Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.Psalm 57:1-2 ESV
There are two basic ways to approach life. One is to put God first, the other is to put something else first, which is called idolatry.
Apart from faith in God and a life spent walking and talking with Him, life is utterly meaningless. We can devote ourselves to idols, but those idols do not love us and cannot save us.
I know from personal experience that nothing will satisfy our souls except for a relationship with Jesus. That is where peace and rest are found. The world may rage on, but in the presence of God, the world doesn’t matter.
My church just started 21 days of prayer and fasting. I’m all for prayer, but what to fast? I have enough trouble feeding myself nutritious meals. Let’s not throw in a monkey wrench there.
The purpose of fasting is to abstain from something that satisfies our flesh so that we can better focus on getting our satisfaction from God.
When I think of it that way, it’s obvious what I should do. I unplugged my television. It’s convenient, yet unfruitful, entertainment. I can easily waste hours of my day mindlessly watching the news of the world, sports or some other thing that holds my fickle attention. But it profits me nothing. So I’m taking a break from the TV. I already feel more relaxed.
So let’s get back to God. He has a purpose for your life. He created you. He made you uniquely equipped for the job He has set out for you to do. Ask Him what it is. His answer might surprise you.
In the most general sense, we are all called to love God wholeheartedly and we are to love the people in our lives unselfishly. What that looks like for you might be different than what it looks like for me. Some people are good at helping others, some are gifted at teaching God’s Word, others are born to encourage others.
The important thing to remember is that we’re not here to please ourselves. If we all did that, it would be chaos. Our purpose is to align ourselves with God’s will and go do it.
There’s actually great freedom to be found in following Jesus. You don’t have to have a plan. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t have to be an expert. All you have to do is trust that God’s plan is perfect and daily seek His face for the day’s instruction.
Religion is just a bunch of rules to follow. It actually separates us from the life of God. Faith is believing in a person, in our case, the person of Jesus Christ.
This year I’m starting over. 2020 made it clear that things will not continue the way they were. We all needed a course correction. Don’t be in a hurry to try to get back to the way it was. It will never be the way it was again. God is doing a new thing. He is turning our hearts from the things of this world back to Him.
My prayer for you today is that God would reveal Himself to your heart in a fresh and brand new way. May you experience His presence and comfort and joy in the simplicity of prayer. Talk to Him. He’s always listening. Ask Him questions. He’s always speaking. May you have an ear to hear what He is saying!
Be blessed in the Lord Most High. Amen.