Yesterday somebody asked what I thought about a situation. I know what I felt. But that doesn’t always end well.
I struggled all night thinking about it and praying about it and woke up this morning and realized the answer is, ‘It’s not about what I think, it’s about what God says about it.’ And that allowed me to let go and rest that I could trust God‘s Word to speak into the situation.
It’s been a while since I’ve read through Proverbs. It’s been a while since I have loved the Word. Struggling through Covid and depression for the last several years has made me feel as though I’ve been living in a bubble…one that has been hard to pop and get out of. But one day in church the questions were asked, ‘What do I love the most? Where do I invest my time and money and energy?’ And in that moment, the bubble burst and everything came into focus. With great sadness I realized that what I should love the most I do not love the most. And it grieved me. From that moment on, I set my mind to choose Christ, His Word, and time with Him as my priority. Was it easy? No, not at all. I hadn’t realized until then how a spirit of compromise and laziness and lukewarmness had entrapped me. Making any change for God is a battle against the world, the flesh and the devil.
Now it’s not like I haven’t read the Bible or didn’t know how to pray. The truth is, I had just stopped loving those things and desiring them. I had allowed other loves to take their place. But God, in His great mercy, knew that apart from these things I would not be set free to walk in light and life and joy again. Of all the choices I made, spending time in Proverbs has given me the greatest blessing. It’s provided me with all the tools I need to rise above this world…a veritable smorgasbord on how to think and live for God. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought, ‘If I can just apply this to my life, I can walk in faith and hope and victory.’
It’s hard to make Godly choices, isn’t it? It’s hard to deny the flesh and do what God says. It costs us something. But sin cost Him everything. And He knows the destruction sin inflicts on us, our families, and others. And He loves us too much to leave us steeped in it.
I had a second revelation this morning that goes hand in hand with the first one: We are only asked to speak His Truth in love. What someone chooses to do with it is their choice. And if it’s rejected, they are not rejecting us, but God. Much as we wish we could, we can’t make people desire truth or walk in it. Some of us are called to plant seeds, some to water them, and some to harvest them. But each of us must do our part.
I need to confess that sometimes I am tempted to say, ‘Heck, everyone else is doing it. Why even bother? God doesn’t seem to care.’ We look around us and we see so much that doesn’t line up with what God asks of us…people doing what is right in their own eyes and seeming to get away with it. But just like the wheat and the tares, God allows the bad to grow with the good for a season. But do not be deceived, there will be a sorting someday. Like it or not, agree with it or not, we cannot ignore the truth: that in spite of what we feel, or see around us, or are tempted to do, we, as His children, are called to be a Holy people…bought at a great price… to live lives that honor God and testify of His amazing work in our lives. This is the hope we can offer to a lost and dying world. Otherwise we are no different than the world.
I haven’t written a blog in a long time. But I felt burdened to write this one. We all need each other desperately whether we realize it or not. We’re called to walk alongside one another, encourage one another, and challenge one another on in holiness. One day at a time.
One choice at a time.
One word at a time.
But under it all, is the mandate that we must love. We must love Him with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength, and we must love others. Love takes different forms and appears in different ways, but if we do it His way, it will be always be known as Love.