We know that sometime today we will be tempted to act on our feelings. That we safeguard our hearts is important.
7 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no [visible] commander, no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
We don’t have a visible king, but we do have Jesus as LORD. He guides our hearts and thoughts–if we are listening! Why would we come to Christ for salvation and then go back to the things that were killing us in the first place? To what things am I referring?
- Our own selfish thoughts. The motivation of our hearts was to please ourselves even at the expense of others, including God. Titus 3:3 says that “at one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” Christ has saved us from ourselves and from Satan “through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.” We have been given new hearts; let’s use them to glorify our LORD.
- Our own selfish ways. Habits are hard to break. Our flesh becomes conditioned really quick to addictive behavior and chemicals. The release of endorphins in our blood system gives us the “high” we crave for so many things. The “high” we receive from sugar and especially caffeine and high fructose corn syrup can become addictive. A person told me recently that if “said person” ever became allergic to sugar, then “said person” would just learn to live sick. When we gave our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ, that includes our physical bodies. Let’s give them daily to Him to change as He sees fit. He doesn’t want us hooked on anything but Him [the essence of Ephesians 5:18]. What does He offer? Love, joy, and peace, hope and grace, purpose and life, His righteousness and His presence and participation in our lives!
Let’s “put in the time” to become successful at following Christ. Even as we read His Word, let’s plead with Him to make Himself known to us, to lead us, and to keep us on the straight and narrow path as He walks with us day by day. He will!
One more thing: What we read in His Word and learn today by listening to His Spirit becomes the arsenal from which we draw for tomorrow’s challenges–and sometimes today’s! If you are not going through anything particularly rough right now, rejoice and be glad! Make a point of thanking Him, and then study hard for the next bout of rough weather. If you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, fear no evil because He is with You every step of the way. He has His Shepherd’s Crook ready to keep you from falling into any traps and He will keep the evil one away. JUST STAY CLOSE TO HIM. Pray; worship; sing songs that lift you up and increase your faith; lean on your brothers and sisters in Christ; count it all joy as you face trial of many kinds (James 1:2)–unless you brought it upon yourself; then it’s time to repent and change your ways. He is waiting to fill you with His presence and all that comes with it (His love, joy and peace, etc.).
Abba, I know I stumble sometimes. Help me to learn to be quick about repentance. The quicker I can get turned back to You the quicker I can overcome my circumstances, learn to defeat those temptations, and enjoy Your presence and participation in my life. May I be wise and do the things that build a solid foundation so that when the storms of life come, I will not fall. I’m depending on You, LORD Jesus. Amen.