Thursday, February 19, 2015

Finding the Motivation to Do Your Devotions

The Bible clearly tells us to seek God.  I mean, it's so important that Matthew 6:33 says But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness:  and all these things shall be added unto you.

In Matthew 16:24 Jesus says If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Verse 25 and 26 continue on . . .

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it;  and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul.

I'm not going to go into a big discussion about salvation and whether or not you can or can't lose your salvation.  I happen to believe that once you are saved, God's got you and He isn't going to let go, no way, no how.

But I also believe this:  yeah, you might have a one way ticket to heaven, but you also have this thing called Free Will.  And what that means is this:  you can still choose whether to have God's best for you or not.

The Bible is full of verses about sin and how it leads to death.  For a long time I thought that meant that if you didn't get saved, ie, repent of your sin and trust Jesus to take your sins away then you would go to hell.  I still believe that.

But now I believe something else, too.   And let me just make this as clear as I possibly can . . .

Sin can ruin ANYBODY'S life, whether they are guaranteed heaven or not.

Every person gets to choose whether their life will be wrecked by sin or not.

Often the sin that derails us is so subtle that we do not even recognize it as sin.  

And now for a story.  Let's pretend for a moment that you are a gorgeous young thing.  You're on vacation in Key West.  You're staying in a quaint little house and when you open the closet to put your things away, you see something pushed way back in the corner.  When you pull it out you see that it is a box of d-con, rat and mouse poison.  Gross!  Do you take the poison?  Um, no.  You probably shriek and push it back with a hanger or something so you never have to see it again.

Then you put on something that makes you look even better than usual and you go out.  Now Key West is such a fun little town . . .and one of the things that makes it fun is the live music.  Somebody's always playing somewhere and you find yourself at The Hogfish Bar and Grill.  You're there with a friend and after you eat the two of you realize that Hogfish sits at the end of a row of buildings that is basically jutting out into the ocean.  And you see that this is a cool place filled with artists and people living on boats . . .it feels very safe and there are even cats coming up to say "hi."

So you walk around and explore and breath in the smell of flowers and herbs and of course, the smell of grilled meat and fish from Hogfish.  It's all very relaxing, especially when the live music starts and the little lights come on all over the masts on the boats and the twinkly lights that have been strung start twinkling and even though you've heard of people slipping drugs into the drinks of young girls, you have a hard time believing that could ever happen to you and you are very tempted to drink whatever it is that the cute guys from the table next to you offer you . . .but for all you know it's just as bad as the d-con that you discovered back in your room.

You might think that making the right choice is a no-brainer, but I tell you what . . .I lived in Key West for awhile . . .I lived on a Caribbean island for awhile and I was shocked and horrified by the chances that some of my young friends took.  One girl started drinking with strangers at ten in the morning and woke up the next day in her bed completely missing a few hours worth of memories.  And we're talking a SMART GIRL with a four year degree and a job that many people would envy.

Anybody who reads about doing their devotions is a person who is interested in spiritual things.  So that right there tells me that you, dear reader, care about God and about your relationship to Him. 

But guess who else cares about your relationship to God?  That guy with the horns and the pointy tail.  Okay, so he actually doesn't come to you wearing that outfit.  He dresses much cooler.  In fact, he's got this suit that makes him appear invisible and that is what he likes to wear and how he likes to present his poison . . .

The Devil wants you to believe that He is not interested in you.  And the sins that He wants you to have in your life are not going to be labeled SIN with skull and crossbones symbols on them.

They are going to be little thoughts like this one right here "It doesn't matter if I read my Bible right now or not.  I can always read it later.  It doesn't matter that much if I don't pray . . .I suck at praying and God knows my heart so He'll forgive me and I can do this later."

It will be things like this thought "Oh my gosh, I am such a loser!  I'm not good at anything. I'm not even going to try to develop XYZ talent that I have because it's hard and what's the point?  Nobody needs my contribution anyway."

So, brief recap.

One, we're supposed to seek God.

Two, it's easy to believe that it isn't important.

And my last point is this.  YOU are the one who has to decide that it is going to happen because it is important.  Otherwise it won't happen and that is super sad because God has an AMAZING plan for you and ignoring Him will keep it from ever materializing.  Ignoring God might not feel like taking a chance or even like a choice, but it is.  Think about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment