Is it possible that the reason we aren't walking in our purpose, fully maximizing our potential is that the things we love/desire are not being placed in the proper priority?
We say we love God, we want to live a life that is pleasing to Him, and He is the head of our life, but we also love self, stuff, comfort, acceptance from others, applause, the approval of others, and living by culture's standards perhaps a tad bit more. Sometimes we can be quick to say no, that is not the case with that question, yet our actions speak otherwise. It's similar to how we sometimes say we trust God and know God will take care of our situation. Then we pray and lay it at the altar and quote, "Be still and know that I am God", but the second we get up, we are back trying to fix the problem–supposedly “helping God out.”
Matthew 19: 21 says, "Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’" (NIV) Jesus was answering a young man's questions about how he could have eternal life, exposing the man’s heart when he did, which reflected a sin in his life. The rich young man desired his possessions more than he desired to have eternal life. Because the man's heart wasn't in the right place; his priorities were not in the correct order. Verse 22 says that he went away grieving because he had too many possessions. What Jesus was asking of him was too much for the young man. He chose not to follow Jesus. His love of things took priority over his love for Jesus and desire to follow Him.
When I read this story initially, I thought the young man was just plain silly. Material stuff over eternal life seems like an easy pick to me! But after further thought and re-reading the chapter, I realized that it could have easily been me or any believer in this story. This young man treasured stuff, but it could have been a job, business, relationship, friendship, money, retirement funds, talents and skills, performance, and the list could go on.
To love God is to obey God. (John 14:21; John 14: 15). When Jesus said to give up our own way, take up our cross and come, follow him (Matthew 16:24) it requires that we must be willing to let go of things and follow Him. Letting go doesn't mean you get rid of them so they no longer exist in your life, but rather, you let go of your grip on it. (open hand). Letting go of things is a form of surrendering. We often understand surrendering our lives (as believers, we give our lives to Christ), but it also means our lives in totality. All areas of our lives are surrendered to God, His way and His will. It's not just our eternal destination we are talking about when we say we surrender our lives. We have to surrender our ways, our thoughts, agendas, attitudes, relationships, etc.–fully and completely. Romans 6:13 says that we should give ourselves completely to God. You are giving Him lordship over every area of your life. This is a choice that you have to make daily.
Recently, I had a pleasant conversation with a good friend as we caught up on the "what's happenings" of our lives over the last few months. It's such a blessing when you can catch up with a friend, and despite the time between calls, it always feels like you talked just yesterday! During that call, I shared with my friend some of my hang-ups and struggles in promoting my new devotional Hello God. My friend, being the wonderful person that they are, ever so politely told me that every excuse I gave was a lie from the enemy and I needed to ignore them. Thank God for friends that will be real with you.
In life, we WILL encounter storms. The storms may cause us to want to look for the closet and easiest exit. Some may even cause us to suggest taking a detour to get the destination. A detour would get you to the final destination, but you may cause yourself to miss out on something significant.
Instead, buckle up, hold on and stretch your hand out to God and ask him to lead the way.
Storms in life are not designed to be a place comfort, but there is a peace in knowing that the creator of the universe will hold your hand thru it. All you have to do is ask and stretch your hand out. Taking the detour won't allow you to experience God's fullness. Experiencing who He is and what He can do in, through and for you. Sometimes when we opt for the detour we miss the opportunity to allow God to work in us. It has been in some of my difficult seasons of life that I have seen God's hand the clearest. It's an opportunity to draw closer to Him and Him to us. Those times have been moments where He has highlight areas in my life that need some real attention, stretched me my Christian walk and my roles. No matter the goal, the storm was with purpose.
Don't get off...Don't take the detour...Buckle up and Let God lead.
Until Next Time
J.Branch is a wife, mother and child of God. She is passionate about helping others live the life they desire, have fruitful relationships and know who they were created to be and to live a life of purpose.
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