If you were fortunate enough to hear the message at church this past Sunday, then your toes may be hurting just as mine are! Spiritual Formation Pastor, Tyler Ward, started by sharing his prayer with us which was that our “toes would feel a little stepped on” as his had been in his message preparation. My toes were stepped on and thank goodness they were!
We’re at the point in “The Story” series where we learn that the people of Israel had been released from captivity to return to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the Temple which had been destroyed by invading armies. Being fully focused on the rebuilding of God’s dwelling place, the Temple, should have been an indication that the people of Israel were centering their lives around God. However, opposition and distraction caused the people to neglect the rebuilding efforts and therefore, neglect God. They built their own houses and took care of their own needs but neglected centering their lives around God.
As Tyler shared, their story is our story…God has given us the opportunity to center our lives around him but we can easily become distracted and neglect building His dwelling place. His dwelling place is no longer a physical building, as it was for the people of Israel, but is within us when we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Tyler shared several reasons we neglect to center our lives around God...
· We do not know any better….if this is you, you now know. You know that your life should be centered around God and not your own desires and plans. And now that you know, will you choose to cultivate your relationship with God or continue to neglect it?
· We are okay with being okay…if this is you, know that mediocrity in your relationship with God can be critically destructive. God wants so much more for you and has created you with hope and purpose. He wants you to be all He has created you to be. Will you choose to cultivate or neglect?
· We get discouraged by the opposition we face…if this is you, know that God always has your best interest in mind. No matter the opposition, you can’t go wrong following God. Will you choose to cultivate or neglect?
· We believe we need to take care of other things first…if this is you, know that when we wrap our lives around God, God will honor it and everything will be better for it. Will you choose to cultivate or neglect?
· We think we are, but we’re really not…if this is you, are you ornate and beautiful on the outside but the inside is junk? God’s desire is for you to live authentically before Him and others. Will you cultivate or neglect?
I know which of these stepped on my toes. How about you? Are you spending more time checking Facebook statuses, pinning on Pinterest, watching favorite TV shows, hanging out at Starbucks, working or taking care of your home than you are on cultivating your relationship with the One who makes it all matter anyway?
My toes may be a little sore but that’s okay. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Christ reveals areas where I can change because He loves me and wants His absolute best for me! And He wants the best for you too! Now let’s go make sure we’re centered!