Ouch. It hurt. But a lot of the time the truth does. The truth, however, is God’s way and it is meant to set us free. What a fun cliché right? As cheesy as it sounds, it is not to be taken lightly.
God calls us out of our pity party by telling us the truth: we are enslaved by living in our pity, our old and earthly ways. God has set us free from that, but it requires a different mindset.
We read in Galatians, the people of Galatia weren't putting God first so their spirits became weak. Paul wasn't here for their pity party though. Paul writes to them as the pity party pooper. The same Holy Spirit that spoke through Paul still urges us to remember this: “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you” (Galatians 3:8-11). After saying these things, the Holy Spirit asks through Paul, “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 3:16).
Sometimes I get caught up in my earthly desires and lose sight of where God is taking me. This day, I didn’t add a tally mark for the positive side when a student told me, “You're the best teacher ever,” or for the co-worker with good listening ears (as we teachers say) who was there for me. If I’m honest, I wanted to forget them because I wanted to pity myself. I was choosing to count my annoyances.
Today, together, let’s try a different approach. Let's focus on the good rather than the bad.
Just as Paul did in His letters, let’s lovingly encourage and challenge one another to surrender to God. Let’s allow him to render our hearts and minds of all things that are not of Him so that we would understand true joy.
We can not manifest our own joy; our joy comes from the Lord. By remembering His good works, praising Him for who He is, and delighting in Him, we draw closer to Him. God uses this to turn our eyes away from the world and towards Him. When we remember who He is, we remember we aren’t alone or forgotten. This gives us hope and joy in the midst of all the disappointments. Because our God isn’t just good, He is Holy! He is pure love. Today in your prayer time, remember the attributes of God and praise Him for who He is.
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God?” Psalms 77:11-13 (NIV)
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