So, now I’m on the home stretch – the last week of my journey! I’ve had a good trip thus far! Reading a lot! I’m reading in the book of Joshua now! Finished two book reviews and about to start reading “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Power” by Jon Eckhardt.
I’ve had a couple of tough days – where everything and everyone irritated me, got some unnerving news, was tired and cranky… You know, the usual… But, I didn’t think that everything was going to go wonderfully, anyway. I knew Satan would try to get my mind off of my mission during this 21 Days.
As many of us are focusing more on relationship with God at this time, I must admit for me and probably for you, that my issues were not with not knowing how or what to do but rather with the motivation to actually do it.
Lysa TerKeurst states in her book, “Made to Cave” that it’s usually not the “how to” we’re missing but the “want to”! To really want to make life-long changes in order to place God first, over every area of our life. In Matthew 19:16 -22, there is a story about a rich young ruler that asks Jesus what good thing must he do in order to have eternal life. Jesus answers him and tells him to keep the commandments – the young man says “I have done that since my youth” but then Jesus hits him where it hurts – the area he had put first in his life. Jesus says “Go sell what you have and give it to the poor.” And verse 22 says, “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful for he had great possessions.”
You see the rich young man was trying to get to God by works – obeying the commandments but he still recognized that he had lack (v. 20). He still felt empty inside. He knew that something was missing but what was it? When Jesus pointed out that the young man desired his riches more than he desired relationship with Jesus, he was unwilling to give it up. He made a conscious decision to keep riches in the #1 position in his life. You see, he lacked the “want to”. Jesus supplied the “how to” but the young man wasn’t willing to obey.
That’s how many of us are. We do “things” trying to earn salvation but all the while, there is something inside of us that remains lacking. We haven’t placed relationship with God in the proper priority! We have put other things ahead of Him but yet we still strive for acceptance.
When we come to the realization that we have placed other things ahead of relationship with God ,we then have a decision to make – make life-changes or refuse and continue with the empty feeling of “lack”.
That feeling is actually your spirit man craving God! Lysa states that “God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him and Him alone”. He is the only one capable of satisfying that craving. Not food, money, alcohol, a spouse, work, or anything else. Those things can’t fill the empty God sized hole in our spirit! God is simply waiting on you (and me) to turn to Him first and he will help you prioritize the other things in your life.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as an adult it’s that “People do what they want to do”. If you want to go to church then you do! If you want to fast for 21 days then you do! If you want to give your tithes and offerings then you do! If you want to go to the ballgame then you do! If you want to party on Saturday night – then you do! If you want to sleep in on Sunday morning then you do! If you want to spend your money on fleshly desires then you do! Then you make excuses for your decisions – “I can’t afford to pay tithes, I have kids in College”… “I work so hard during the week that I can’t go to church on Sunday morning”…
What I am tired of, is the excuses! And if I’m tired of them – don’t you know God is!! Again – where is your “want to”? If you truly want to put God first – then you will!
As you rub your sore toes – (sorry!) – make a conscious evaluation of where your “want to” resides. If it is exactly where you desire it to be – then everything is good. If it isn’t where you want it – make a real choice coupled with real plans on how to shift it to where you desire it to be! Change requires effort!
Whatever the outcome of your self-evaluation – “No more excuses!!”
At least be honest and say it’s because “I WANT TO!”