Life Change

Written Feb 2015: I was answering a health questionnaire this week. One of the questions asked how long I have had issues with my weight. I answered: since birth! Now that might have been a slight exaggeration, but I have been overweight as long as I can remember. And as long as I have been overweight, I have been on a diet. Most of these diets were not my idea. My parents thought that I needed them, so they were imposed on me. And I was not thrilled about it. It meant not being allowed to eat like everyone else and constantly being judged for what I did eat. But even as an adult, I would put myself on diets and it was always the same thing. Deny myself, hate it, cheat, feel bad, become extreme with exercise or calorie counting, lose weight, feel sick all the time, and eventually, go back to the old habits. The weight would come back and would usually bring along a few more pounds for my effort. Permanent weight loss requires a permanent lifestyle change. Not one imposed by anyone (not even myself). I need to embrace a new lifestyle. I must be willing to live long term in a new frame of mind.
I was reading about the birth of Christ this week. It dawned on me that God did not choose Mary and Joseph at random. They were people of integrity, people who had been living a life that was already God-honoring and obedient. If they weren’t, he wouldn’t have chosen them. Can you imagine if Joseph didn’t flee to Egypt when God told him to? What if he had been like many of us and said, not right now, it isn’t a good time, I have a party planned for Saturday night… ? He was a man who knew God’s voice and obeyed it immediately. This was his LIFEstyle. And because God knew He could trust him, He entrusted the most precious Gift into his hands.
How often do we wish for a more intimate relationship with God? One where He calls us and we hear Him. One where we can walk on water if He asks us to get out of the boat. But how often has He called us and we didn’t listen? How often have we tuned Him out? How often have we delayed obeying? How can He ask us to walk on the water if He knows we will refuse because we just had our pedicures done? Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Don’t we want to have that deeper relationship with God? Don’t we long to hear His voice and to feel His power working in us and through us? How can we expect to achieve a deeper, more intimate relationship if we don’t do anything differently? I cannot continue to read my Bible and answer the phone and texts at the same time. I cannot continue to have my prayer time filled with thoughts of the tasks of the day that need to be done. I cannot continue to push my time with God to the bottom of the list of things I need to do. If I do continue in this manner, how can I expect a deeper, more intimate relationship with God than what I have right now? If we want more of God we need to spend more meaningful time in his Word and in prayer. If we want more intimacy we need to open more of our hearts. God needs to go from the Bible in our hand and the theology in our heads to the life source in our hearts. But in order to achieve this, we must be willing. God is not into fad “God” diets. He will not impose Himself on us. We need a LIFEstyle change. Permanent. Committed. Embracing. The Bible tells us to seek, search, hunger and thirst after Him. We cannot continue to casually encounter God. He has so much more for us than that! We must be purposeful in our searching, passionate in our devotion and satisfied only with God Himself. Where could He take us then?

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