(Originally published 8/12-13/13)
We’ve probably all been told at some point to worry about the plank in our own eye. And we don’t have to look far for it, do we? God can be pretty blunt when it comes to showing us changes He wants to make in our hearts.
Regardless of whether He uses blessings or (sadly more likely) trials to wake us up, it’s our choice whether or not to listen. Choosing to repent and turn that area over to God can be a long, hard process.
Thankfully, the Word promises that when we seek God with all our heart and mind, we will find Him (Due.4:29, Jer. 29.13). What does seeking Him look like? It’s a little different for everyone, but two things that are required by everyone: reading the Bible and praying.
If you don’t read the Bible and fill yourself with God’s truths and promises, how are you going to know who God is, who you are, and what you are supposed to do? Don’t take other peoples’ word for it, or settle for being spoon fed by a pastor once a week. Dig into it as often as you can! Fill yourself with Scripture.
Then, when you face temptation, you can do what Jesus did and fight the devil with the Word of God (Matt 4: 1-11, Eph. 6:17b). When worries rear their ugly heads, you can remember all the times the Bible teaches of God’s love and faithfulness. When idolatry infiltrates your heart, the Word will remind you to have an eternal perspective and build up treasures in heaven.
And the more you read, the more you’ll want to know. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read a passage one time or ten, God can still use it to being you fresh revelation. So dig deep, ask questions, commit passages to memory, write things down and hang them around your house. Surround yourself with the Word of God.
As you read your Bible, talk to God about it. Talk to Him about everything. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17) but God is so often the last person we go to. We celebrate victories with friends, we share fears with those closest to us, we fret to ourselves in traffic and share our thoughts, rather loudly, with the other drivers. But we sometimes forget to share these things with God.
We even have a popular expression in times of trouble; ‘all we can do is pray.’ Excuse me? ‘All’ we can do is pray? The MOST we can do is pray! We are taking the problem before the Almighty Creator of the Universe, who loves us more than we will ever be able to fathom, and we’re telling Him that regardless of the outcome, we trust Him to have His way and that His way is the best. Think about that for a minute. Think about presenting your case to the Author and Creator of all things and tell me that’s the least you can do.
Our first reactions in good times as well as bad should be to pray. And more than that, to praise, simply because He is worthy. As I read once, “We have to thank God for the seemingly good as well as the seemingly bad because really, we don’t know the difference.”
When we are trusting God completely with our lives and fixing our eyes on Him, we will be able to rejoice in all circumstances, knowing and believing that God is good, forever just and forever faithful, fully worthy of all adoration.
The closer we grow to God through prayer and reading the Bible, the better we get to know Him and the deeper our love grows for Him, as does our knowledge and understanding of His love for us.
We can all stand to make some self-improvements, but don’t stop at that humble realization; follow it up with action. Grab a Bible and bend a knee.