The intention of this posting is to offer words of encouragement for you, the reader, and myself.
It is important to always keep in mind that
‘God loves us where we are, but he is NOT going to keep us where we are.’
In Luke 9:23-24, Jesus tells us straight up, that our lives will be forever changed when we decide to FOLLOW Him. Jesus says,
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you give up your life for me, you will find true life.”
What is critical to remember about this call from Jesus, is that following Him and finding true life is a process, not a change that happens instantly. In light of the impending Grandma’s Marathon, we can call it “a marathon, not a sprint.”
So what does this mean for us as Christians, and followers of Jesus Christ?
Simply, it means we need to be faithful, but it also means we need to be patient.
The flat-out truth of the matter is that we are all undeserving sinners, living in a fallen world. And because of that, until we leave this earth and join our Father in His Kingdom, we are going to continue being undeserving sinners, in a fallen world. This is where the patience comes into play.
When we give our lives up to God, He starts working on us, immediately. But because we are fallible, imperfect beings, we can never be PERECT in this life. The pull of satan and sin will always be there, and we are bound to slip up from time to time.
As followers of Jesus, the good news is that we have the guidance and opportunity to challenge our sinful tendencies, and work on becoming victorious over them, no matter what that sin may be.
The greatest sin that I personally struggle with on a day-to-day basis, is anger. If something does not go my way, or follow the plan that I had in mind, I am often very fast to respond with harsh words or actions (body language) that are hurtful. As a husband, this means I sometimes say (or don’t say) insensitive things that only serve to cause dispute or hurt between my wife and myself. What KILLS ME about this, is that I AM FULLY AWARE, of how much I suck in these moments.
I frequently ask to God to offer me a soft heart in these moments, and to help me communicate and treat my wife in a way that selflessly serves her. And when I put aside my own agenda and allow God to lead my heart in this way, HE DOES. And an amazing thing happens: the dynamic of the interaction with my wife changes dramatically, and is fruitful! Whenever I do things my way, IT NEVER WORKS. I need to be mindful and prayerful of this every day, because over the course of the marathon that is my life on this earth, it keeps me on track.
The point of sharing this is that I want us all to be aware that GOD IS WORKING ON YOU, AND IN YOUR LIFE. It does not matter what you have done in your past, or where you are now, God loves you right there. But when we give ourselves up to God, and let Him take control, we will not stay there. Our personal marathons will sometimes be met with cramps, hills, and slower miles, but a heart that is for God, and focused on God, will always finish the race, victorious!
“Heavenly Father, you know my heart, and you know the sin that I am struggling with today. And I acknowledge that I am not capable of overcoming that sin on my own agenda. I want to give that sin up to you today, and every day, Lord. Give me a heart that is soft, one that is focused on serving you, and the people in my life. I know that I cannot tackle the challenge of my sin on my own, and I give you control, God.”
Watch the full message associated with this blog post HERE