Archive for December, 2013

hamster wheel

Forty-forth in the series Get close to God

Well, it’s that time of year again. When we try to muster up enough self-control and self-confidence to accomplish some self-improvement to boost our self-esteem as a result of our self-reliance. I don’t suppose I need to ask you if you see a pattern here.

I’m not against trying to become better at something or aspiring to get into shape or wanting to kick a bad habit. I just think it’s time we got off the hamster wheel long enough to share our desires and dreams with the one who can help us get past January 31st before running out of steam.

When Israel’s biggest enemy, the Philistines, heard that David had been anointed king, they came out in full force and spread out in the valley. David had already accomplished much success in his military campaigns, including sneaking into the water shaft to take Jerusalem from the Jebusites. If anyone had a right to feel self-confident, it was him. But he still checked in with the Lord before the battle. “Shall I go and attack them? Will you hand them over to me?” The Lord said, “Go, for I will surely hand the Philistines over to you.” The enemy was defeated but undaunted so they came back for more. David might have been tempted to try what always worked before, but he paused to consult again with his heavenly General. It’s a good thing he did, because he received a different tactic that time, instructing him to circle around the enemy and attack them from behind, resulting in such a devastating blow that it launched Israel as the super power in the region.

Can we learn from David as we consider our goals for the New Year? “Should I do this, Lord? Will you help me succeed?” Don’t wait until you have improved yourself enough before you approach God. He wants you as you are right now, warts and all. Come to him with a repentant heart, ask him to help you, and then give it all you’ve got!

Is there something that you have been wanting to see happen in your life? Is there a desire or dream about some kind of ministry that’s been haunting you for a long time but has remained dormant, a casualty of a lack of confidence or procrastination? Do you feel distant from God and long for the kind of closeness that brings peace and joy that is now alien to you?

Six years ago I was pretty bored and kind of depressed with how my life was going. That’s when I realized I needed to learn how to connect closely with my Creator and with brothers and sisters in Christ. Since then he has given me new opportunities for ministries that have infused excitement, enthusiasm, and purpose into my soul. I still have the same job but somehow it has become more meaningful now when I take the Lord to work with me.

Maybe life is pretty comfortable for you right now and you see 2014 approaching as just another year of doing what you’ve always done before. If you’re that confident in your abilities and don’t feel you need God very often, perhaps it’s time to take a risk and tackle something that you need God’s help for in order to succeed. Or maybe just try involving the Lord in what you’re already doing. You’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll be able to accomplish with him and how your career can also be your mission field. Either way, I guarantee it will bring you closer to him!

No matter what I would like to see happen in my life, I need to remind myself that I won’t make it to February without keeping in step with the Spirit. Getting and staying close to God needs to take priority over all my other goals. That foundation has to be solid or the building will come tumbling down.

Do any of you have an aspiration of the spiritual kind? Please share it by replying to this post so we can come alongside you and earnestly seek the Lord concerning it. Your dream may become a reality by next January, or sooner! After all, “with God all things are possible” (Mathew 19:26.)

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