Monday, October 12, 2009

How to Make Your Life About God

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about Life being about God, and promised some practical ways to make your life about Him. Here are some questions for you to answer to help make your life about God. These questions are directed towards a fundamental belief system of faith:

1. Do you understand and give thanks to God for creating you and everything around you?
God's nature is that of Creator, Initiator, and Sustainer. Remembering that He first created and gave it to us to enjoy helps us to better know God and have tangible reasons to thank Him. Even on a "bad day," you can look around you, see a beautiful flower or mountain, and be reminded that God is sustaining all of it (including you).

2. Do you recognize your own rebelliousness/rejection against God, and your need for His help?
This one's a hard one, I'll be honest. To see ourselves and all of the ways that we reject who He is (through pride, selfishness, vanity, greed, etc.) is not a natural human inclination. But doing this identifies our hopeless situation with sin and our great need for God's help; it directs our eyes and our prayers toward God.

3. Have you accepted Jesus' sacrifice as an offer of salvation, hope, and peace?
Realizing we need God is one thing; accepting His offer of forgiveness and eternal life is another. But that's what Jesus says we must do in order to be back in right relationship with God. He created, we messed it up, He created a plan to restore it all, and all we have to do is accept that offer and wait for Him to fulfill that promise for all eternity. In the meantime, we are promised a hope that never dies and peace that is above all comprehension.

If you've answered "yes" to the above questions, consider some more. These questions are geared towards everyday living:

1. Do you spend consistent, regular time reading God's Word?
Reading the Bible is what God says repeatedly throughout Scripture is the key to waiting. What are we waiting for? We're waiting for Him to make right on His promise to make everything bad go away - forever. So while we wait, we need focus and some frequent reminders. This is what meditating on His Word is. This discipline (let's be honest, sometimes we don't want to read the Bible) helps to remind us that He is faithful, that He is doing things behind the scenes even when we don't see any action, and that He Himself is satisfying enough for all of our needs.

2. Do you pray frequently, throughout the day, for varieties of reasons (thankfulness, intercessory, asking for help, etc.)?
Who's your best friend? How often do you two talk? What do you talk about? If you can honestly answer these questions about your friend the same way you can answer about God, well done! Spending time talking and listening to God is like being around your best friend who always supports, comforts, provides sound advice, and who offers great wisdom. After some time, you tend to pick up some of their habits and ways of doing things, making you a better person. If God is the eternal fountain, then spending time with Him means you should get wet - drenched, to be exact.

3. Do you put others before yourself?
As we get to know God and become more like Him, we should find ourselves putting others before numero uno. Why? Because that's precisely what God did when He gave Jesus to die for us. Jesus Himself said that He "did not come to be served, but to serve," (Matthew 20:28), and that this is a distinguishing characteristic of those who follow Him (Matthew20:25-26). Making others more important than ourselves allows us to receive the joy God promises, because this is how He created things to be and is ultimately who He is.

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