In our day-to-day lives, we are subjected to all kinds of accidents. Fender benders. Spills. Falls. Miscalculations. Mis-dialed phone numbers. Adding an extra zero on that check we wrote to the mortgage company. Oops.
Accidents happen. We’re human.
In virtually every area of our lives, we are prone to slip-ups – usually innocent mistakes.
But, did you know that there’s one area of our lives where we are safeguarded from being “all thumbs?” It’s the area of pursuing God and becoming like Him.
I recently read a quote by Franklin Graham, son of the great Billy Graham. He once said, “You will never become righteous by accident.”
Think about that. Godliness will never just happen to you, even when we have turned to Christ and have been forgiven for all our past and future sins. In fact, that is only the beginning of a long journey towards being molded into the likeness of a perfect and powerful Creator.
Unfortunately, most of us believe that holiness is simply a light switch that just gets flipped on when we make that first – and most important – step in walking with Jesus Christ. But, hindsight is 20/20, and we all know looking back on our lives that it doesn’t work that way.
We have to be deliberate. Intentional. Calculating. We have to make choices. Tough decisions.
And, through it all, we have an enemy who is skilled in the area of distraction. He knows how to get to us. Exploit our weaknesses. He’ll knock us 1-degree off course today, knowing months or years from now, we’ll be worlds away from where God wants us to be.
But, there is a fool-proof security system that will prevent us from losing our way. It’s called obedience.
You see, God doesn’t expect us to understand. He doesn’t expect us to know all the answers. He even knows that we’ll struggle often in making life-altering decisions. But, all He asks for is obedience.
Obedience is one of those things that’s SIMPLE…but rarely EASY. Because we want to do what WE want to do. You and I are stubborn.
But, even more than that, we’re short-sighted. We want what we want right now. That’s why New Year’s resolutions fail. Because we don’t lose 10 pounds the first month of our new diet, we decide it’s not working and bail out.
And, just like interest that accrues on a credit card balance, there are compounding effects of our choices – both good and bad.
Spiritual growth works the same way. Ten minutes a day, or an hour per week (or whatever amount of time we spend with God) may not seem like much, but over the course of a year, the payoff will be amazing! The problem is that we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves, and before long we lose heart and become discouraged. What we’ve got to realize is that WE cannot make ourselves mature believers. Only Christ can do that within us.
It requires discipline. It requires determination. It requires hunger.
But, mostly, it requires making a choice each and every day to follow Him. Not a one-time decision, but a daily one.
Because living for God – and becoming like Him – doesn’t happen by accident.