On a recent, warm spring day, I was on our front porch reading Live Original, a book by Sadie Robertson. As I looked up from its pages, I saw our llama, Johnny, as he sat beneath the tree, simply staring off into the distance.
I was amazed at how peaceful and still he was. I thought to myself: What obligations does he have? What is his purpose? How can he just do nothing?
As humans, we often times get caught up in doing this thing or that, striving to be this, and pining to have that. I have been caught up in that myself, and I pray that I will not fall into that trap again.
The reality is that this is the cause of our own selfish ambition to seek our own will over the will of God for our lives. We lose sight of the path He set us on because we let our flesh take over, instead of being rooted in the foundation of Christ.
For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. (James 3:16 NLT)
What happened to having joy in the simplicity of being still in God’s presence?
How can we even begin to grasp who God is or what we are called to do and be without our devotion time with God?
If we are to be in Christ and living for Him, there is no one better to spend our time with. Spending time with Him can be done in prayer, reading the Bible, communing with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and even simply conversing with our Lord.
For myself, I know I sometimes have the hardest time reading the Bible. One reason I think it is so difficult is because I have the expectation to read it like I would other books. But I am learning that it is not like any other book, and it is certainly not just a one-time read through. It is the ultimate resource to everything, sort of like the dictionary but not just for words. No, it is for all of life and revealing the truth our salvation!
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)
Pride vs. Humility
We may tend to feel like, “well I don’t need to” or “I can figure it out” or “I don’t have time,” but I have learned in life, in my trying to do things on my own, not going to God, or even seeking Godly counsel, that I ultimately only end up digging a deeper hole.
Last summer, we had moved out to the country and we had to get our water hooked up to a well. Because of this, there was a trench built across our driveway. During this time, a huge rain came made the trench a sloppy mud throughout.
I had to run some errands and in a rush, I became impatient and decided to try to go around the trench instead of waiting to get the word that the trench was filled in. That was not smart because my car is low to the ground and I ended up getting stuck. Instead of calling for help to get unstuck, my pride kicked in and my attitude changed to: “Oh, I don’t need help; I can get out of this by myself!”
Well, what happened? I was digging a deeper hole, and the end result was a burned up clutch (thank the Lord that the warranty was still good on my car).
I have learned my lesson: pride is not the answer.
When we think that we know it all and can do it all without help, this shuts out God and those around us who might be delivered to help us. This was just a car which is still a big deal but not as massive as your life and salvation.
But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. (James 4:6 NIV)
When something or someone is important to us what do we do? We make time.
Not only do we make time, but we have the integrity to follow through with our commitments. When we make the commitment to follow Jesus, it is a commitment to be obedient to Him and to grow with Him. How can we do that when we are not in communion with him?
It is like a relationship. How can we be on the same page when there is no communication? God speaks to us in many different ways and I have come to realize that you cannot have one without the other; a relationship cannot exist without time and communication.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24 NLT)