In the back yard of my house, I inherited some tiger lilies. I love their pop of orange in the summer. This particular patch that I see out my den window was planted near a tree that has now branched out and grown over the top of them. They, in response, are leaning toward the light; straining to get just a bit more from the sun.
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18 ESV)
I wish that our nature was like those lilies; naturally desiring to live in the light. I wish that we would naturally lean toward the Son of God rather than away from Him. But wishing won’t make it happen. We are naturally bent toward sin and our selfish nature. To lean the other way, toward Jesus, we have to be intentional. It takes deliberate choices to draw closer to God. Setting aside enough time in our schedules to spend it with Him and to read and study His word. It involves willingly saying no to my wants so that I can say Yes to His call on my life.
But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:23-27 ESV)
A church sister and I have been discussing our upcoming (within 2 weeks) decisions to participate in an international mission trip. We are continuing to pray about this decision to seek God’s guidance. Individually, we are asking Him to reveal His plan to us. Our current plan is to participate in our small way in the great commission unless He reveals that we are to stay home. We will remain open to His leading, and at some point in the next two weeks we will step out in faith, that He will use what little we have to offer to bring the gospel message to more people. We are making an investment of time and money and other resources into God’s kingdom.
This is leaning toward the Son, straining to get a bit more light.
He has good works for me to do today. He has a greater call on my life too (write, walk, study, teach). Each opportunity to do the good we know we should do is a chance to lean toward the light or away from Him. Look for those opportunities in your day today. Ask God to reveal to you His call for your life. Then pick up your cross, lay down your wants, and start to follow Him into the light. For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done.
Lord God, give me Your heart. Take my heart of stone that desires selfish things away. Help me to see the good that You want me to do. Show me Your will for this mission trip. Teach me to take up my cross each day to bring glory to You Lord. Thank You God for all of the blessings you give me each day. Amen.
Set your minds on the things of God not the things of man.
Lean toward the light. Follow Him. Be encouraged. Press on.