As I posted just the other day about our time relaxing at the cottage on Little Crawling Stone Lake, I was convicted, reminded of a simple truth that I believe the Lord is working on in my life as of late. While we all love times of relaxation, a time to just “get away from it all” so to speak, we can’t stay in that place forever. We can go away for a week, two weeks, or even a couple months, but when that “time” is over that first Monday back in the real world is always there for us. Whether we like it or not, we must swing back into what we know to be the reality of our lives and our existence.
I have often wondered why is it that Americans, for the most part like drifting away from real life? They enjoy trying to get away from responsibilities, cares, and concerns. Is it because we aren’t happy with the life we have? That might be the case for some, but others would tell anyone that they love their families, jobs, homes, and daily routine. So, why are we always willing to drift, to spend fortunes on a week that will fade into memories of a few 4×6 photos in a dusty book on our coffee table?
As I look at my own past, and how my mindset had been in this area I see that I was always willing to go somewhere new, try something crazy, drift away from reality because I thought that I was going to find something better than what I was already experiencing in my life. You’ve all heard the phrase, “the grass is always greener in someone else’s yard.” Well, I think that is true for alot us, that type of thinking comes with being a sinful, fallen human being. We have a hard time with contentment…in every area of our lives. I know that I have in the past and still struggle in this area.
God has been speaking to me about not only the area of contentment, and trust in Him for that contentment, but also about drifting away in life, or living a complacent faith, so to speak. In my time with Jesus I have been reading through the book of Hebrews which has spoken to me deeply and urgently about this issue.
Hebrews 2:1 “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.” Hebrews 3:12,13 ” Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today”, so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.”
We must warn each other daily…what an admonition! So I ask myself, have you encouraged a brother or sister in the Lord today? Have you spurred one on in their daily walk with Christ? Have you asked someone what the Lord has been teaching them or doing in their life lately? Or am I just walking through my day, avoiding all serious confrontation with people so I don’t have to spend the time on a deeper level with them…so I don’t have to be convicted about where I am with God…
Hebrews 2:3 ” So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak?” I think so many of us comparmentalize God. We pick the parts of Him that we like (ie. grace, love, etc) and put those where they fit into our lives and disregard all of who God truly is. What makes us think we can do this? What makes us think that God can be whoever we make Him to be in our lives as long as it fits with our agenda, our goals, what we think our purpose on earth is to be? And what makes us think that we can “drift away” or vacation from God when His ways just don’t seem to be working out for us right now? God the author of our life here on earth and the author of our salvation, He is not just a side note…yet we as believers often treat Him as such. Galatians 2:20 is very clear, “My old self (before salvation), has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” It is evident here that upon salvation our life is no longer about us, no longer about what works for us and what doesn’t, no longer about fitting God in somewhere with all our other priorities and goals, and if He doesn’t fit, well then maybe we’ll come back for Him sometime when a slot in our schedule opens. No, Christ is our life! And as we realize this truth and center the rest of our life around Christ we learn what true joy is and we don’t feel like we need a vacation from Him, instead we begin to hear His voice, and see Him working in our lives in whatever way He chooses to our good and benefit, no matter how hard that might seem at times. We are God’s children, He loves us, and has promised such great things to us if we faithfully step by step just desire to know Him. Hebrews 3:14 ” For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to God.”
How do we get to know God? How do we get to this place where God doesn’t feel like just one of our weekly responsibilities? How do we get to a place where we don’t feel like we need a time to drift away from the accountability of our faith? For me it has been spending time in God’s Word and talking to Him throughout my day. Not always just sitting down and spending time with Him in a quiet prayer, but talking to Him while I’m out on a run, or doing the dishes. Asking Him, what should I do when I see this person later today, or God, how should I respond to this email, I really don’t know what to say to this person.” God is my life, so all of these intricate parts should be stemming directly from Him. Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is alive and powerful…it exposes the innermost thoughts and desires of our hearts.” 13 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God…He is the one to whom we are accountable.” His Word is alive, and it is powerful!! It has the answers to all of life’s questions if we will only take the time to search out truth for ourselves. I know it is easier to just believe what others tell us. It’s easier to take an “educated” person’s word over the Bible because they have credibility in our society, and right now the Bible really does not. But truth is truth, and God is God, and what is written down in His Word does not change and neither does our standing with Him once we are His children. If I can encourage you, don’t drift away, get to know God on a deeper level. Instead of pushing Him away because it seems like He’s not working for you right now, use a time like this to press in closer, to learn His heart, you will be amazed at what you will find, and if you cultivate this type of relationship He will change your life and perspective forever.