The human spirit was created to thrive on God’s beauty. When we long for God and reach for Him, when we devote ourselves with a whole heart to showing forth His goodness, we come closer to a beauty that was meant to surround us and delight us.
Many good things come to the obedient, and it would be naive to say we shouldn’t be drawn to these. But those can’t be our primary concern. Jesus taught that we get the good things of this life only by forgetting them and keeping our focus on God.
Diligent study only becomes the diligent seeking of God when the intellect is driven by a pure heart. And whether we’ve actually sought God or not is evidenced more by the tokens of devoted discipleship than by those of academic scholarship.
The question of God is the most basic of life’s issues. Whatever we do when confronted with this question influences our character at its deepest level. One can’t be a quality person and not deal in a quality way with this issue. Our choices matter.
Even when we acknowledge the primary role God must play in our progress, we sometimes still don’t move ahead. We fail to see the need on our part to take the spiritual steps we could take and to make the progress that is available to us each day.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Applying that to our spiritual lives, we can learn to grasp the simple things that lie right before us and squeeze the maximum good out of each moment. We grow toward God by just such steps.
Loving our Father’s desires does not come naturally. We have to learn this kind of love. The much easier thing is to love what we want for ourselves, and then love what God wants for us only insofar as it coincides with our predetermined wishes.
Obedience can’t be put on autopilot. It always requires moment-by-moment choices. Even those who live a long time and make much spiritual progress face this reality: there is never anything more than a decision standing between us and disobedience.
Christ went to the Cross to make possible more than mere insurance against the loss of our souls in hell. He aims to save us from sin, both its guilt and its power. Our deliverance from sin will culminate in heaven, but the process begins right now!
Godly sorrow for sins committed is good. But for all those who have enough character to feel sorry afterward for what they’ve done, there are far fewer who have the character to feel sorry in advance and “repent” of the deed before it takes place.