As you probably know, there’s no false advertising in the Bible. The Bible promises us difficulties, right? But that’s not the end of the story. The Bible also promises us (among other things) that God will always be with us. Awesome, you say. Just remember this does not mean that we could live however we please. In order to be strong in and through upcoming difficulties, we need to be built up in the Lord. Only when we abide in Jesus, we are ready for faithful living whatever the future brings.
Why then do we love ourselves more than God?
Why then do we love money more than God?
Why then do we love pleasure more than God?
And, most of all, why then do we deny God’s power in our lives?
Yes, really. Just read the following verses and tell me you don’t see yourselves in them!
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! (2 Timothy 3:1-5, NLT,*)
I love how the word of God urges us to take a good look at ourselves. These verses supposedly describe the worldly people. But – God forbid – I see too much of myself there. How about you?
We are called to be holy like God. We are called to get ready and get others ready for the second coming of Jesus. We are called for faithful living. But how are we faring? Not that good, I’m afraid.
We have all but given up on co-working with God in this world. Even our prayers lack enthusiasm. We think world peace is impossible, hence we don’t pray. We think mission work has no future, hence we stop trying. We think it does not matter how we spend our free time, hence we get addicted to TV or whatnot. Is this the way of life for the children of God?
Of course not. Faithful living is a far cry from this. We have become self-centered unbelievers. We reject the power that could make us godly. We reject God’s resurrection power that is at work in the world even now. Lord, have mercy!
If we always choose novels over the Bible…shopping over going to church…watching sports over serving others… chatting over praying…pleasure over sacrifice….we are in trouble.
The Bible tells us to stay away from people who are “self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God.(2 Timothy 3:2-5, MSG,*)“But we haven’t obeyed. Instead we’ve become just like them. We are drowning in the American dream that leads us into disaster after disaster.
What to do then? Run to God. Abide in Christ. Receive the Holy Spirit.
And ask God how to live according to his will.
Ask Jesus what needs to go that there’s plenty of room for him.
Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to pick up holy habits to protect you.
Faithful living is difficult if we are not connected to God. But if we let the Holy Spirit dwell in us, it’s the easiest thing ever. Because it’s not us but God in us.
Forgive us for messing things up. Again.
Pleasure, fun, easy life does not fulfill us.
Show us which of our habits are destroying us.
Show us how to live according to your will.
Rekindle our faith, Lord.
Make us passionate about your plan for the world.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What are you tempted to love more than God? How are you practicing faithful living?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you put God first in everything!
* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.]