Today I have been distracted. In fact, I have fallen back into wasting time. Another day has flown by where, after exercising in the morning, I went about my day eating and being entertained by YouTube, Sudoku or even Discord. Many times I’ve thought, “I should read my Bible and do my devotional.” Every time, I failed to do it.
It’s also been on my to-do list to finish reading the next chapters (and indeed, catch up/properly read some previous chapters) of the book “Delighting in the Trinity,” which is a wonderful book on the doctrine of the Trinity that we are going through in my Wednesday small group. I picked up the book a few times, flipped through the pages, didn’t really register its contents and promptly became distracted again.
How telling it is; how revealing of where my priorities lie, and it’s not a pretty sight. And yet, how appropriate and merciful it is for God to start this challenge by revealing the darkness and sin of idolatry within my heart, for I have no doubt that since it has been revealed, God will be working in me to deal with it.
And since it is so blatantly obvious, I’ll also be reflecting on this. Sigh, it is all too easy for me to be distracted by the things of this world and fall into idolatry. A verse that comes to mind is what Paul wrote in Philippians, “…Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12b-13)
Paul was giving instruction to the saints in Philippi who were facing persecution to remain firm in their faith and continue to live out godly lives. I don’t suffer the same persecution in 21st century America, how much more so should I be able to live out a godly life and yet don’t.
The principles are timeless, so I do believe it is still applicable to me today in a similar way. I don’t suffer persecution, but I am faced with temptation. It is still appropriate for me to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. But thanks be to God, it is He who works in me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
I will work, but the One who is ultimately going to accomplish it all is God Himself. May He realign my priorities so that I might love Him first and foremost with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.
You are such a gracious God. Though You are Almighty, Alpha and Omega, creator of Heaven and Earth, high above all else, You remain merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Thank You that through the blood of Jesus, I am forgiven and You no longer count my sins against me, though they are vast as the ocean. Thank You that you continue to reveal the depth of my sin for my good and sanctification; I pray that You will continue to work in me, to grow and conform me to the image of Your Son, for Your glory. Thank you for Jesus, without whom I would still be dead in my trespasses, and thank You for Your Spirit, without whom I would still have a heart of stone, eyes that cannot see You, and a life that is incapable of fellowship with You.
Lord God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – please realign my priorities so that You may take your rightful place as King of my heart. Above all else, may You and You alone be glorified. Amen.
Soli Deo gloria,