Choosing Christ over everything in this world takes faith. We must learn to trust Jesus. How? By studying His Word and His ways.
1 My child, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, 2 that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.
If the entire point of our salvation was for us to be able to enjoy a wonderful, personal relationship with our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection and the consequent infilling of the Holy Spirit, then our acknowledgement of Him in our lives must be our first priority. Most people do not associate reading God’s Word with spending time with Him, but it is. He lives in the words; they are living and active (Hebrews 4:12). Just as “the prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21), He speaks to us through the writers of His Word.
Spending time with Jesus is how we are changed, transformed, remade, fixed, tweaked and tuned to be godly. We are being made into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). We had been living as slaves until the day Christ saved us. From that point on, He has been working on us and in us to get us through enemy territory to His kingdom even as He grows His kingdom in us. He has been preparing us for it by teaching us who we are and what to expect. His Spirit within us gives us the desire to overcome our own selfish desires and the power to overcome temptation. We are being made into the image of God as we were intended to be from the beginning.
It’s our choice. It’s always been our choice, but once we make the choice, we move our wills out of the way and allow Him to work in and through us. It’s quite a privilege! What we forget is that just being with Him changes us. Although programs and studies are good, we need time with the Father in order to absorb His goodness and His love. In order to radiate, we must saturate. Engaging the Father in conversation and submitting ourselves to Him faces us toward Him and makes us ready to receive all of His goodness, love, joy, peace, mercy, and grace.
Let’s try an experiment: When you think about God, give all you know of yourself to all you know of Him right then. Submit yourself to Him that very minute. Then, go on about your day. The next time you think about God, do it again right then. Then again. and again. I think what you will find is that it will become a habit, a routine, even second nature to live in His presence. His presence means His participation, as well. We need not worry about protection when we are walking with the Father. What’s the worst they can do, kill the body? Here’s what Jesus said about that:
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. Luke 12:4
He also says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24
Dying to self and living for God through Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit is our new directive (Romans 6:11).
Abba, may You challenge us to seek Your face routinely, to get to know You, and to become like You. We can only do that when we strive to acknowledge You in our everyday lives. Make Yourself known to us even as You told us You would, “Turn to Me, and I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings and My thoughts” Proverbs 1:23. I can’t think of anything I want more than for You to do just that! Let’s start right now, shall we? Thank You, Abba! Amen.