I was thinking the other day about how often I do things "half way" or just enough to get by. This has always been a problem of mine, especially when it came to doing my school work. I would procrastinate until something was due, then I would pull an "all nighter" and complete the assignment that I should have done a month ago. I'm not proud of this behavior, and over the years, I've tried to correct it, but I usually procrastinate getting started, and then I don't finish the job.
Why am I bringing this up? Well, the Lord started dealing with me on this very subject the other day. Just like He did with the parables in the Bible, He uses our everyday language & experiences to teach us a valuable lesson. My three lessons were in these areas, 1) cleaning, 2) exercise, 3) worship. How do they all tie in? Glad you asked (if you didn't ask, pretend you did).
1. Cleaning - I HATE cleaning my house and my family knows it. It's something that
must be done, but I have to admit, I only do it well when I know I have guests coming over. The rest of the time, I do just enough to get by. I let things go until I can't stand it anymore and then I get in the "cleaning mode" and go to town. The problem is, I want acknowledgement for a job well done and no one seems to notice when I've done anything. Probably because no matter how much I do, there is always something else they can point to that I didn't do. To make matters worse, my 9 yr. old talks about my friend's house and notices how clean it is. He said her house was the cleanest house he's ever seen. I thought, of course it is, she spends time everyday cleaning it.
2. Exercise - I HATE exercise! I usually stop when it gets uncomfortable. Just at the moment when it is about to do some good, I start sweating and I quit. I look at
people who enjoy running, walking on the treadmill, or going to the gym, and I wish I could join them in their enthusiasm, or at least their discipline. The worst part about it is, exercise actually makes me hungry! How's that for backfiring? So I watch as others achieve the goal of losing weight, something I desperately want but don't push for. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about how I NEED to lose this extra weight, but I feel like a mouse on a wheel, I am stuck in the same cycle of wishing, but never doing.
3. Worship - I LOVE to worship the Lord! However, I must confess, I get busy and I end up worshipping when I want, how I want, and as long as I want. Then I heard that still, small voice say "you stop too
short when you worship Me". I began to explore this thought, and He made it clear to me. You worship until you feel good again, until any heaviness is lifted, until you feel My presence, and then you quit. You don't wait around and quiet yourself to see what I might have to say. Wow! What a revelation. He's exactly right, I get what I need, and I'm on my way. Whoever thought that I should stay around long enough to see how I can bless my Lord?
So, now do you see the pattern of all three things? It's a pattern of selfishness, a pattern of mediocrity. It's a "I'll do just enough, I'll squeak by with the bare minimum" attitude, and yet I still expect great rewards. I want a clean house, but I don't want to work for it. I want to lose weight and get in shape but I don't push myself. I want to know the Lord in a deeper way, hear His voice and know His will, the way some others who I admire do. Those who have payed the price of time, who have learned to discipline themselves to read the Bible daily and to persevere in their quiet time. But I want the "drive through" worship experience, the quick revelation and then I'm off to start my day. I'm not beating myself up, I felt no condemnation or self-loathing. I did feel the conviction of God nudging me to give Him more than "just enough" - for two reasons, 1) because He's worthy of it, and 2) He loves me, and has so much more for my life than just getting by.
My prayer is this, that I would be disciplined in all things, excellent in everything I put my hands to (because I do it all unto the Lord) and I would allow the Holy Spirit to work in me with the fruit of self-control.
I will let these Scriptures be reminders of my new motto in life:
Hebrews 12:1 - "...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which
so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance, the race that is set before us."
Phil. 3:13-14 - "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
2nd Tim. 2:4-6 - "No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also, if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops." (The NKJ commentary says that the hardworking farmer must first plow the ground before he reaps a crop, but if he does, he receives the reward of a bountiful harvest.)
I will attempt to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and body. This is my reasonable act of worship.
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