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Looking in the Wrong Place

Hello Friend!


I’ve been wearing makeup for decades. I begged to wear it in the 7th grade, and my mom allowed me to wear a little eyeshadow. I remember it being green and pink. (Yes, green.) When the pimples hit in high school, I didn’t leave the house without applying foundation and concealer. Through the years, I continued wearing makeup as I don’t have a lot of natural color.


I was looking for some specific makeup in a store the other day. I searched where I believed it should be, but it wasn’t there. My husband couldn’t help me because he knows less about makeup than I do. (I don’t think he’d mind me sharing that he knows A LOT less than I do about makeup.)

I took a moment to look online to see if I could order it, or if I needed to find another product. It was then I realized I was looking under the wrong brand. (I had worn off the label.) Now as I looked in the right spot, I easily found it. Mystery solved! I can tell you’re as thrilled about my discovery as I was.


As I was conveying this exciting story to my hubby, I nearly choked as the following words came out of my mouth: “I didn’t realize I was looking in the wrong spot.”

This has happened before – words becoming “highlighted.” Sometimes it occurs as someone else is talking or as I’m reading the Bible. This time the words were “heavy” in my mouth. When this type of thing happens, the Holy Spirit is usually trying to tell me something. He knows how I enjoy a good mystery, so I was left contemplating – what was He trying to get across to me? Let the search begin!


The first thing that came to mind about my stressful makeup event (Okay, it wasn’t THAT stressful – it was mildly annoying) was that I truly didn’t know I was looking in the wrong place. I was convinced I was where I should be – I even found similar items. It wasn’t until I sought outside help that I realized I was never going to find what I needed where I was. As I pondered that and this riddle of a message, I was reminded:


“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? ” (Romans 10:14, ESV).

Before we heed the Holy Spirit’s promptings and turn to Jesus, we go through a time of looking in the wrong places for answers. There are times we find things that seem like they might work, but they don’t perfectly fill the void Christ was designed to fill within us, and we’re left wanting. That’s why it’s so important for us to share the gospel with others, so that they know what they’re looking for is found in Jesus.


No doubt it was great for me to be reminded of the importance of sharing Jesus with others. However, I knew there was more to what God was trying to get across to me. So what did “I didn’t realize I was looking in the wrong spot” mean? I needed to continue the investigation.

It was then another passage came to mind, holding the key:


“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:31-33, ESV).

“Seek first” grabbed my attention, and I knew what the Holy Spirit was trying to clue me in on. If I’m honest, He’s been trying to get me to take hold of it for a while now. God’s been asking me to seek Him FIRST. I’ve a tendency to take off on my own when I need answers, direction, or a plan. He wanted to break my bad habit and replace it with an excellent one which includes Him in the discussion. Want an example? (Like I said, God has tried telling me this before.)


I was with a friend who was suffering from a physical irritation. I went through all the medical information I had stored in my mind on that topic (which didn’t take long) to see if I could share anything that would help her. Needless to say, she was still in pain when we were approached by another friend.


This friend found out about the discomfort and immediately prayed. (I mentally slapped myself in the head – “Duh. Why didn’t I think of that?!”) Including God in the situation hadn’t been on my radar up until then. I had been relying on myself. (This is embarrassing to admit, but I find it so ironic I have to share it anyway – this happened in church. Yeah, I know…pretty pathetic.)


The message finally deciphered: God should be my launching pad, my starting place. He wants to be my top priority AND my first “go-to” in my search for wisdom and solutions. Maybe He’ll lead me to my medical knowledge (Did you just laugh?), maybe He’ll take me somewhere else, but He wants me to give Him the opportunity to lead, direct, and be involved. He wants me to begin by looking in His direction before heading out.



Do you go to God first during the normal events of your day? Or do you look elsewhere? I’m hoping to seek Him and His guidance from the start and not as the last resort – Lord knows, relying on my limited self leads me to looking in the wrong spot. Mystery solved.


Learning to begin with God,

Candace

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