I am working on improving my relationship with God. I say I am working on it because God is all good. He is always faithful, backing me up, but because of my sloth or arrogance, not sure which one for sure, I neglect God. That goes for both my study of God's word and my discussion in prayer with him.
For the record I used to be pretty rock solid on this. So what happened? That is what I am trying to figure out. To be honest I think I started relying on myself more than I should have. Secondly I am a dude. Guys have a tendency to think they can fix anything or correct anything on their own. If you aren't a dude, just ask one. They will confirm it, probably not in abject confession, but mostly in their denial. We are good at that too, ladies, if you haven't noticed.
I am getting older. With age comes a certain amount of wisdom. First piece of wisdom is I realized I actually don't know everything and I can't do it all. Second piece of wisdom is I fail a lot. I succeed too, but I do fail. That can put a crimp in the old self-aggrandizing. For me it also puts a big jam on self-confidence. I second guess myself like none other. I am almost perfect at that one. I have a feeling, without taking a look at my deep dark psyche, that the root of all
this is fear of failure. That would further confirm my internal opinion that I am a failure. I think you get the picture. I could go on and on.
So why all the angst? I try going it alone. First off, I don’t rely on all those wonderful people in my life when I need help. That would be admitting failure. Secondly, I don’t go to God. That one boggles me a little bit. Like I said, I used to go to Him on everything, good and bad. I already know
that God knows all my faults, worries, and triumphs. So why did I create that distance between
us. God hasn’t changed. Like I said he is always faithful. He is also very, very patient. If God was impatient with me, I would be writing this without any hope. I know there is plenty of hope.
This is where I work on getting myself back on track. God is always there. God has given me his word in the Bible. That is the best love letter ever written. It is brutal and honest. It has more twist and turns than any of those torrid novels my aunt likes to read. There are examples of extreme failure. King David lusts after a woman, has a secret affair, gets her pregnant. That would be bad enough but now he decides to cover it up. Uriah, one of his trusted soldiers, is the woman’s husband. David tries to arrange for Uriah to go home and sleep with his wife. Uriah can’t
bear to do this while his men are still in harm’s way, so he sleeps outside and never does go home. What is David going to do now? Easy, lets arrange to have Uriah killed on the battle field. Who
will know? Foolish David thinks he can pull one over on God. Sound familiar? Let me tell you that is another skill I have perfected. I can fool myself into believing I have hidden secrets from God. Well God knew.
As we all know, because everyone likes to use this one, God is love. That is true, but here is the flip side, God is just. He demands perfection. David just made a mockery of what God wanted from his king. That sin which David committed required consequences. God called David out on his sin. Nathan was sent to David to confront him. David realized and admitted what he had done. He also placed himself at God’s feet. The unfortunate consequence is that the child conceived in this sin had to die. I admit, when I read it, I don’t understand why the child had to die. What I do know is God knows what he is doing. I know why. Nathan told David because he showed utter contempt for God and his will the child had to die. David also knew that and accepted God’s judgment. You can read the whole account in 2 Samuel 11 and 12.
That is where I learn that failure happens when I don’t listen to God’s will. How do I know his will? Pretty simple, read the Bible. Not just read it but study it. If I do what God wills I won’t go wrong. But because I don’t always do what he wants I don’t meet his standard of perfection. Guess what, God took care of that too. Jesus, God taking on human form, lived that perfect life and sacrificed himself in my place. He did that for me. That is pretty amazing. I know it like I know breathing keeps me alive. That is my motivation for wanting to please God.
Jesus promises me that he will be there with me in all times and all places. I have nothing to fear because of that. Check out Romans 8. It is a beautiful portion of scripture that tells about the healing of all creation because of Jesus victory over sin and evil. If I remember that, look to it daily, and crack open his word so he can speak to me I know all my fears and problems will become much less. I would say disappear but that won’t happen realistically. I still sin, I still fail, but it will be with less frequency and much less angst.
I didn’t touch much on prayer, but that will spring out of studying God’s word. Prayer is my response to God after he has spoken to me. God’s word and prayer go hand in hand. Increase the
study and prayers will follow, both in petition and thanksgiving.