” Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.”Ecclesiastes 12:1, NIV
I’ve heard it said that some will get into heaven by the skin of their teeth. They will have lived their lives the way they wanted, giving in to their every desire, and at the end of their life will realize their need for a Savior and cry out to Jesus. In His great grace, if their heart is truly repentant and they believe, they will be with Him in paradise. Truly, His patience is our salvation.
However, there is something to be said about a life of service to Him. The Christian walk isn’t easy. We are subject to the same situations as the rest of the world. And there are constantly things in our hearts that need to be weeded out and burned. It is a constant state of repentance and realizing our need for Jesus. But, it is an exponential curve of learning and growing in faith. A true Christian living by the Book, walking in the Light, and humbling themselves before the Lord will have a life more fulfilled than any other.
Living life according to the flesh can be gratifying for a moment. It may seem that those who live after their own desires, partying it up, are having the time of their lives. But, looks can be deceiving. There is a constant emptiness that comes with that life; it comes with a discontent that must constantly be fed. The void in the heart has to be filled. Instant gratification fills it only for a moment. It’s a true saying that there is no rest for the wicked. They are constantly trying to fulfill themselves, to buy peace and joy, and run from their true self.
” And such were some of you…”1 Cor 6:11a, NKJV
This morning I was praying on my way to work and was remembering my old life. I thought about how much I fought for attention and affection, how empty and sad I was, and how many times I knew I’d ignored His nudging toward a better life; His life. I considered how rebellious and prideful I was in thinking I could find fulfillment myself. That was my motto as a kid. Ever since I was 4, my grandma told me I would say, “I do it myself.” But no matter how hard I tried, no matter what I bought, who I was with, or how much I consumed, I was never satisfied. It was never enough.
In an instant, He showed me the many times He provided for me during that portion of my life, and how at some point giving to me more would be only to my destruction. God is love, so He withdrew His hand. I had turned from Him and thought all that I acquired, all that I found to fulfill me was of my own doing. “I do it myself.”
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”Proverbs 16:18, NKJV
Only when I really hit rock bottom did I realize He was the One who provided for me, protected me, and had all the answers, not me. Only when I truly gave my life to Him did I understand that His grace is sufficient. He is enough. I’m still learning how to fully submit to Him. It’s a never-ending process of His transforming me by renewing my mind, and His pulling that deep-rooted weed of pride. It’s hard sometimes, but so worth it. Life is worth the living!
Challenge: Today, when you take time to pray, thank Him for His grace. Thank Him for His patience. Consider what love this is that allows us the free will to choose or deny Him; to choose or reject life. Choose life today, that you may live a life of service to the one and only King of Kings. Don’t get in to heaven by the skin of your teeth. Accept His sacrifice and live the abundant life He died and rose again to give you.
Prayer: Oh God, You are so good to me. Even when I was still sinning, You saved me by Your Son Jesus Christ. Teach me to remember You are enough. Help me not to revert to my old ways; for that person has died. Keep me from resurrecting my old self and help me not to go back into the pit You pulled me from. Forgive me for thinking what I gained was of my own doing and for forgetting You are the One who provides for me. Help me to remember my Creator while I still can. Forgive me my pride. Help me not to turn to the left or to the right, or be distracted by the ways of this world which look to be enticing, but end in destruction. Thank You for all You’ve done and continue to do. You are good. You are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.