What does it feel like to reserve judgement for others while sparing yourself? I’ll tell you how it feels – intoxicating. Empowering. Maybe even addictive. It feeds a faux power that fuels the flesh but starves the soul.
We are not as independent of thinkers as we believe we are. Our thoughts and feelings often reflect those we admire and those we spend the most time with. Pay special attention to how much offense you hold and who/what influences it. If not careful, we can easily adopt a self-righteous attitude and approach to the Gospel, to our community, and in our daily interactions.
I’ve been offline for a few weeks for this very reason. I was consuming more of other people’s words than the only true Word – and my thoughts started to reflect that. Think about it. Social media is bursting at the seams with think pieces, opinions, and highlight reels. People are paid to give their opinion, and it’s incredibly tempting to begin to think that our opinion – even if others are requesting it – needs to be shared at all times. We can even find ourselves considering the opinions of others over the One true opinion that really matters.
Full transparency: When I felt the urge to get offline for a while, I had the thought, “But people need my encouraging words.” I was so gently humbled by the Holy Spirit and reminded that while I am a reflection of God, I am not Him. What good are my encouraging words if I’m struggling to be encouraged myself because I’m consuming so many things that offend Him?
I was challenged to pursue intimacy with God. Not just that, but surrender. Specifically, to surrender my routine, my comfort, and my attitude. I know, the word surrender can be a bit alarming. What do you think of when you first hear that word? Defeat? Weakness? Giving up?
The way we view surrender may be the very thing holding us back from intimacy with God. I don’t believe that the weight of this challenge is for my benefit alone, so I am inviting you to join me to foster a heart of Sweet Surrender toward God. Learn more about this challenge here.
My hope for you as you join me on this challenge is that God grant us the faith to be faithful, the will to return to worship, and the fight to resist our flesh.
I’ll leave you with this: You cannot surrender to God and play God at the same time. Let's get off His throne and on our knees. I know this sounds harsh, but it’s the way I received it and is therefore the way I am to deliver it.