Hello readers. Welcome to my heart. Let's begin.
"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
Readers. Friends. Can we talk?
One of my blessings and curses is that I wonder about you. Yes, you specifically, and all the others just like you. Is it true that we all have a our issues? We can all agree on this right? And I'll be the first to share with you that I do not have it all together. Here's how I reached that conclusion.
The other day, after a morning of complaining and praying for things to change for the better, I had one of those "mirror mirror on the wall" moments. I was putting on a shirt in the bathroom and I was looking at myself in the mirror. And, I guess I usually don't do this, but I was looking deep into my own eyes. Like, I was seriously gazing into my own soul. And this question pops into my mind.
"Claude, what are you really after?"
I dropped the shirt. The question floored me. It also exposed me, gave me a deep conviction and a reality check. My own self ratted me out. Or perhaps the Holy Spirit was doing His duty. So now, I bring this question to you. What are you really after? Here's an illustration.
Have you ever been a sucker for TV ads? The first one that pops in my mind for myself is P90X. I remember sitting there and wasting a lot of my time watching the same infomercial over and over again, because I was stunned by this one sentence, GET FIT IN 90 DAYS. Sounds good. And the sucker that I am and millions of Americans are, bought the merchandise and even got the pull up bar, got a few new workout clothes, made a playlist, set a date to start, and got ready to start this GET FIT IN 90 DAYS.
But what's the one thing that I actually forget to do? I didn't begin to prepare myself for the pain. I didn't prepare for the endurance and self discipline of completing a workout everyday for 90 days. See, I was wanting the results, but not the work. Wanting the 3 MONTH chiseled beach bod, but not the 3 MONTH sacrifice of eating better and staying committed to this thing.
What was I really after? Just the glory, instead of the pain.
Or I'll say it this way, I was after the glory, while blindly ignoring the process to get to the glory.
So it hit me. I wonder what we're really after? Why do you go to church? Why have you chosen to believe in Jesus? Why do you disagree with religion? Why do you dress the way you dress? Why do you tweet so much? Why are you so ready to get married? Why do you want love? Why are you wanting to join that sorority? Why are you wanting to be a leader in your church? Why are you prideful? Why are you chasing that dream? Why are you in college?
I tweeted the other day a revelation I had that day. Here it is.
"How you handle disappointment might expose what you really have your hope in."
Because I found it interesting how tore up we get when things don't go our way. It seems to be a frustrating season for myself and some of my friends, because we're feeling some kind of way about our lives. But for myself, I was able to follow the issue to a heart problem. Instead of my hope being only in Jesus, oh don't miss that, ONLY in Jesus, it was beginning to be placed in SOMETHINGS working out my way.
Since I've become a pastor, I've noticed how easy it us for pastors to get shot at for not delivering a certain message that a certain person needs at a certain time. Like somehow one person is supposed to know what 100 people need to hear at the same time. What are we really after? Someone to pursue Jesus for us?
Sorry, that was a rabbit trail. But, I'm going to look at you and say you're the blame. So many pastors are delivering truth, that if you choose Jesus today your life will get better, but with our selective hearing, we only begin to apply, "Ooo! Better life yes! My life is in shambles!"
So we then become after a better life, missing the part of CHOOSE JESUS. Missing the foundation, the process of getting to the glory----- we just want the glory. Everyone wants a better life. You're insane if you don't. So marriage become the ultimate gain for singles. Money becomes the ultimate gain for poor people. Fame becomes the ultimate gain for insignificant people. Love becomes the ultimate gain for the neglected. Sex becomes the ultimate gain for the abused. And more becomes the ultimate gain for people who have all of this.
Is our ultimate gain not Jesus?
Scripture supports this deeply. I'll just use one illustration. Lol. Good luck making it through this one.
Mark 10:17-27. We know about the rich young ruler right?
"A man came running up to Jesus, knelt down, and asked, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" ...Jesus responds...."You know the commandments: 'You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother."
"Teacher," the man replied, "I've obeyed all these commandments since I was young."
"Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. "There is still one think you haven't done," he told him. "Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
At this the man's face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
What was this guy really after? Eternal life? Or more security. He wanted the glory, but not the process to get to the glory. So what about you? What are you really after? If God asked you to give up what you're actually after and choose just Him, could you?
What is your ultimate gain? What are you really after?
I'll let you dwell on it. Ttyl ;)