In Part 1 of this blog series, I talked about my humble beginnings and how it gave me an understanding of what country living is all about. If you would like to read Part 1, you can check it out here.
In Part 2 of this blog series, we talked about how Jesus gave life-giving encounters to those He interacted with. We also talked about using Jesus as a model for how we should treat others in our own lives. If you would like to read Part 2, you can check it out here.
In Part 3 of this blog series, we talked about the consequences of not living a life that is true to yourself. If we live fake lives, we are robbing ourselves of who we could be. If you would like to read Part 3, you can check it out here.
When we are feeling tired, depressed, lonely, or aroused, it’s not easy to remember who we are and what we’re about. We can easily start acting in a way that is out of our normal character. If we’re consumed by greed or lust, then we can lose sight of the commitments we’ve made and the responsibilities we have. When our appetites get the best of us, we often forget where we came from and where we are going. It’s a lot easier to focus on the immediate gratification that comes from getting what will feel good right away. We naturally want instant gratification. The problem is that ultimately, it might not be good for us.
Too often people lose sight of the big picture for their lives. They feel so overwhelmed by immediate pain or disappointment that they compromise and take a shortcut to get a few minutes of comfort or relief. But God wants more for us than what we often settle for in the heat of the moment.
Eric Liddell, a Scottish athlete and missionary once said, “Have a great aim- have a high standard- make Jesus your ideal…make Him an ideal not merely to be admired, but also to be followed.” If we are going to follow Jesus’ lead, then we need to make trying to think like Jesus and do what Jesus did a priority in our lives. Settling for less than our best will keep us from living the full life that is possible for us.
1 Corinthians 10:12
The Message (MSG)
11-12 These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.
As this verse in 1 Corinthians says, we need to learn from our ancestors. We need to do the things that made them successful and avoid the things that made them stumble. The greatest history book that we have available to us is the Bible. We need to let this book be our guide for how we should live our lives. If we stray way from doing what it says we should do, we will find ourselves in dangerous waters. We need to learn what the Bible says and then live it out in our lives. Doing this keeps us on “the straight and narrow path” and will lead us in a good direction.
God wants us to have a larger perspective in order to meet our soul’s deeper hunger. Just as Jesus gave Living Water to quench the thirst of the Samaritan woman at the well, God wants us to remember who we are and not be distracted by the shiny objects we encounter along our path.
What “shiny objects” easily distract you? I can think of several shiny objects that I am often attracted to. What we need to do is figure out what we need to do to make sure that we are focused more on the “big picture” of life and faith. Let’s challenge ourselves to not get so focused on the little things that we miss the big things that come along.