Have you ever wished you could have a conversation with a younger version of yourself? Now a grandmother, I can look back and see the things I would change about myself in earlier years. How much struggle I would have spared myself and others if I had learned obedience to the Lord in the small, seemingly insignificant details of life!
It’s easy to say we believe on Sunday mornings, but our faith is really measured in how we live the rest of the week. True worship honors God in both the spiritual and the mundane things of life. Are we able to be good stewards of His gifts? Are we surrendering everything to Him, including our bodies, our minds, our relationships, our finances, and even our time management? The Lord wants to bring His order and peace into every area of our lives. He wants to get into our personal business!
Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5–8)
Growing in godliness would be easy if the Lord did all the work, but Peter reminds us that becoming all God made us to be requires personal responsibility. We are accountable for our attitudes and actions not only in church but also at home and at work. We honor the Lord when we are prudent with our spending, when we manage our home and family well, and even as we care for our bodies! True faith involves willingness to grow in wisdom, diligence, self-control, and perseverance.
Without a desire to grow in godliness we miss out on so many blessings God designed us to enjoy. For example, people often ask me to pray for physical healing without acknowledging how personal choices have affected their health. Some have abused their bodies with poor eating habits or addictions and then can’t understand why they aren’t healed. The miraculous answer they seek is not in a magic prayer, but rather in learning to be a good steward of the Lord’s temple.
Others seek financial miracles but are deeply in debt due to foolish spending. They pray for deliverance from their difficulty yet aren’t willing to take responsibility for the choices that got them there in the first place. Financial blessing comes as we honor God with what He provides.
Some ask the Lord to bless their public ministry while concealing a personal sin, perhaps an addiction to pornography and lust. Our God is not impressed with good works—He is looking for virtue! True holiness is letting the Lord be glorified in our lives even when no one is looking.
Religion is an outward appearance of worship but not necessarily the real thing. The Lord isn’t interested in religion—He’s looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (see John 4:24). We show God we really love Him by obeying His Word. He asks for surrendered hearts, not to make us slaves but so we might receive our full inheritance as sons and daughters! Whenever we say no to the Lord, we miss out on a piece of the abundant life He has prepared for us.
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. (Mark 12:30)
Even as I write these words, the Holy Spirit is convicting me of ways I could be more faithful. Salvation is a one-time experience, but sanctification, or being made holy, is a lifelong process. Until we get to heaven, the Holy Spirit will always be revealing those places in our hearts that are not yet fully submitted to Him. Our job is to humbly accept correction and allow the Lord to rule and reign in us, both in public and in private. Let’s ask the Lord to show us where we need more of Him and the courage to change!
Father, I know there are areas of my life I have not fully surrendered to You. I desire to love You with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength! Help me accept the leading of the Holy Spirit to become all You have made me to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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