Let's begin today's motivational minute by thinking about our past for just one small moment. Some of us have events, people, and just stuff in our past that has shaped our attitudes and behaviors in our life today. Yesterday, we began the cleansing process. Part of this process is looking into the past. God cannot cleanse our hearts and renew our spirits if we are not willing to reflect upon why we have so much "junk" in our spiritual closets in the first place. While asking God to help you get rid of the "junk" that is taking up His space, ask yourself why is it there in the first place, and where did it come from. What is the root of the sinful emotion? (And, if none of this is making sense to you, please read yesterday's post.)
Why am I angry?
Why am I joyless?
Why am I jealous?
Why do I not love myself?
Why do I despise him/her?
Why do I manipulate others?
Why am I so unforgiving of others?
When did I become so mean and hateful towards others?
Why are all of my thoughts negative, or centered around negativity?
Your questions go here.........................................................................
I was left with a tough question from revival last night. Am I all that I seem to be? Rev. Michael Radford preached a sermon using the parable of the Prodigal Son that is found in Luke chapter 15. He focused not on the Prodigal Son, but on the elder brother who was doing everything he thought he should be doing to get and stay close to God. However, in a closer look at his life, it was discovered that the elder son was actually attempting to please other people, and not God. His attitudes and behaviors toward his brother, the Prodigal Son, showed that he really had no idea of the qualities that God desires His children to display. The elder son was angry, jealous, and hurt because his brother had left home, made poor choices, and when he returned, he was accepted with open arms and his return was celebrated. The elder son was upset because he claimed that he had tried to live his life perfectly, yet no one celebrated for him. He thought that all the things he had done were worthy of praise unto him. Everything the elder son was doing was in vain. It meant nothing because he focused on getting glory for himself and not for God. This situation was the root of the elder son's sinful emotions that were cluttering his "spiritual closet".
When I look back and reflect upon my life, I am not what I seem to be! We all have to pray and ask God to show us what it is that He sees when He looks at us. Does he see envy? Does he see a person full of pride? Does he see a liar? Does he see a thief? Does he see a cheater? Does God really see what we think He sees? And, Are we doing the things that God really wants us to do?
Even though we are striving to become more like Christ each and every day, we all fall short. We must praise God that we are not what we used to be. God has already delivered us from some of our sinful natures. I thank God that I don't harbor hate in my heart anymore. But when hate left, what replaced it in my "spiritual closet"? We must make sure that we are replacing old attitudes and behaviors with new Christ-like attitudes and behaviors. We can't do this alone; we need God to help us. And, even though we may have come so far, we may not be what we think we are because we have soooooo much more growing and learning ahead of us. One of my favorite meditation songs, I Worship You, comes to mind by gospel artists MaryMary:
"I was lost, but You came and found me."
"I was empty, but You came and filled me."
"I was blinded, but You helped me to see."
"I was broken, but You made me whole again"
"I felt like nothing, but You gave me confidence."
"You took everything I was, made me what I am, and with all I am, I worship You."
We would not even be everything that we think we are if it wasn't for our Lord and Savior. He is the potter and we are His clay. He has molded and shaped us into the people that we are today, but we are still not a finished product. We need God in EVERYTHING that we do. I need God to teach daily, I need God to write these motivational minutes daily, I even need God to accomplish simple daily tasks. I also recognize that I am not deserving of anything that God had done and is already doing for me. The talents, gifts, and abilities that God has placed within us are for His glory and not our own. Many people have shared with me that they have been blessed by this site. For that I say, to God be the glory!
So Lord, I'm not all that I seem to be. I'm not all that I should be; but I praise You because I'm not what I used to be, and thank You because You're not through working on me!