Before Jesus: The focus was MY career, MY personal goals, MY ME time, prayer ( on occasion ) for MY wants, and then aloud praise God for being so good to ME. How one sided huh?
One on one time dedicated to the Lord everyday? Opening His word daily? Spending quiet slowed down time with simply God doing His most precious work? Attending church? Serving others? Serving and submitting to the home and the family in it? None of it was happening.
From the outside looking in I was doing it all (and had it all) when now I realize I was doing nothing of value in the eyes of the Lord. When I really appeared to be (and claimed to be) doing it all it was really with my mom’s full time help and my demands and expectations of my husband. I mean 50/50 right? Team work makes the dream work or something like that? How foolish was I. The creeper (as I refer to the devil) was working full time in my life – giving me everything I ever wanted (see he’s a creeper). I was conforming to the pattern of the world and distorting God’s word to fit my new found values thinking these abundance of blessings were coming from God yet my life and who I was reflected the complete opposite. Being nice to people doesn’t cut it! His word is specific about how He wants you to live life and it’s on point about being a part of today’s world. Read Romans 12:2.
Notice the pattern of the first paragraph? Lots of ME and MY and MINE. And of course this is okay because look around – the world is shoving love yourself FIRST down your throat and into your heart. How about we promote loving God FIRST?
With Jesus: The focus are His goals, His plans, His wants, His desires. I pray THEN I plan and I praise Him aloud no matter what – full of blessings or full of missteps. Guess what? I love myself MORE now with doing so much LESS for myself. My self confidence now comes from somewhere I had never tapped into – no matter how in shape I was, no matter how much I was growing in my career, no matter how nice my home was, and so forth. I laugh at all of that now. Nothing compares to the confidence and peace that only God can sew into the deepest part of who you are. The seasons of the life He has given me align with obedience to what He wants from me – not what I want from myself. My cup overflows with His love because of the grace He has shown me time and time again. I shifted my entire life towards Him and this overflowing of Him finally eliminated all that other selfishness. I’m SO far from perfect (cringe) because the flesh is weak and that feel good life of today’s world is easy to fall into (Read Matthew 26:41) but Jesus loves me unconditionally despite those weaknesses because He knows my heart. I strive and redirect everyday – every moment – to be a better and more faithful servant.
Sure, it’s a much much quieter and detached road. You should see the lack of likes on social media when I share the hard truth of the Bible! I’ve observed how people really only love the feel good about being a Christian. Love and serve (which is the core of Jesus – I agree wholeheartedly), but the nitty gritty, the unpopular truths is not accepted or is set aside and ignored. I mean I get it because it wasn’t that long ago when I was far removed from His word too. Heck, who am I kidding? Even Christians (myself included) don’t acknowledge the hard truth sometimes! But we can’t pick and choose. It’s ALL the truth. Our trespasses will face and be judged by God one day – myself very much included – and everything in His word will apply – even those hard truths none of us like. It’s why I yearn the road I now strive to stay on and always fall back into. Read more about that in Matthew 7:14.
God bless everyone!