Friday, May 6, 2016

The surprising indicator of your true priorities

"Your days never fail to betray your priorities." -Ann Voskamp

If someone were to ask me what is most important in my life, I would say: 

1. My Faith
2. My Marriage
3. My/my husband's health
4. My family
5. My friends
6.My writing

Yet, as I look at what I did today, I feel a little sick. What did I do today that perpetuated any of these things? 

You know what I did today?

I woke up> got dressed> helped Jacob package up some phones that we sold on eBay> shipped those phones> went to work> wrote this article> and then went home where I watched a television show with my husband. 

Where did I spend time with Jesus? Where did I pray for my husband? Where did I care for a friend? Where did I take some time to work on my own health or that of my husbands?

I didn't. How can I say those things are my priorities, when my day didn't reflect any of my priorities. If a stranger looked in on my life, they would say my priorities were mostly self-serving. This is where my sin is detrimental for my priorities. My sinful self focused on relaxing and taking it easy today instead of working toward my goals and glorifying Jesus. What a shame.

Humans are notorious for saying they want something, (a better job, a better relationship with their spouse, a healthier body, etc) and yet not taking a single step toward this goal on a daily basis. That's why we're so inspired by those that truly transform their lives. It's phenomenal, and it takes extraordinary measures of commitment and  discipline.

What do we see when we look at the daily activities of Jesus? Do we see a man that proclaimed to be the Savoir of the world, but was actually distracted by the mundane or tempted by complacency? No, we do not. We would not worship a God like that. He said he would come to save the world, and he did just that. That is why he deserves our reverence and daily worship. 

As Christians, we strive to be like Christ every day. Sometimes we hit our mark, and sometimes (most of the time) we fail. Like me today, you might look back on your day and realize you did nothing that you claim you want to do. 

Paul wrote in Romans about this human condition:

Romans: 7:5 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[e] free from the law of sin and death. 

This passage makes so much sense to me. Almost every day I feel a war waging within me. The battle between serving myself and serving my Lord. Do you feel like this too? You're not alone.

Praise God because Romans 7:25 is our deliverance! "Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" 

I find such tremendous comfort in this verse. If I rely on myself to do good and for holiness to win out in my daily life, then I will fail and be overcome by my evil, selfish nature.

But, (thank God for the but!) if I focus on Christ, then God's law- which is good, holy, and righteous- will win day after day.

I want to encourage you to get back up on your feet, and to be like Christ, whose daily life reflected his true priorities- seeking and saving the lost. You can find comfort in the fact that you are not alone in your daily battle to be good because Christ is with you- spurring you on toward righteousness.

So get up, brush off the dust of failure, and praise God for delivering you from sin and death. Then focus the rest of the day on pursuing God and living for him how he has called you to do so.