Do you ever take time to consider your motives? Do you ever come to that place where you begin to question your own thoughts? What are the reasons why we do the things that we do? How deep does being accepted, recognized and honored run in us?
Yesterday I spent a significant amount of time writing an article that I ended up trashing. I’ve been trashing a number of articles lately. I’m coming to that place where I question why I am doing what I am doing. Why do I favor some forms of service over others? I have an advantage over most of you. I’ll be 74 years old next month. I don’t have a lot of time to waste. That reality does provide some clarity of mind. I also have to deal with the reality of diminishing resources. I don’t have the energy levels I used to have and things that I used to be able to do without even thinking about them, now are becoming more difficult.
Who would have thought that putting on your own socks or getting into a pair of pants without falling would become so difficult. Who would have thought that walking for a considerable distance would cause your body to start hurting. Who would have thought that multi-tasking, something that I used to be able to do so well, now is something to be avoided if at all possible.
I’m spending a lot more time in prayer and studying God’s Word lately. I’m trying to be as real as I possibly can and I’m trying to get as close as I can to God. And God is close. I marvel at His grace and His love. It stops me cold. I’ve read through the entire Bible many times, even more so the New Testament and yet I’m seeing things now that I’ve never seen before. I find it hard to believe. Why did I not see that? How could I possibly have missed that? I don’t have answers.
It’s got nothing to do with faith. I’m way beyond that. It’s about loving God and my relationship with Him. I often use the analogy of an onion and the number of layers it contains. I’m thinking God is getting through to my core. The problem being the onion is so much bigger than I ever thought it was and there are so many many layers.
Forty years in the wilderness. Sounds like a lot of time and it is but how many of us, myself included, have walked in that wilderness? Remember how Moses gave Israel an overview of what had transpired before Israel crossed over the Jordon? Remember how God clarified a lot of things such as why they had been chosen? There’s no room for pride there, none at all. Much to the contrary.
Remember the methods that God utilized in possessing the promised land? How Joshua made major advances and then the little by little followed? Does that ring a bell with you? It surely did with me. When I became a Christian I was full of energy and nothing was impossible. But then life got in the way and the little by little kicked in. Hard lessons had to be learned and desires stripped bare. The layers of the onion began to get peeled away and I began to comprehend that my biggest problem was me.
Our human fallen nature runs deep, very deep. I picked the picture of the apple for a reason. That’s where it all began. That’s where our focus and trust shifted from God to ourselves.
Sometimes it’s almost like I have been given new eyes. Gratitude overwhelms me, the reality of love and the forgiveness that God gives us through faith in the finished work of His Son. Through one man sin entered into the world and through one man, forgiveness and reconciliation. How simple that is but how difficult it is to understand and accept. And then, while I am walking in the wilderness, or entering into the promised land, there are the blessings. Blessings that I never deserved, blessings that should have never been mine. And yet they are there, time and time again.
Pride of self is a terrible thing. It is so contrary to all that God stands for. God alone is good and that is not just a normal good but good as in a Holy good. That far surpasses what you and I call good. Truly look at the cross and the message that is within.
Philippians 2:3-4 NIV “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
“Do nothing”, that’s pretty inclusive. “Selfish ambition or vain conceit”. Imagine the number of “works” that will fall short on that one.
There are many things that I still don’t understand. There are many questions that I still have that are unanswered. But God, our gracious God, has given all of us, more than enough, to draw close to Him and to learn of Him and His ways and His thoughts.
Some day we shall all stand before Jesus and our life will be reviewed. That will be Him and that will be us. One on one. Our words, our thoughts, our motives, our works will all be reviewed. It will be too late to get real then. Get real now.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!