Yesterday’s article from Thirty Days of Devotion discussed the need to regularly refit our priorities. That is, we need to make sure that the things we’ve been doing and expect to continue still fit into the path the Lord has for us.
I can’t help but think about the example of the disciples. That’s such a clear illustration, from the book, I simply can’t better it. The Lord called them to follow Him. They immediately laid down their nets and physically walked after him.
Literally, they followed. They didn’t cast aside everything they knew. They didn’t hurl their nets into the Sea of Galilee. What they did do was put Christ’s requests, His call, before what they owned, anticipated, or desired.
This isn’t just possessions. This is everything that we call ours. Writing is my occupation. Texas is my home. I also have my family, my favorite shoes, and my recipe for chicken enchiladas, along with my friends, my time, my stories, and my education.
Peter, James, and John had the same issues. They had the lives and situations in which they felt comfortable, working with friends and family in a job in which they excelled. And yet as they left their nets, their hearts were completely willing to leave it all behind.
The concept can lead to entitlement just as easily as ownership. I have a schedule. I know what I’m doing tomorrow, next Tuesday, and March 18, 2016. I know when I can squeeze in something else and when my calendar is far too filled. I have expectations of next year and several on down the line. Retirement from home schooling, more of my children’s weddings, grand babies. I won’t say that I have it all laid out, but I have a rough idea of how I hope things will go.
Surely the disciples had the same type of anticipation. Building a new house, having another son, teaching the fishing trade to pass on the family business. And yet, such entitlements can become a trap to the follower of Christ.
This is another possible trap. Dreams, goals, aspirations, even passions can snare us if they deflect us from following Christ. If our own wants become personal agendas, how can we be sure we’re following Him and not masking selfish ambition, pride, or greed under the banner of “noble cause”?
Trying to follow the Lord when we have this type of chain wrapped around us is like Lot’s wife looking back. A heart still constrained by personal desires can’t be wholly His.
So when the disciples followed, they released all desire, anticipation, and ownership.
Your turn: Can you? Is there something you still hold back? You have trouble releasing to the Lord. I confess, I’ve had to work daily on releasing my children to His care. Not like I really have control over them, (Teenagers! Right!) yet I have to allow His will for their lives even if I don’t get it. Do you struggle with anything like that?
Tomorrow we’ll spend one more day on priorities in Thirty Days of Devotion with “Priority Refocus.”
2015/September at 6:39 pm
Yesterday’s devotional really had me thinking about priorities and if I am too busy and if there is anything I have not let go. Well, I am the opposite of not too busy, I have quiet a bit of time on my hand. However, I have raised my kids. I have homeschooled them to the end. I have taken in a niece in and finished raising her. The only word that kept coming to me was “contentment”. Be content with what you are able to do and where the Lord has you in your life. I didn’t feel like I totally understood why that was coming to me.
However, today’s devotional really hit home with why that word came to me yesterday. Through my illness, I have had to release all things unto the Lord. There were times I felt like I was not going to live too much longer. That required me to turn over ownership of everything including not even being able to depend on my own body for life. I currently still do not ownership of anything. I am learning to be content in my basic tasks of taking care of my family.
I guess for me the hardest thing is to be productive as unto the Lord with my time. Praising Him during all situations, especially when ill. Being content.
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2015/September at 12:22 pm
What excellent insight, Kristen! I think contentment is one of the greatest weapons we have against the evil one, and it is one of the things he tries to attack the most. I’m so glad you’ve found that awesome blessing, even through your unimaginable trials!
2015/September at 3:59 pm
Beautiful words, Kristen. Some of it applies directly to me, too.