We can live a life of looking like we have everything together, sounding like our life is all sunshine and rainbows, and seeming like the perfect Christian; but our heart needs to right with God first or everything good will eventually whither. If it’s not about God first, it’s all for nothing.
Do you ever hear these kinds of nasty words bouncing around in your head… Disaster… Mess… Screw up… Failure… Worthless… Waste…. There are unfortunately tons more, but you get the idea.
I know from experience that sometimes we think we finally have it all together… in the best possible way, not perfect of course… and then the chaos creeps in. We feel like all we do is get one foot after the other stuck in the mud. Just when we get one out and maybe some what cleaned up, in goes the other foot full steam ahead! And these words of worthlessness creep in. I believe there is a reason that we are susceptible to this. But let me back-up a little first…
There have been times that my decision-making skills (or my choices) have leaned on the side of hormonal adolescent. And I kick myself around a bit. I try to remember that I am merely human, and say to myself, “you made a mistake, no big deal, just try not to make it again”. I try to grant myself grace, because I know God has granted me grace… But then I wonder if I’m just turning into another kind of person.
Where is the line that says I am this kind of person or that? If we continually behave in a different way than we normally do; or if we continually behave in a way that is contrary to who we say we are, then doesn’t that really mean that we are not the same person anymore? In other words, present choices and actions speak louder than words, and present actions speak louder than past actions (depending on the circumstances). How many times of acting contrary to your normal self does it take before you accept that maybe you aren’t who you used to be… that maybe the line has been crossed? This can be a good or bad thing depending on our old choices and our new choices.
When we accept Christ as our savior, old things (ways) pass away and we are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17)… Some people are instantly radically changed, but I think most people change more over time. Little by little old behaviors and habits are replaced with good ones. However, depending on who we surround ourselves with, and how we prioritize our lives a change may be very little to none.
Our most important relationship is between ourselves and God. Do we spend our necessary time in His Word and in prayer? I think sometimes little by little we replace our time with Him until we rarely have time to squeeze Him around our other “extremely important stuff” (extremely sarcastic). We might start hanging out with different people, who aren’t the best influence…and maybe at one time we were trying to be a positive influence in their lives, but when we aren’t where we need to be with God, the table seems to flip…and it’s easier to be pulled down than it is to pull someone up.
For me, one summer, the root of my poor choices was that I was fighting between being responsible and my “me time”. There is no doubt that I have non-busy time each day, and not just once a day. I have plenty of opportunities to spend deliberate devotional time with the Lord along with time to just do nothing if I want to. More so than not that summer, I was spending my time vegging. I did spend time with God, but I’d be lying to everyone if I said it was on a deliberate consistent basis. So each day, He was on my heart and in my thoughts, but there was nothing intentional about my relationship towards Him. I may or may not have looked things up in the Bible that were on my mind. I didn’t always pray specifically for things that I should-be been focusing my heart on. I didn’t make Him any kind of priority; I was just happy knowing He was there…but where was I?
I became very lax in my relationship with God. In my opinion, intentions show where your heart is. I believe it’s important to be intentional when pursuing an intimate relationship with anyone, and God as well.
If we proclaim that we are God’s children, and that He is number one in our lives; we need our lives to be the proof of what we speak. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 says, So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. We can speak Godly words into people’s lives to help them, and in our hearts our intentions are right; but when we speak something without actually living it, we are really just being a false witness. The people that we are reaching out to will eventually think that the things we say must not really work, since our lives are not reflective of the words that come from our lips. Let’s live so that our lives measure up to our words. “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” C.G. Jung
Let’s be honest with ourselves so we can make; and allow God to make the necessary changes to be who we say we are. We must remember that we have been saved by grace, and accept this with our whole hearts. God is not condemning us for not being perfect. He shines light on our imperfections to help us and to change us.
Now even though we know that grace is the covering for our imperfections; it’s also important to remember, it is not a ticket to be irresponsible with the life that we all have been gifted. We need to make the most of our lives on earth for the Kingdom of God. We need to be who we say we are, and let real changes be made along the way. God is always perfecting us. We have a lifetime to live to be changed and perfected into God’s own image. And only in death will we be completely free of imperfection.
We must trust and rely on God’s goodness and compassion to take us on this journey for our sake, and to be a witness of His goodness along the way. It’s all to bring glory to our Lord, Jesus Christ. Let’s be a witness to those who don’t know Him not just with our words, but through our lives. We will be life givers instead of stumbling blocks.
So, back to those nasty words…Disaster… Mess… Screw up… Failure… Worthless… Waste….ect…yeah, maybe sometimes it seems like we are. But it’s only when that is how we treat and live our lives, rather than taking advantage of our Father before us. He has laid everything that we need before us. We are equipped with the Bible in our hands, and a heart and mind to pray. It is up to us to read His Word so that it will be in our hearts; and it is up to us to lift our hearts in prayer to Him. He says, If we are pursuing a steady relationship with God our fruits will show it. And I believe that if we are bearing rotten fruit; it is rotten for a reason. What does your fruit look like? As Christians, we have no excuse to accept less than the best. It is what our good Father wants us to have. Let’s give Him our all and our best, not just what so happens to cross our minds throughout the day.
I will ask again… What does your fruit look like?
Lord, help me to prioritize my days so that I am not only saying You are first in my life. Help me to make responsible choices in every area of my life. Lord I want my life to be a reflection of You. I love you with all of my heart, and I want that to be a light to the world around me. Help me to make the most of everything that You have equipped me with. I want to produce sweet, juicy, nourishing fruit…nothing but the best for You who gave Your life for mine. Help my life bring glory to Your name, my God. I love You. Amen
To read more about a relationship with God, take a look at this post; Clean Out My Life – My Walk With Jesus.