As we enter the new year I’m reminded of all the lessons learned and tests I’ve failed in 2018. I would be lying if I said I could recall all of them. But as I consider 2018 I know there were things that I allowed to steal and hinder my joy, peace and faith in God. Times where I worried when I should have trusted. Times where I cried when I should have rejoiced. Moments of anger where I should have showed love. In light of today, these moments have come and gone–but looking back at the bigger picture they did not destroy me. I didn’t loose my life but in the moment I lost my peace.
‘ “He must turn away from wickedness and do what is right. He must search for peace [with God, with self, with others] and pursue it eagerly[ actively not simply desiring it].1 PETER 3:11 AMP
Why? Because I was too emotionally invested, to the point that I became spiritually blinded. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying- It is okay to be emotionally invested but this should never come at the expense of our spiritual health. God gave us emotions, therefore they are good. Everything that God created is good. But they can be perverted and misused- just like everything else. If we become so emotionally invested in things and not in Him we have missed the mark. The misallocation of my investment caused me to experience more pain than I should have. I chose to put trust in my situations instead of trusting the Lord of the situation.
‘ Thus says the Lord , “Cursed is the man who trusts in and relies on mankind, Making [weak, faulty human] flesh his strength, And whose mind and heart turn away from the Lord .’Jeremiah 17:5
In retrospect, I didn’t think that I invested incorrectly but it was the results that showed me my error.When our purpose in doing anything is God we respond differently. If the purpose of serving and helping my husband is serving God I shouldn’t get upset if his response isn’t what I expected. If my desire is to grow through endurance, I shouldn’t complain if I experience suffering. If my desire is to be pressed and refined I won’t get angry at the coworker that dislikes me for no reason. When my intention is to become more like Christ my response to everything should be different. Why? Being like Christ requires me to walk as Christ did. I have to carry my cross, silence my flesh, destroy pride and love. It’s a life that isn’t wrapped in comfort but one that is victorious. The victory is that the one who puts his/her trust in God will never turn away from God. When we invest in the kingdom of God our intentions will always align with His. We will have no need to run to and fro seeking experiences or things, we will only seek Him.
The greatest emotional investment we can make is to invest in seeking God. Choosing to seek Him regardless of what’s going on around us! David exemplies this in His words.
Psalm 27: 4 ‘The one thing I ask of the Lord — the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord ’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.’
David exclaims that he has nothing to fear. Everything that is happening to him doesn’t phase him but what he desires most is to dwell in the house of Lord. Above all else Lord I want you- I want to meditate on Your word and Your beauty. What do we want above everything else? When our desires are perverted and misplaced we will seek everything but God. It can get to the point where we are think we are seeking God, but we are just using Him as a means to an end.. As oppose to Him being our means and our end. This year I will be emotionally invested in seeking the kingdom of God.. How can we go wrong with that desire? I want to desire what God wants for me… I desire God period! This is true fulfillment!
There is a game called Wordstacks, where you have to find different words stacked among jumbled letters. A puzzle is assigned to each day along with the different levels. Today, I was playing the game and after completing today’s puzzle I saw a notification that said I could play the days I’ve missed. So I started playing January 1st’s game, then January 2nd but I didn’t see my points increasing. After playing January 3rd’s game I realized that going back to the games in the past would take 25 of my coins. I chuckled and said “ God you are funny”… Going back to past instead of staying in the present and looking to the future will cost me. If I had won the level I was on I would have gained more coins than I lost. That’s a lesson right there… Yes 2018 had a lot of defeats but I can’t go back to the past I have to look at what’s before and ahead of me. The game was God way of telling me that we have to invest in what’s before us. Here I was investing in the past not realizing that it was costing me instead of benefiting me. Before I knew it I looked at my coins and I was almost at zero points… If I didn’t notice my coin value I would continued playing until it says 0… Don’t wait until it’s too late to look up. Let’s invest ourself in Christ where we know not only will we get a return on our investment but it will be well cared for. I know this is for me and maybe it’s for you too: but don’t be like the children of Israel that were so emotionally invested in what they had in Egypt and their own fears that they didn’t see what God was doing in their midst! Be present, see what God is doing.. Pray that He will open your eyes to the works of His hand and His heart! Let’s level up instead of trying to figure out the puzzles of the day we missed!
With Love through Christ, Nadesha!