I’ve fallen short many times as a husband, father, son and friend. I’ve done and said things that I’m embarrassed to admit. It has been on my heart to make positive and impactful changes.
I’ve looked from within on how I can do these things and discovered it’s not something I can do on my own. I need God in my life. Not just in my life but as the main focal point. Whenever I’ve struggled and fallen short, it’s because I didn’t put God first. I felt that I had control of everything and while I believed in God I didn’t live like it. I made other things a priority that really just didn’t matter. It affected my mood and behavior.
Recently at church our pastor stated how important it was to deepen our relationship with God. I agreed whole-heartedly. It has been very important and I’ve taken steps to go deeper. I’ve prayed more intently, I’ve been reading the Bible and I’ve made an effort to attend church and consume everything from worship to the sermon.
Then he said – Don’t just read the Bible – study the Bible.’
This has stuck with me. I first thought study? Why do I need to study this? Can’t I read a few verses and call it a day?
Then I thought to myself…no it’s not enough and it hasn’t been enough. I’ve downloaded the Bible apps designed to help you read the Bible in a year. I went along with the routine and read a few chapters each evening. While I grasped the general meaning I can’t say that what I was doing was very fruitful. Sure I can say, ‘look at me I read the Bible!’ What I can’t say is that I really immersed myself and studied the text and its broader meaning. That takes more time and careful consideration.
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
In short, it will take intentional action to restore my soul. What I have always done has been more passive than anything.
So I say to myself, ‘I will be more intentional with my reading and actually study the Bible.’ Then I think what qualifications do I have to do all of this? How do I know that I’m doing it right? What if I fail? Those things tend to cross my mind.
While I may not think that I’m enough or don’t have the authority to do something – God thinks differently. This is who God says I am.
- I am God’s workmanship — His handiwork — born anew in Christ to do His work. (Eph. 2:10)
- I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His Fruit (John 15:16)
- I am united to the Lord and am one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17)
- I am part of the true vine, a channel of Christ’s life (John 15:1,5)
These are just a few verses in the Bible, there are so many more. So if you get down on yourself, remember who God says you are.
God is calling all of us to something. How will you respond? Will you respond at all?
For me it’s being more intentional and less passive in my walk with Him.
I’ll end with a quote from A.W. Tozer:
“Most Christians are satisfied living their entire lives as common Christians. They never experience the richness of what it truly means to be a Christian. Without a deep insatiable hunger for the things of God, there is nothing within them prodding them to go forward to perfection.”