“Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands.” - Psalm 119:5-6
There's a tendency today to help people "improve" by changing the metric. There was a movement in the sport of golf a few years ago, in which the holes were being dramatically enlarged to make it easier for beginners - in fact it was over 4x the normal size: big enough to fit a basketball into! In mountain biking, we are in the midst of the "eBike revolution!" where bikes aren't just powered by your self effort, they receive an "assist" from a built-in electric motor so that hill that always left you wheezin', is simply now breezin'. From "challenge-to-rise-to" to "piece of cake"...
Think those examples through for a second - are you really becoming a better golfer or biker by changing the target or getting a little "assist"? The arguments sound good: "It will attract new people", "There are people who won't feel so overwhelmed", "Why should it be so hard, anyway?" etc. And those same rationalizations can be at work in your spiritual life which is definitely NOT A GAME.
Today, remember to reject the lie that you can change God's decrees, His Word, His expectations for you and somehow improve your life. That's not how reality works, just like people golfing on a course with bucket sized holes or mountain bikers riding mopeds. His expectations are for your benefit and blessing. Don't try to take the easy way out and in the process look foolish and ultimately miss out on authentic full life.
“The LORD has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, ‘Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble. He will keep you safe.’” - Isaiah 8.11-14
Well what can one possibly add to this? There is so much talk about conspiracy theories - seems everybody has one about something or somebody. From thousands of years ago, God’s Word speaks across the ages to say “I’VE GOT THIS. RELAX.”
Today, dont be afraid. The One for you is undeniable stronger than any who may come against you. Don’t think like everybody else does. Think like someone who knows Jesus.
Have you heard the term “functional” Christian? No? Well, how about “functional” alcoholic? That is one more familiar, and chances are you have known one. The point is when someone is using something to function, it is functional, but not foundational. The difference is this: one is a coping mechanism, one is woven into the fabric of its core. So, a functional Christian is someone who, at their core, is using their faith as a coping mechanism.
Deuteronomy 8:3 says “And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
Sound familiar? It is the same passage that Jesus is recorded as quoting to the devil when he was being tempted. What does that mean? We may have had a time when we felt brought to God through our circumstance, but that is not where we stay. After Jesus was tempted, he immediately went out for his disciples, and officially began his ministry preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17)
Now go – move beyond functional, get it in your core and make it foundational. Trust God, read his Word, and let it change you.
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.
Niki is a wife and mother of 2 children. She lives in Charlotte, NC where she enjoys everyday moments that ignite her relationship with our Lord and Savior.