You’ve heard it before, “No matter what happens, it will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.” WRONG! You may think I’m even going to say that sometimes things are not ever going to be okay, and while that is true, that is not the point that I want to focus on. What I want to focus on is this: how often do we take this approach with our spiritual lives? How many times do we think, “If I don’t pray today, it will be okay.” or “If I don’t read my Bible today it will be okay.”? I mean, come on, it’s just one day. Then one more day. Then one more day. And it just keeps going. Next thing I know I haven’t opened my Bible in weeks, or worse, months. I’ve made feeble attempts to say little prayers here and there until I no longer even try. Other things become more important. But hey, everything is going to be okay!
I came to an epiphany almost two weeks ago. I was taking the “It’s going to be okay” approach with everything in my life. It hit me in a moment when I least expected it to, and it kind of startled me. I had been telling myself two things. Either I was telling myself it was going to be okay or I was telling myself that I didn’t care(or didn’t want to worry about it). I told myself these things so often that I began to believe it. I ceased to care, because why care when it’s going to be okay? I ceased to care that my relationship with God wasn’t what it appeared to be, I ceased to care that my relationships weren’t what they needed to be, I ceased to care that I was not the person who I had originally wanted to be. Also, whenever life threw something at me I felt extremely frustrated. I kept asking, “Haven’t I had enough? Can’t I just have it easy for awhile?” While I rarely base any big decision I make on emotion (because it’s fickle and changes so often), I realized in my epiphany that I was lacking in the area of motivation. I didn’t feel motivated to open my Bible and read. I didn’t feel motivated to pray. I didn’t feel motivated to put any effort into my relationship with God, because it’s going to be okay, right? So what do I do? I called my mother. While I was not entirely certain what to expect from this conversation, it was certainly what I needed to hear. She told me something I’ve actually heard her say before, “Just get over it and DO IT!” She also shared a Bible verse with my that I’ve read before, but it took on a whole new significance for me.
“…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
Here’s another passage that she had mentioned to me in another conversation that I remembered after we talked about Philippians.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22)
How do you not quench the Spirit? By giving him nourishment, by reading from the Word of God. The more you nourish the Spirit that dwells in you, the more he can work with your will. The more you read from the Word of God, the more “on fire” you become for God, because God gives you the will to do so through the Spirit. The more you ignore it, the more apathetic you become. You’d think that would be something fairly simple and easy to remember. But we get caught up in the, “It’s going to be okay” way of thinking. I was lying to myself when I was telling myself that no matter what it’s going to be okay. Sometimes things in life are not going to be okay and I need to be aware and accepting of that. Sometimes things are not going to be the way I want them to, but God is in control and He knows best. But in my spiritual life, if I don’t make the effort to do what needs to be done in my relationship with God, it is definitely NOT going to be okay. I have decided to stop lying to myself and start taking responsibility for my actions. I want things in my spiritual life to be more than okay. I want to get to Heaven to be with God. I don’t know about you, but I think that is way better than just okay.