by Shayla Asselin
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Once a week, I work in the office at Heritage Bible College. Yesterday, as I was getting out of my car and heading into the office, I passed someone from church. As soon as she saw me, she asked “Uh oh! What happened to you?” For a brief moment, I was confused. “What’s wrong with me,” I thought? Then I remembered I was limping. I explained that my knee had been bothering me for the past two or three months and that I should get the results of my MRI next week. You see, the pain in my knee and the subsequent limping has become such a constant issue in my life, that sometimes I forget about it. Don’t misunderstand, my knee still hurts, I’ve just gotten so used to it, I’ve forgotten the problem is a problem.
Unfortunately, I think that same mentality can follow us into our spiritual lives too. We’ve lived with the pain, bitterness, or sin so long, we forget we even have a problem. We don’t realize the pain someone else has caused is affecting our relationship with everyone else. We fail to recognize that the bitterness has made us forget all of His many blessings. We never stop to confront and confess our sins so they separate us from God.
The problems have become a part of who we are. Sometimes, we can’t even remember when we lost our joy or why we let someone or something steal our peace. It’s just not there anymore and we’ve lived without it for so long, we don’t even miss it.
I feel like I need to ask somebody, as lovingly and kindly as I can, “What happened to you?”
Do you still have the joy of your salvation or has it been awhile since you’ve experienced the happiness only He can give? (Psalm 51:12)
Are you walking in faith even when you can’t see how God is going to work it out? (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Do you experience peace that passes your understanding or do the daily cares of life weigh you down? (Philippians 4:7)
Are you living in the light instead of walking in darkness? (1 John: 5-7)
Do you desire the fellowship of other Christians or have you isolated yourself from the saints of God? (Hebrews 10:25)
I ask these questions because they are questions I have had to ask myself. The times when my answer to the questions above have been “No,” my excuses have felt pretty valid. But God has taught me that there will never be an excuse that justifies me rejecting
the abundant life Christ offers all of His children.
As children of God, we have been called out of darkness and into a life of faith, peace, love, and joy. Growing up, the church old-timers would say, “If the world didn’t give it, the world can’t take it away.”
We will all probably spend some time in front of a mirror today. I pray we also spend some time in God’s mirror - the Bible. When it reveals areas in our lives that need attention, I hope we allow God to guide us into a more fulfilled life.