Last weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder stepped into a new series, At Your Best. It is apropos to apply the content of this week’s sermon to daily life—yours and mine. For those wanting to go from just living to THRIVING, leaning into a personal relationship with Jesus is central.
Before discounting any of today’s thoughts, know the points of reference are based on real-life experiences—mine. Not unlike the Israelites, I have done more than my fair share of wandering around, whining, and complaining. The mere fact Ben’s weekend talk parallels my life experience on multiple levels is profound. (Who ratted me out?)
Were it possible to ask for a show of hands via Living It Out, and if readers were being honest, I imagine numerous hands would go up after being directed to raise your hand if you have ever drifted through life, arriving at Nowhere. (Please note: Nowhere and Know Where are different destinations.) I have arrived at Nowhere more times than I want to admit. Without a map or GPS, it is foolhardy to think arriving at Know Where is likely. Aimless wandering, like the Israelites, will do it every time—land you in Nowhere (again).
Ben aptly reminded us, we don’t drift into better. Nothing (no thing) drifts into better. He also noted the difference between being tired and burned out. No quick fixes are available for burn out! Thankfully, there is a way out of these dilemmas.
Take a clear view of reality. Establish where you are (as presented in yesterday’s LIO). The next challenge is to move—take a step. The best step I have ever taken is a step out of God’s way. Too often for me, the compulsion has been to move in the direction I wanted to go. I would shudder to know how many times the path before me was designed by God, yet I chose another route. It now comes as no surprise the countless times I ended up Nowhere.
Thankfully for me, mid-life, one deliberate decision to seek God’s direction proved his faithfulness is beyond question. This week’s bottom line, “Life is Best, When God is First,” played out as I relentlessly followed his clear, unquestionable cue.
It is never too late to lean into God, allowing the ultimate external force into your life. Without wavering, I want to go on record and say many things have changed upon making the decision to live out Jeremiah 17:7—“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”
Truly, life is best when God is first.
Do you find yourself wandering aimlessly? Are you stuck—unable to take a step? Have you given deliberate thought to asking God for guidance? What things get in your way when attempting to be a follower of Christ in all areas of life?
Examine yourself to identify the things that are keeping you stuck in aimless wandering. Confide in a trust-worthy friend any areas of unresolved brokenness you might have.
Talk through and walk through unresolved relationship issues. Seek God for guidance on how to reconcile those relationships.
Pinpoint what keeps you from stepping into greater trust in God. Connect with a reliable person who is able to offer encouragement and guidance as you step into a deeper level of knowing God and trusting God.
Heavenly Father, you are trustworthy. I know I can rely on you, so I commit everything I have and am to you. May I carry out your will in my actions. May my thoughts and behaviors follow your path for my life. Help me to trust you in all that I do. Teach me to listen for your voice and obey your guidance. You are the source of my strength, and my help comes from you. In your Son’s name I pray! Amen.
This post was written by Karen Peck. Karen retired in March 2018 from Lucas County Information Services. She has been married to her husband, E. Michael, for over forty years. Karen is extremely grateful retirement has afforded her several soul-fulfilling opportunities to engage in deeper, meaningful relationship with Him and others.
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