“Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8……….
Not too long ago this ad would not have caught my attention, but thanks be to God almighty whose Holy Spirit is changing me day by day from a self-consumed woman who has lived for decades for SELF into a God-centered woman who is learning to deny self and to LIVE FOR CHRIST, from a woman who spent decades trusting in herself and this world and is now learning moment by moment to place her trust in Christ Jesus, I could help but notice the ad whose words in my email inbox subject line say it all when it comes to how this world teaches us to live – and how in fact God created us NOT to live.
The words in the subject line were as follows: “Building Strength, Stability & Self Reliance — Thanks to You!” Is this not exactly how the world in its wickedness teaches us to live? To find our strength in SELF. To find stability in SELF. To rely on SELF. To depend on SELF. To live by SELF. To live for SELF. And, ultimately, to take credit for what WE accomplish in the name of SELF even as we give ourselves the GLORY. I cannot speak for whomever wrote the ad, nor for the organization whose slogan the message is, and this is truly not about that person or organization, but is instead about YOU and about ME and about ALL OF US.
God not only did NOT create us to find STRENGTH and STABILITY in SELF and to RELY on SELF, but it is only when we humbly realize, and acknowledge, and confess we are NOTHING without God, we have NO MEANINGFUL PURPOSEFUL SIGNIFICANT TRUE strength without God, and that we MUST RELY ON GOD THROUGH FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST that we genuinely begin to live the lives He created us to life. Finding STRENGTH IN CHRIST, STABILITY IN CHRIST, and RELYING ON CHRIST.
Some would say the easy answer then is to repent of our sins, to believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, died on the cross to bear God’s wrath at us for our sins and the accompanying punishment of forever apart from God ultimately in hell and the lake of fire and that He was raised from the dead to have victory over sin, death, hell, and the lake of fire, and that we can then trollop back off to the lives we’ve always lived and live them the way we’ve always lived them. Some have done exactly that, and perhaps you are one of them. Or perhaps you are not but simply need this reminder.
Receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, entering into a forever relationship with Him IS NOT THE END but marks a BRAND NEW START. We are not to merely find our strength and stability, and to rely on Christ, in a one-time experience. This is to be our very WAY OF LIFE. What does this mean in plain English? We need to TURN AWAY from the world’s ways, which includes living by and for SELF, and to TURN TO GOD AND HIS WAYS, which means learning moment by moment to depend on Him for EVERYTHING WE NEED with yearning, the desire, the passion, the devotedness, to live and breathe every breath for Christ – and NOT for SELF.
How very often I have found I have reverted to thinking I need to accomplish life in my own strength, to find my own stability, and to rely on me and others to do what I believe I need to do. This is NOT the way God calls us to live. Each time I discover I have gone back to this, just like a child who has fallen who needs to stand up and keep learning to walk, I need to repent and keep walking as the Lord in His infinite love and His awesome grace teaches me to walk with Him – trusting in Jesus step by step as God’s Spirit leads me through life.
Where do you stand, my friend? Where are you seeking your strength and stability? On whom, or what, are you relying. May the Lord Jesus Christ be your all in all!