This week I have been focusing on my state of mind and how I view my circumstances. Am I depending on the Lord for strength and guidance even when I am feeling successful and am experiencing a “spiritual high”? When something in my life finally goes right, am I quick to thank God for His provision, or is my first gut reaction more along the lines of “YES! FINALLY! I DESERVE THIS!”?
While this is technically the second week after Easter, we just passed the first Sunday, technically called Divine Mercy by many churches. When I realized this, it made me stop and think how Easter really impacted me and what is motivating me this week. Is the resurrection of Jesus Christ still sound in my heart, or was it just a season of excitement because I love Cadbury eggs and singing as much as possible on Sundays?
All of these questions got me questioning how I view on a daily basis what God does for me. I’ve noticed that when I reach a season of success, I don’t really know how to handle it. I find myself becoming boastful and thinking, wow, maybe I really am awesome! I can do this! I have the strength, creativity, and power to get this stuff done! without taking a step back and instead praying, wow God, you are so good! I can’t believe You just gifted me with this incredible opportunity! Thank you for giving me the strength and the creativity to do this! Now how can I make sure that You get the credit for all this instead of me? Please help me to stay humble in this time of life and fight off the temptation to become prideful!
I know that might seem a little ridiculous to a lot of people, but think about it! How many times do we take the credit for things God has done in our lives? How about when you got a pay raise and thought finally! I have been working so hard, I really deserve it! Or what about that time when your life’s dream becomes a reality but your parents aren’t supportive, so you try to prove to them how awesome it is and when they finally see it, you think, I’m so glad they finally approve and are happy for me!
Friends, listen close: these tiny moments that we think are insignificant open a door of pride into our lives, which in turn can actually inhibit our potential to succeed in the future! When we do this, we are leaving our Father, our Creator, our Dad, out of that moment of celebration with us.
Here’s a quick application: how would you feel if your daughter, son, or best friend that you’ve been close with for years and years suddenly experienced something awesome in their lives and while you would normally share in their joy and go out and celebrate or throw them a party, they suddenly cut you off, won’t talk to you, and block your phone number? Wouldn’t that hurt, like a lot?
Coming to terms with realizing the things we work so hard for and find so much pride in can actually be hindering our future potential for success can be really tough to hear. That pang in my heart didn’t just echo, it stayed around! I have been SO bad at thanking God lately for everything going on in my life right now, it makes me feel downright awful!
But friends, take heart! We have a God who may not NEED to be served by human hands (Acts 17:25), but the truth doesn’t stop there! He desires to be in a relationship with us, and not just a surface-level one; He wants us to love Him with all our hearts (Deuteronomy 6:5) because He sacrificed His One and Only Son BECAUSE HE LOVES US THAT MUCH (John 3:16-17).
In His love, He gives grace on top of grace (John 1:16) to us because He knows we can’t be perfect. All He wants for us is to come running to His arms and to keep our eyes fixed on Him (Hebrews 12:1-2) in all seasons of life. Our race may be long, and tempting, and difficult, but we have a trophy and a possession waiting for us that is better than we could ever ask or imagine (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
So, this week, in this period of time that might feel awesome or insane, keep your eyes fixed on Him. Know that we all will stumble and fall, but keep on running! The more we stay connected to Him, the happier He becomes, and in turn, the happier our lives will be.