Every day, I ask the Lord to continue transforming me more into His likeness.
I don’t ever want to enter a situation in life and try to apply the last sermon I heard at church. I don’t want to try and remember catch phrases or gimmicks to “get me through” difficult times.
I don’t want to come to a crossroads and try to figure out the right path.
The Bible isn’t a book of promises and principles to apply in life. It’s an introduction to a relationship with the Father.
If we come face to face with a trial and aren’t already walking in faith and pursuing Jesus, that trial is going to eat our lunch.
Jesus paid much too high a price for me to sell out cheap.
Matthew 6:22-23 says: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good (or translated into single), your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
No matter what happens in life. No matter what people say about us. No matter what trial comes our way. If our focus isn’t solely on pursuing and becoming more like our Father, we’ve already set ourselves up to struggle.
Think about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (Rack, Shack, and Benny if you watch Veggie Tales)
They were thrown into the fiery furnace after it was stoked up to seven times its normal strength. Did God squelch the fire? Did he remove the trial? No. He walked through it with them.
That’s a big deal.
Those Hebrew boys were ready and willing to lose their lives for their faith. Just as we should be. The blood and word are vital, but we tend to “forget” the rest of that verse about laying down our lives. (Revelation 12:11 says: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
The Gospel isn’t some first aid kit that is going to keep us out of tough situations.
In fact, we’re promised trials and hard times. We’re for certain going to be uncomfortable at some point. (Holy Spirit is called the Comforter…) But if our eye is single, we are filled with light and able to walk right on through.
There are two things I haven’t really thought about much in the last seven and a half months since God completely changed my life.
Sin and the devil.
I have focused on being a son in right standing with my Father. I’m pursuing His words, actions, and thoughts more than ever before. I’m not talking about perfection. I’m talking about relationship.
I don’t ever want to be shallow when I encounter hard times or people coming against me and try to figure out the “Christian” thing to do or say. That’s crazy.
I want my life to burn so intensely that when fire comes, I will only burn brighter.