Sometimes it seems that as followers of Christ, we spend more time saying "No" than "Yes." We say say no to the things of this world (as we should) but that can be as far as we get. We can get consumed with making sure we are not doing the wrongs things and that we are following all the "rules." Doing this is definitely a step in the right direction, but it's not living God's way quite yet. Our lives need to go beyond saying no to saying YES to the things of God. I am reminded of the parable that Jesus tells in Matthew 12: “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
Jesus isn't talking about us being filled with real "demons," he is talking about us cleaning out the sinful thoughts and ideas without filling ourselves with godly thoughts and ideas. IF we are just sitting around, thinking about all the things we can't do, how much easier will we fall into doing the wrong thing?
When Jesus comes back, he isn't going to say, "Wow, look at all the things Danielle didn't do!" Like the parable of the servants who were given different amounts of money, Jesus wants to see that I have done something for him. I can't just "bury my talent" and twiddle my thumbs until he comes back. So what are some things I can do to fill myself with godly things?
Of course, taking time every day to go to God's word. What better way to learn to be more godly? Consciously work on developing the fruit of the spirit. Those things don't come naturally to us.
Prayer! Prayer is so important. We have a chance to talk to our Heavenly Father... what a blessing... why do we not do it more often? Pray that He will help you develop the fruit of the spirit.
Surround yourself with godly people. Godly people will build you up in your faith. Be someone who draws your friends closer to God.
As James tells us, care for the widows and orphans. This brings to mind the book Kisses for Katie that I told you about here-- what an example of love in action. Be someone who does the work of Jesus. Take time to notice when people need help. Be the hands and feet of the gospel.
Adopt the attitude that you are going to do your best in everything, whether it be work, school, or caring for your family. This, of course, doesn't mean prioritizing work and school over God, but simply that we do the daily "chores" with a joyful and Christlike attitude.
These are just a few suggestions I have been thinking of... I'd love to hear more suggestions from you! I'm sure I will think of tons more as I dwell on it this week.
Have a joyful weekend.