“YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE YOUR LIFE UNTIL YOU CHANGE SOMETHING YOU DO DAILY. THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS IS FOUND IN YOUR DAILY ROUTINE.”
-JOHN C. MAXWELL
This has been the focus in this season of my life, where the constant thing that I want to work on is the daily routine and habits. I realize for myself and a lot of us in this world that we make so many excuses with the number one being that we don’t have enough time. Everyone has their reasons and many of them can be valid but if we are to really look at our lives and be honest with ourselves, we do indeed have the time but are not utilizing our time effectively. If we are truly busy and we miss out in the important things in life of building genuine relationships with people and with God then we more than likely have said yes to too many things. The problem of our lives is not that we are busy but that we are busy for the wrong things.
As I looked at my life in detail, I realized that I have said yes to too many things that stretched me beyond my capacity and it was more often because of insecurity of not being accepted that I said yes to things that I shouldn’t have. In the end, I became just as effective as a dime sized portion of butter for a loaf of bread, which has a semblance of a good taste but leaving you thinking that it can be better.
Our daily routines, habits, thoughts, emotions, and actions all play a role in the present we live in and the future we will forge. Before I explain a few points of today’s passage, take some time to reflect about your daily routines and what type of future you are building for yourself.
Now that you are back, let’s see what the scriptures can tell us on how to maximize the blessing of life today.
The LORD gives two examples of the type of people that live in this world and the consequences of the lifestyle that they choose whether for good or bad.
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.”
The first group are people that trusts in their own strength at the expense of forsaking God in the process. There are many reasons why we do this and we are all guilty of it but one reason is the fact that we think God is too “slow” in getting things done. If left to our hands we can not only see results but take pride in what our hands have made but the reality is that we more often times than not will either mess up or give up the greater outcome for a temporary nice outcome.
When we become sowers in our own strength apart from God we are described as a shrub in the desert. The shrub doesn’t get continual access to water and thus developed survival techniques to retain whatever water they can get. The desert is not the most hospitable place on earth as all are looking out for themselves to survive because that is what survival mentality does, it’s about you. The shrub looks like it is physically alive and it is surviving but unlike this shrub you and I are not to be simply surviving but thriving. I have seen myself and countless others strive to make a life apart from God to only enjoy short rainfalls of blessing while the majority of our time is filled with depression, oppression, and fear as we hustle like beggars for that life of peace and joy.
I am not naive that a life apart from God does look appealing and luxurious now but a life apart from God leads to a very disappointing if not disastrous destination. Don’t pay the price of temporary pleasure and “freedom” because the price of sin, which is anything apart from or against Him is paid by your freedom as you become slaves to sin.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
These words from God echo Psalm one, a song that was sung in Israel during their worship services. When I read this, I imagined God singing this out loud so as to cause this moment of remembrance of who the people of God should be like. Songs are more than things to be enjoyed but embody the soul and culture of a people and thus songs are an expression of the things unseen but felt daily. That is the life of a believer that the Kingdom of God and God Himself is more often times an experience that one feels but cannot see with their physical eyes. God does show up in miracles, signs, and wonders but it is the faith to believe in Him apart from our eyes that we are then able to experience Him daily. The person that sows into his or her relationship with God is not like a surviving shrub in the desert but is a tree planted by water whose roots are firmly established. The idea of being constantly nourished and rooted in God is important because it states that such a person will not be anxious when drought or tough times come. When you choose to be in the LORD daily you are elevating yourself from being a slave to your circumstances, negative thoughts and emotions. Your ability to bear fruit is the ability to produce things of the Kingdom of God such as joy, happiness, goodness, love, etc. This type of person that sows in the LORD thrives in all circumstances and is unshakable!
For me I am convicted today that I don’t want to be a slave to my emotions, circumstances, and heart. The LORD proclaimed that the heart is very deceitful and that it can play games with us for that is what it does when we sow into ourselves at the expense of our relationship with God. When we live for ourselves we will be unstable and easily shakable but when we prioritize God, we keep our emotions, our hearts, and even our desires but we won’t be slaves to such things. That is why to live a life in control is to give up control to God daily!
Today, take yourself out of the desert of self-reliance and sin to trust in God. Don’t be a shrub, be a happy tree.