A new calendar always inspires thoughts of change. The desire for good, for fulfilling lives beats in every heart. It feels like life gets in the way blocking our progress. The wisdom book of Proverbs explains why:
There is a way that seems right to man…but it is the way of death. (14:12 and 16:25)
Our new video game offers a light-hearted look at this reality. It’s been decades since I played video games…think Atari Ping Pong. Madden 15 on a Playstation is another world!
Our earthly lives are in a vastly different world than God’s Truths…but His ways work in this world and are a necessity for full, abundant living! Here’s some things I’ve learned from our PS3:
- I can be totally oblivious to the obvious. The signals the kids readily see and feel (like a vibrating remote) give them information on what to do next. I often don’t see it…and if I do, I don’t what it means. I’m lost in the PS3 world.
- Not knowing stuff is a hindrance and a frustration. Success depends on knowing what things mean and what you are supposed to do about it.
- Thinking I know what I’m doing doesn’t mean I am doing it right. The game isn’t broke or rigged against me just because I’m not winning.
- Instructions that don’t understand what I don’t know don’t help me…they just confuse (or irritate) me!
- Failing repeatedly is discouraging and makes me want to quit.
- Practice helps. Perseverance pays!
Those little glimpses offer great truth for real life. The plan of God provides answers for each of those problems. The Word and the Spirit give direction for a winning life! Many great resources exist to find Bible answers but faithful, consistent, determined digging on your own can never be beat. My life forever changed the year I made the decision to read the Bible all the way through for the first time…sporadic reading was useful but disciplined reading was transformational.
Whatever goals you set for the New Year…and goals are good…aim for integrity. Blend the natural and the spiritual–don’t try to separate what God designed to be in union. Jesus came to this earth for purpose–and He lived with intention. God has plans and purposes for each of us. We must seek to know His will and live with intention. As you plan your steps for the coming days, give thought to why Jesus came. Let God reveal the specific steps you need to take. Then commit those steps to God, and He will produce in a greater way than you can even think!
Understand that walking out those steps will take discipline and sacrifice. We cannot ‘go with God’ and continue on our own path. There must be integrity between our words and our actions. That does not mean we aim to be perfect; it means we seek to know what God would have us to do…and then we walk toward His goals rejoicing in His mercy, patience and love!
We cannot enjoy the glories of God on Sunday and lock Him away Monday through Saturday. His glory must flow in the workplace, in our recreation and even in our private activities. He is worthy of our honor 24-7. His presence in every moment of our days is both our privilege and our responsibility. Oswald Chambers states a hard truth with great clarity:
“God is not actively involved with our natural life as long as we continue to pamper and gratify it.”
In the center of the Bible, the Psalmist offers this powerful plea:
Keep my steps steady by your word; don’t let any sin rule me. Psalm 119:133
When sin rules in our lives, our lives become a commodity…an object to trade. It devalues us and robs us of the inheritance Christ delivers to all who will believe! The natural world is what God gave to Adam & Eve. He intended us to enjoy it all by walking according to His Word. As long as Adam & Eve did that, they had the beauty of the natural and the spiritual. They enjoyed the very presence of God. One choice to walk in their own wisdom, separated them from the source of life. Jesus restores the choice of life, of God connection. Unity between the natural and spiritual is the essence of abundant living, and an awesome life is possible in Christ! Choose HIM!
What choices will you make for your the new year?
There are foundational disciplines of faith that must be in place to walk in His ways. Join me for Fit Faith to build strength in your faith walk!