How involved would you say Jesus is in your day-to-day life? Is He in full and utter control of your decisions? Would you say He is your Lord or Master, and would you say your steps are ordered by Him? Well, if He is then good on you, but also there must have been a time when He wasn’t, when you sought your own counsel. I personally have struggled a lot with God’s authority. Letting go of control and fully submitting to God’s will over my life has been a struggle and still is sometimes, unfortunately. Looking back, I have always thought of Him as a silent partner, someone who was always a witness but never had a say. I always wanted Him to show up for me whenever I wanted Him to, with no questions asked, and I expected a lighting response to my distress even before I utter any word. And most of the times, I would have my own thing going own and pray to God that He bless the thing I started, without His word, and expected Him to do so because I wanted it. And when things didn’t go as I desired, I was quick to blame Him for not being there for me when I needed Him, for not showing up for me. As a result, I thought of Him as an unintentional Father, when it was me that was denying Him the opportunity to be my Lord, and only wanted Him to be my saviour.
But what does it really mean to have Jesus as your Lord? To act in a superior and domineering manner toward you? And to be truly and utterly in submission to His will, what does that look like? Jesus in Luke 9:23 says, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Daily we must deny our will and daily we must die to self. Have you noticed how difficult it is to keep the Sabbath day holy if you have lived for self throughout the entire week? It is impossible turn on a full Sabbath day mood, all about God as it should be, if our daily habits somehow do not involve Him on the other days. Whatever character you take up every day will also prevail on Sabbath. Daily, we must take up our cross. Even though Jesus was beaten and tortured and was weak on His feet, a cross is not a light weight to carry. He struggled with it. But have you imagined, that if you pick up your cross, it would be very difficult for you to carry your burdens too? You would have no better knowledge than to cast those to Jesus.
I remember a time I was faced with an inevitable change. Even though it was what I wanted it had uncertainties and a lot of blind corners. I was happy to make these changes if they were God’s will, but also, I had my backup plan, which made the decision easier. But when my man-made safety net became uncertain too, I started to panic at the thought of losing control. For three days I cried to the Lord and cast my burdens upon Him every night before sleeping, and every morning I'd pick them right up. Even though God comforted me throughout the day it was just enough for me to lay them down at night, until on the fourth day, when I found myself seeking comfort every hour. And I believe I was going to continue crying to God talking about what I thought His promise was, but this time He comforted me with Psalm 62. My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, He is my defence, I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory, the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. God has spoken once twice I have heard, that power belongs to God. With a soothing chapter like this, I was given an opportunity to focus on the things that really mattered the most, to take up my cross and follow Jesus.
How has God showed up for you this week and what did that look like?
We are required to seek God daily. He puts in us a hunger and thirst for His living word and sometimes, He brings circumstances forcing us to seek Him. We need daily interactions with God just as we need our daily bread. “Give us this day our daily bread,” Matt 6:11 says. “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst,” John 6:35. We need to feed on His word daily, a day of holiness is not good enough to carry us through to the next Sabbath, we need daily encounters with God. Deut. 8:3 says, “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Someone said the hunger for food comes back every time after we eat, you can never eat once and it’s enough for the entire week, it is why we feed ourselves daily when we can. But the hunger for the word of God lingers for a while, and when you don’t feed on the word of the Lord it eventually goes away, and I agree. Your desire to seek God eventually dies if you don’t feed your soul. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled,(Matt 5:6). Why don’t you seek the Lord today while He ought to be found. While you still are hungry and thirsty for Him, while He still can carry your burdens for you, why don’t you seek Him? “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John7:37-38)
We need Jesus daily. We need daily personal experiences with God, and we need to pick up our cross, daily. We need to choose God’s character daily; we need to let God order our steps, deny self and accept Jesus as our Lord. We need our daily bread of life and that can only happen by spending time in His scripture, and praying. Knowing where to start in being intentional with God can sometimes be difficult, but one sweet solemn thought I want you to remember, Jer. 24:7 “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” Present yourself to God, He will do the rest. God bless you. Amen.