Like the title? I do, too.
So I had other posts planned to write, and still plan to write them, but this one completely won out. Why? Because I really felt God confirming this as something I needed to say. Lately... lately I have allowed myself, even chosen, to become distracted. Distracted with family, friends, chores, grocery shopping, cleaning, even sitting there doing nothing (go figure). I have allowed myself to get distracted so that I would not have to bother with the things that I knew would keep me from what I was using to distract me (did you get that?). I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and I knew that if I gave God any leeway He'd take it. So I didn't. I sat day after day explaining to myself why it was okay, finding loopholes and exceptions that could justify my actions. Guys, I am here to tell you (oh how many times I have heard that phrase) that it doesn't work! Again, I was looking in my little square of now and not looking to the big painting of tomorrow. You want to know what the end result was? More hurt than I ever could guess (okay, well it's not so bad as it could be, but let's just say my highway has a looooot o' potholes right now **).
So that isn't even the confession. That was just the prologue. Thank you folks, I know it's a wonderful read so far (apparently lack of humility isn't on the list of confessions). Here it is. I don't read my Bible any more than I absolutely, positively, completely, and totally have to. Seriously. I am eighteen years old, and most nine year olds raised in Christian homes probably read their Bibles more than I have. I. Feel. Awful. I'm a Christian who doesn't read the Bible. That's like a governor who doesn't read his state's newspaper (oh, wait... that's true for our state).... okay, that's like a law student who doesn't read the law books! So simply put, I am a hypocrite. I totally just confessed that on Blogger. It's not like God didn't know already. So why am I telling you guys (that is, whoever reads these crumby little things) this? Because it doesn't end there.
That's one thing I love about God. It never just "ends there". There is always, always, something left to be done, and if you are willing, He's going to be doing it. Recently, as in the last week or so, God really has been moving some things. He's been pulling the walls down of my "hiding place". I looked up just in time to see what was coming, but by then it was too late. To be honest, I saw what was coming last summer, but me and my selfish and sinful heart didn't care. I was willing to risk everything I knew to be right to have what I wanted most. Do I regret it? Yes, I do. Can I undo it? No, I can't. But I can change how I go from here on out. I have really had a desire in the last week to know God's word. To really know it. To stop having to think "oh I need to go on Bible Gateway and do a search so I can write on this topic", and to start thinking "oh, this verse I just thought of would be great for that post I'm writing". Paul commended the Bereans for searching the Scriptures to see if what he said was true (Acts 17: 10-12). I have been so guilty of just accepting what I hear. The Bereans measured all things by Scripture. So that's how I want it to be. With the aid of the New King James Version Daily Bible (whew, what a name!) I will do just that.
Now this is where it gets cool (in my opinion). So this last week there has been a Bible story that has really stuck out to me. The story of Peter walking on the water. Not because some maniacal dude walked on water. Rather because some crazy dude trusted. This guy trusted. I mean, how crazy is that? Did he really think he could walk on water? Probably not. But he was crazy enough to trust and try. He didn't take a ton of steps before thinking. Each step was a thought.
Step one- "I trust in you, O God".
Step two- "You are trustworthy, Jesus".
Step three- "You are trustworthy, right, Jesus?".
Step four- "Um, hey, Jesus... my feet are getting a little wet... and now my ankles.... and now my calves... Lord, save me!"
Now get this. Jesus didn't say "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" and then stretch out His hand. He immediately stretched out His hand and caught him. That's how He is with us, too. When we cry out "Lord, save me!" He doesn't stand over us and point out all of our sins and say "Why have you doubted me?" before pulling us back up to our feet. He pulls us back up and asks us why. More for our benefit than His. Our doubt only hurts us. God knows what is going to happen no matter what. So when we doubt, all it does is harm us. A friend said to me recently "The beginning of fear is the end of our faith." And that is ever so true. It is an active war we fight against Satan for control of our thoughts and emotions.
It was when Peter focused solely upon Jesus- not the tossing waves and cutting winds around him- that he walked on water. The moment his eyes left the face of Jesus the doubt crept in. My eyes have left the face of Jesus many times this past year or more. I have not fought to see Him alone. The doubts crept in and I clung to what I felt I needed to keep me from sinking in the lack of hope I felt. Note I say 'felt'. I doubted up and down the planet, because I was scared God wasn't big enough to give me what I wanted most. How lame is that view? I really need to broaden my view of God. Which brings me to my next thing (oh yeah, there's more coming).
God showed me today yet another example of just how big He is. So I said I have had the story of Peter walking on water (Matthew 14:22-26) on my mind all week, right? I also said I was going to be using The New King James Version Daily Bible, right? Today was my first day using it. I remember thinking earlier today, "I wonder if I'll start reading and something will come up about things I've been thinking about lately, or something I want to write about." So I flipped to January 22nd. I read in Genesis. Had some good thoughts there that will go into another blog post (cause do you really want any more added to all of this?). Then I read Psalms. Good stuff there, too. The Lord tests the righteous.... and does He test hard. Then I read in Proverbs. God, thank you so much for Proverbs. That was the slap in the face I needed. Wow. How convicting. A reaffirming of the awesomeness of parents, right when I needed it most. Then.... then I read in Matthew. The very same story that I had been meditating upon the whole week. There it was. And then I read "Lord, save me!". And I thought "God, that's me! I'm sinking, please save me!". I then proceeded to read on. "And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him." And I knew, that is what God had done and is doing for me. I was up to my knees, but He is pulling me back up. I need to focus on nothing but Him, walking side by side with my Saviour, through the storm to the other side.
And folks... I belive that is all for now. Note I say 'for now'. Because I have more coming whenever it comes. Until then, lots of love in Christ.
**in reference to the song "Life is a Highway".