The other day I left my chiropractic appointment feeling really offended.
My chiropractor hadn’t done anything wrong (literally, she is a saint). But as I was driving after seeing her, I started to feel bitter.
I asked the Holy Spirit what was going on (I knew something was up because the fact I left that appointment all riled up about my sister in Christ was not okay):
‘Okay Holy Spirit, I’ve learnt enough about offence to know there’s something off in my own heart when I feel like this, what is going on?’
Then came the Lord’s voice, firm, hard, strong... unwavering:
‘You expected something from her that can only be filled by me.’
It was like a punch in the guts, and I didn’t want to admit it was true, so I tried to think of all the other reasons why that may not have been the Lord speaking.
But he spoke again:
‘I’m jealous for you Shannon, I’m jealous for your affection…when you try to get your needs met by anything that isn’t me you will be bitter and confused. You put her in the God Spot.’
Man it was hard to hear, part of me wanted to say ‘Yeah right’ or ‘As if I would do that to you Lord’, but I knew it was true. So, just like that, I asked for forgiveness and accepted out loud his grace over my life to restart.
‘Good,’ said the Lord, ‘Now don’t do it again.’ And the bitterness was gone.
The God Spot
So what is the God spot?
It’s the place in our spirit that is designed for only God’s love to fill.
When God commanded the Israelites to ‘have no other God before me’, he was serious. There is a place in every human heart, whether you believe in Jesus or not, that can only be filled by him. No other thing can fill that place. No other thing will ever be able to fill that place. God knew that, he designed us that way so we could live in all fullness, that’s why he gave us that commandment.
The Enemy and the God Spot
The Enemy is sneaky, he knows that if he can put other things apart from God in the God spot then he has more of a chance of making you feel unfulfilled and therefore desire less of God. Satan distorts our thinking so that we think we need to fill our hearts with other things in order to be satisfied.
I used to think I was pretty good at keeping God in the God Spot. I mean, I was pretty joyful most of the time; I was thankful for my job and my regular income, my family and my car; life was ‘cruisey’…
Until all of a sudden it wasn’t.
All of this insecurity actually arose during my first year out of high school. It damaged a lot of my relationships (thankfully ones Jesus has now restored because he’s redemptive - can I get an “Amen”).
I firmly believe I had to go through a year of heartache in order to learn what I know now, I had to know that I only needed Jesus. To get to that place, Jesus had to take every one of my so-thought-needs away and affirm to me that he was enough (talk about a wilderness season people!).
To give you some insight into that year; I’d go to events and leave feeling down if people wouldn’t come and make a conversation. I moved to a new church and would always leave super bitter and in tears because I expected to feel warm there. I let my expectation of what a church should be like block my view of how he was working, rather then seeing how Christ in me could be the hope of glory. (Colossians Chapter One, Verse Twenty-Seven).
I couldn’t talk about two of my previous relationships that had fallen apart because I couldn’t see past why they had been so reckless in their actions toward me. I actually had nothing nice to say about them because of my own offence and I would cry myself to sleep about how rejected and lonely I felt.
Everything was about me.
SO not okay.
It’s only now that I realise that during that year, my bitter broken heart actually just came from a place of getting my needs met by people, rather than God. When we remove the expectation off other people to fill what actually can’t be filled by a human, relationships with others become the most beautiful thing I’ve ever known.
God is a heart expert; he fixed mine by showing me I didn’t (and won’t ever) need the affections and affirmations of others. Now I am free to love because I don’t need them to fill me to know that I’m already whole.
I used to believe it was impossible to feel fully satisfied this side of heaven. But then Jesus showed me how he lives inside me and how that is eternal. And now I can actually say I am living the most satisfied life I ever have.
‘God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him.’ – John Piper.
Shannon Munyard is home to the Adelaide Hills where she works as a horse riding instructor and equine assisted learning facilitator at a non-for profit youth campsite. Shannon is passionate about authenticity, and seeing people connected to their hearts. She loves the outdoors, bush camping, pondering deep questions and Jesus.