So recently I have noticed some of my t-shirts still smell a little even after its been washed. Bad detergent you say? How about I forget to to put my dirty shirts in the laundry after my work outs and after they have marinated in my sweat. Ewww! For the last 6 months or so I have been working out in some form, swimming, basketball @ 6am, lifting weights or the good ol' elliptical. Over time I have noticed some changes; I am fitting into my old clothes, I am moving from flab to fab, (Yes I just said fab and meant it in the most masculine way!), and I am feeling more confident about myself. I also notice I am looking at myself more in the mirror and thinking more about what I look like or what I want to look like. In other words I am idolizing myself. I find it easy to focus and celebrate my own strength at times, which means I am not focusing on God's word and I am not keeping my trust in Christ. I continually go to God in prayer, trying to focus on Him and giving thanks for the time to workout and give God the glory for any changes.
God has been showing me that in all aspects of my life I need to trust in Him and find strength in Christ and wait for his perfect timing, not my own, even though at times it doesn't make sense!
Self sufficiency is instilled in us since we are little kids. Even our country was founded on the desire to seek self sufficiency and thanks to Ben Franklin, we have sayings like, "Pull yourself up by your own boot straps!" As humans, we tend to want to do things by ourselves, even from toddlerhood, we want to "Do it by my self!!!" And in addition, we also tend to focus our conscience on our own strength! I am good at this, I am good at that, and we begin to identify ourselves with our skills and talents. In sense we idolize our selves, negating the need for Christ. "Oh I don't need Jesus!" Oh YES we do! For our strengths are really weaknesses! When we are faced with problems in life, if we try to solve them with our own might and intelligence, we might find great frustration and disappointment. But if we put our trust in God and wait for His perfect timing, "He works out all things for good for those he loves!"
Common sense is not always Christ-sense. But it is following Christ-sense that brings joy, peace, and victory. I am sure it made no sense at all to Abraham to bring his son to be sacrificed, considering God's promise and how long it took to be fulfilled, but he trusted in God and waited on God and God provided a ram to be sacrificed. I am sure it made no sense for Peter to walk out on the water, but Peter did take a couple of steps and it wasn't until he took his eyes off Jesus did he begin to sink. Faith is not by sight, but believing that God will keep his promise in spite of the circumstances presented. God doesn't want the world to know how great I am, he wants the world to know how Great He is! It is through our weaknesses that God shines through. Instead of embracing our strengths, start to look your weaknesses in the eye and give them up to God and watch how his power will flow. For we are to be jars that God uses to pour out His love and grace. But he can't fill us up with him if we stuff ourselves in the jar.
Distractions are all around us, but God's word help us to keep focus on Him. "Remain in me and I will remain in you" - Jesus