Proverbs 17:1 NIV, “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.”
When I read this verse, it reminded me right away that things can appear to be one way on the surface, but can actually be something else in reality. People can appear to have it all and be on top of the world, but on the inside they are discontent, hurt, and empty.
We live in a world where it’s easy for people to put up a facade, but their reality is less than pleasant. Not only is it easy to put up a facade, but doing so is also celebrated. The more perfect a persons life appears on the outside, the more accepted they feel. But then, they must work tirelessly to maintain that illusion of happiness, so they can continue to feel accepted.
This verse tells us that a lifestyle of peace is better than one that invites strife. Sometimes less is in fact more. Regardless of what we have or don’t have, our main goal should always be to honor God, and keep His commandments.
If our focus is not primarily on the Lord, things will get out of line. Our focus will then be on ourselves, other people, and the ongoing pursuit of material things, which will ultimately lead to pain.
I pray that as Christians, our main focus will be on having a lifestyle of love and worship toward the Lord, as we pursue the purpose He has for us. May we also share His unconditional love and acceptance with those around us, because true acceptance is found in Jesus Christ.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.”
1 Peter 1:7 (NLT) says, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
You know one of the things I love most about God? His character. His character is so fascinating to me. I’ve known Him for over 30 years and I have never seen Him fail me. No matter how many times I have failed, He has always remained the same. I believe that His ability to be so steadfast in His pursuit of me, is what has kept me over the years. Do I know everything there is to know about God? No, I do not. However the parts of Himself that He has chosen to reveal to me personally, and to mankind in general, I completely adore. Are there times I do not understand what He is doing? Yes, but because I have seen His faithfulness time and time again, I’m learning to be ok with letting Him lead while I follow.
God is really passionate about us being who He created us to be. After all, if we choose not to follow the path He has for us, we will never have the impact He intended for us to have. Sure we will do “some” good. We will help “some” people. We will even reach “some” goals. However no matter how many times we achieve another “some”, we will never reach our full potential when we live our lives apart from Him. Without Him there will always be an emptiness that only He can fill. We see many people who appear to “have it all”, and when they encounter a major downfall, we often wonder what went wrong. God’s desire is to instill His character in us, so that we can avoid a major downfall. He knows that us achieving any amount of success without the character to keep us in that successful place is the devil’s delight. After all, one of the devil’s favorite tricks, is to make us feel as if we don’t need God’s power in our lives to make a difference. That’s why he is called the father of lies.
John 8:44 (NIV) says, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Can you believe that?!! Lying is the devil’s native language. Not German, Spanish or English, but lying! We have to stay connected to God so that we don’t fall for the devil’s lies.
There is always “something more” that God wants to reveal to us about Himself. There is always “something more” that He wants to do in our lives. When our lives are hidden in Him, we will become more of who He created us to be. The devil enjoys whispering lies in our ears and trying to show us a “better, quicker” path. He will go the extra mile to make his way seem more appealing than God’s. That’s what he did to Adam and Eve. One thing is for sure, he doesn’t have any new tricks.
Colossian 3:3 (NLT), says, “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”
When we accept Christ into our lives, we die to ourselves and our old way of living. Then we come alive in Him and the new way of living that He has for us. Being hidden in Christ reminds me of a baby in its mother’s womb. The baby is hidden safely in the womb as he or she grows and develops. Everyday that baby is getting the nutrients it needs to become stronger. When the time comes, someone beautiful is born. God the Holy Spirit is relentlessly pursuing us each day, inviting us to draw closer to Him. He knows the heart of the Father. He knows the beauty we will experience in life when we choose to give ourselves over to Him completely.
Truthfully, it’s no picnic when the Holy Spirit is refining our character. When He turns up the heat, there is no doubt that we will feel the burn! If our finger touches something hot, we automatically pull it back, right? It’s human nature to resist what is uncomfortable. We can rest though, because the God we serve knows exactly how much heat we can handle. He never makes a mistake when adjusting the thermostat. We can’t allow fear to keep us from feeling the heat of God’s discipline in our lives.
Proverbs 3:12 (NIV) says, “for the LORD disciplines the one He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
God recently reminded me of this, and I believe He wants me to share it with you too…
“I need you to be ok with who you are”.
We go through life everyday choosing to be someone. That someone can be who we really are, that someone can be who we want people to think we are, or that someone may be a mixture of all the things other people want us to be. God desires for us to be who we really are. We can follow His example, because He never stops being who He is.
Hebrews 13:8 (NIV), says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
God is the only one who truly knows who we are and who we are meant to be. As our faith is tested we grow.As God changes you, don’t be afraid to embrace those changes. You were not created to just “fit in”. That part of you that does not “fit in”, could be the part of you that will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people for God’s glory. He wants to purify our hearts so that we will shine like pure gold. Therefore it’s crucial to remember, it is ok to be who you are as long as you are following God’s path for your life.