We’ve been on a series in church called Back to Life, of course leading up to Easter which was yesterday. It got me thinking. Obviously we are talking about Jesus coming back to life, but even the faithfulness of Springtime to bring green grass and budding flowers back to us each year, it’s an opportunity, a reminder, for us that we can come back to life too.
We are not too far gone. We are not beyond God’s capacity to turn around or his ability to reach us. As long as there is breath in our lungs, there is still hope. It’s never too late to make a turn around and come back to life.
You know Moses stood before the children of Israel before they were about to walk over into the promised land and reminded them of all the miracles God had done for them and all the ways God took care of them. Trying to make sure they would not forget God when they walked into the promise. Because it’s easy, as humans, when things are good, we forget to focus on God as diligently as we should. We ease up and coast just for a little bit. We never intend for it to happen, it just does. But just that act of getting comfortable in our faith is enough to pull us further than we ever meant to go and we wake up one day and look around and realize we are not where we should be. It’s too easy for it to happen! That’s why Moses stood up there that day to remind the children of Israel because he knew how easy it was for human nature to slide into autopilot and end up in trouble. I can imagine him getting fired up trying with everything in his being to get his message through their stubborn brains. And finally, he says, something like, “look it’s easy. It’s clearly before you. There is a path that leads to life and one that leads to death. But I’ll give you the answer: choose life!!” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)
Sometimes even when the answer is so clear and obvious to us, we still take the wrong road because it’s more familiar. It’s what we know. We are comfortable with it. Even when we know it’s harmful to us, it feels more familiar than stepping out into the unknown and being uncomfortable. Doing something different even when we know it’s good for us can be scary and our human nature wants to fight us tooth and nail every step of the way. So of course, I get it, it feels easier to sit back and coast and do the same things we’ve always done.
It’s hard to get out of that rut. It’s hard to do something different. And sometimes we intend to do something different and the very next day WE FORGET WE MADE THE NEW INTENTION and just do our same old routine!! Been there. Done that!
We can only overcome our human nature and our desire to take the easy road by the grace of God. God gives us the strength to keep going. God gives us the power to fight our nature even when we get knocked down. We dust ourselves off and get up and try again. It’s only by His strength working in us. Sometimes I think we try to rely too much on ourselves and honestly, that is impossible. We always fail. Human nature is failure because we are separated from God in our humanity. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing.
- John 15:5
- John 16:33
- Matthew 19:26
- Mark 9:23
- 2 Peter 5:7
I’ve already talked about how God has given us everything we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). But I have even more proof! So while we will fall apart if left to our own devices, it’s God’s Spirit within us that we are able to live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28) and He gives life to our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11) by His Spirit.
Romans 8:11 says the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead LIVES IN YOU!!! Did you know that? Speaking of Easter, by the way. Jesus was raised back to life. AND THE SAME SPIRIT THAT RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD LIVES IN US!!!!! Yes, I had to use all caps for that because it’s worth celebrating. It’s mind blowing. We have no excuse. If Jesus is in us, His Spirit gives us life and when we have that life within us, giving us strength to live for God, there should be nothing holding us back from living that life to the fullest! The abundant life Jesus talked about — and the way I see it, it’s not a life filled with abundance of things, I think He meant LIFE itself, the abundance of all the goodness and virtue of life itself – joy, peace, kindness, all the fruits of the Spirit flowing effortlessly through us.
Thank God His mercies are new every morning and how great is His faithfulness to us that we are not consumed (Lamentations 3:23)! If we are alive at this moment, it’s not too late to come back to life. Come back to living life for Jesus and letting Him live through you. It’s never too late. So just like Moses, I want to invite you to consider the paths set before you and choose life. Yes, it’s a choice. Because not making a choice means we put ourselves on autopilot and let our human nature and habits and routines determine our life. It may be uncomfortable and trying at times, but taking the path toward life is so much more rewarding than coasting and barely scratching the surface of a relationship with God. Today can be a new day. Today can be a fresh start for you! All it takes is turning your heart toward God (James 4:8).
I’d encourage you to read through the scriptures I’ve put throughout today’s devotional (don’t forget there are some in parenthesis also!) and journal your thoughts.
- How is God speaking to you through these scriptures?
- In what areas of your life are you taking the easy road?
- Are there areas in which you feel God is calling you to do things differently? Is that challenging you or does it feel a little uncomfortable? If so, why do you think you feel uncomfortable?
- What can you do today to turn back toward life? What is one simple step you can take right now to get back on track?