And when you're filled with God FIRST, you'll get to operate out of the overflow of His love for you... and that's a refreshing place to find yourself. But it does require a daily decision to choose God first. I am by no means an expert in this. I'm writing this as a reminder and encouragement to myself because I need it. And I need it frequently.

So, the next time you reach for social media, Netflix, or whatever it may be, ask yourself this one question: Are you full?