It’s cold season, and everybody knows it! You know how you can feel the presence of a cold in your system, know its there, but be only slightly hindered by it in your capacity to function? There are days I can feel my body fighting off a cold, and overall, I’m wining the fight! But then, there are those days when the biological battle shifts and the cold takes over my system… Today, I’m fighting a cold, but the cold is winning! And I’m miserable!
I’m telling you this because, mornings are such an important time for me to connect with God in the Word. But in the misery of this cold, I wake up so weary after a terrible night of discomfort, with my head chocked full of you know what… I stay in bed as long as possible and then do as little as is necessary to get my girls to school… Then I come back to an empty house (Brent is usually gone to work by then), instead of heading to my writing spot to work on my book, and fight the urge to crawl back into bed and put on a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie. Doesn’t that sound divine???
God has been growing me in so many ways, but one of the things I wrestle with is consistency.
Sometimes, I manage to wake up at 5am, spend an hour in my devotions, get myself all ready to go for the day, then wake the girls up, have a great morning with them, getting them off to school with love and blessings, and then go to my writing place for “work.”
But then I hit a busy season where I start to feel tired and a bit overwhelmed. Or I hit a roadblock and start to feel discouraged. Or I get a cold that starts kicking me in the butt, leaving me physically miserable and longing for bed…
On those days, I am so quick to question whether or not it’s worth it! Why am I doing this? Is it really that important? Wouldn’t I be happier and better off just taking time for me? Enjoying a hot tea and a cheesy Christmas movie?
Working by myself, though I do have some accountability in place, tends to expose those deep inner motivations. I don’t have a boss I have to please. I have only Jesus! But what does it look like to please Him? How disciplined am I supposed to be in this season? How hard am I supposed to work for something I can’t tangibly grasp or see? How flexible can I be, taking advantage of those moments when I could just throw in the towel and… be?
On days like today, when everything in me wants to believe that I am better off throwing in the towel, curling up in my bed, nursing my own misery with a cheesy Christmas movie… God confronts the true motivation of my heart, which is LOVE.
What do I love? Who do I love? And what does love look like?
What I LOVE will determine what I DO.
“Don’t fall in love with this corrupt world or worship the things it can offer. Those who love its corrupt ways don’t have the Father’s love living within them. All the things the world can offer to you—the allure of pleasure, the passion to have things, and the pompous sense of superiority—do not come from the Father. These are the rotten fruits of this world. This corrupt world is already wasting away, as are its selfish desires. But the person really doing God’s will—that person will never cease to be.” (1 John 2:15-17, the VOICE)
Everyday, we get to choose the object of our love, which will in turn determine our actions and our behaviour. Our LOVE writes the WHY that motivates ACTION towards a certain OUTCOME.
Maybe some other morning, choosing bed and a movie might have been a decision out of love for God. Maybe it was time to embrace a Sabbath and cease the endless activity and addiction to work… But this morning, I would have been choosing the pleasures of this world, the passion of luxury and leisure over my love for God. I would have been pursuing the outcome of my own happiness which would have slightly cooled the love I have in my heart for God, because I had chosen the world over Him.
Every single day, the echo of 2 Corinthians 6:2 sends ripples of divine inspiration into my spirit, “Today is the day of salvation.” Every day, God makes every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places available to me (Ephesians 1:3)! He invites me to lean into Him, press into His Word, and delight in His mercies that are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Every day I get to choose the Bread of Life (John 6:35)…
OR rotten fruit (v.16).
Every time I choose rotten fruit – the leisures of this world, the pleasures of entertainment and the wealth of our society over the Life-giving Word of God – I end up depleted, dissatisfied, knowing deep in my spirit that I took and ate of that which is wasting away (v.17)…
It may sound so small and insignificant. But it is these very decisions that decide the state of our souls. It is in these small choices that pepper our everyday lives that the seeds of God’s Kingdom are planted. And when we choose to love God, lean into His Life-giving Word, and obey His voice today, we are engaging with the Spirit who sets us free (Romans 8:2; 2 Corinthians 3:17). We are cooperating with the saving grace of Jesus Christ which will always result in bearing the fruit of His Spirit and Life everlasting in our own souls, and in the lives of those around us (Philippians 2:12-13).
I LOVE my God. I choose Him today. And because of that, I will obey His commands trusting that He is worth it. And I will reap a plentiful harvest for His glory that will never cease and never fade.
Choosing this world means aligning myself with death, all that is wasting away. But the person really doing God’s will—that person will never cease to be.” (1 John 2:17b, the VOICE)
Dear friends, hear the echo of God’s saving grace today, and choose Him. Let go of the lie that this world can satisfy, and engage with the Eternal One who calls you by name. He has rich blessings available for you – if you will but reach out, take hold, and eat of His Life-giving Word!