Since this post is a little bit on the heavy side, I though I’d start you out with a nice, refreshing, happy picture before you dig in. Complements to my husband, who’s doing some great photography these days. 🙂
As I’ve shared a little bit with you so far this year, I’ve been challenged to go deeper with God, and in a way, to re-engage, when it seems like I had switched to auto-pilot and was just doing my own thing.
I was challenged by a question I read the other day: “How different would your life look if you stopped believing in God?” I was challenged because I really had to think about it. As I spent some time in prayer this morning, I was thinking about my life and my faith lately, and I honestly think they would best be described as half-hearted and lukewarm. I repented this morning, because I think instead of genuinely chasing after the Lord, I’ve been going through the motions.
Here’s an example. Let’s say I want to pray about something, to ask the Lord for His will, His word, or His direction. I might ask once, twice, maybe a few times. But half-heartedly. Not sincerely seeking, just “if you wanna let me know, that’d be great. K, thanks.” And if I didn’t hear anything, instead of going deeper, seeking the Lord’s face, and going after Him, I’d just let the decision get made for me (perhaps by Mark or by life in general) or else I’d just weigh the pros and cons and call the shots for myself.
In my prayer time I’ve been half-hearted. Going through the motions. Praying for certain people on each day of the week, but more as a checklisttogetthroughsoIcanstarttheday than an opportunity to meet with my Creator and really be with Him.
And on the subject of sin, I sometimes find myself thankful, not particularly that the Lord has saved me from my sin, but more that He has saved me from the punishment for my sin. The difference might seem subtle, but there’s a lot to that if you care to take a moment and ponder it.
The thing I’m being challenged about that I really want to share is this: The Lord is constantly warning us about people who think they know Him and think they have a relationship with Him, but get to the end of their lives and are dead surprised no pun intended when Jesus says “I never knew you.” It is so easy to pray a prayer once, make a commitment down at the altar at twelve years old, start out running the race for Jesus and get sidelined by the cares of this world, to the point where the only difference between you and the guy next door is that you cuss a little less and don’t sleep in on Sunday mornings.
We shouldn’t assume we’re the good soil. We shouldn’t assume we’re not lukewarm. We shouldn’t assume we’re the ones who are doing for the least of these. We need to judge ourselves. We’re instructed not to judge others, but YES, to judge ourselves.Â Are we actually doing for the least of these? Are we actually carrying a cross? Are we even willing to get out of our comfort zones? Or are we just doing ‘enough’ to get by? Enough to hopefully squeak through those pearly gates?
I don’t know whether this next statement will surprise you or not. I don’t know what your expectations might be for the life and faith of a missionary on the field. I’m very thankful for the blessings of God. I’m celebrating the highs and occasionally going to Him with the lows. But lately I’ve been lukewarm, and I don’t want to walk that way for another day.
Once many years ago when I was just beginning to walk with the Lord, I was discouraged because I’d disobeyed Him, and I really didn’t want to mess up. (Lately I don’t have that same attitude — but I intend to!) The Lord met me with encouraging words from Deuteronomy 4:29, which He has met me with again and again ever since. “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Wherever you are, wherever I am, whatever situation we find ourselves in, we can get back in the game. We can start running the race again. We can start going after God. Reading the Word, doing what it says, and following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Â This was my prayer this morning in response. Feel free to make it yours:
“…Lord… Help me to re-engage. Please forgive me for letting my love grow cold. I want to walk in Your ways, seek Your face and run after you with passion. Help me to take the first step toward showing You I love You by obeying your commands, today.”