Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 20 June 21:
Psalm 73:25-28 — Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever…. For me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
What is your goal in life? How do you measure your success, and where do you want to be when it is all said and done?
Today Asaph says, “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” We are in danger of stumbling too if we begin measuring success the way the world does, if earthly accomplishments and prosperity become our markers. Likewise, we risk maligning God if we start judging His love, justice, mercy, and grace from our earthly perspectives of our afflictions – “How could God let this happen?” If our life goals are prosperity-based, and if we see God as a means to our ends, we will find ourselves trapped in the spirit of the disgruntled psalmist, “All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.” (Psalm 73:13) The key to life is to make your life goal the same as God’s goal for your life, and His goal for your life is Him:
- John 17:3, 15-19, 21-23 — And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent…. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth…. that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”
Success is unity with Him, knowing Him more and more every day, and making Him known more and more each day, and God will use seemingly ‘good’ and ‘bad’ circumstances to accomplish that goal in your life – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:28, 29) As the latter verse states, not all things (people and circumstances) are good, but God works all things together for His good and perfect purpose, which is not just to give you a comfortable life until you die, but rather to conform you to the image of His Son, so that you would like Jesus. Our goal through good times and bad should be to rejoice knowing that God is Sovereign and is using every circumstance to grow us up in Christ, and our measure of success through it all should be that we are closer to Jesus than we have ever been before.
If Moses’ success depended on his life-long endeavor of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, his whole life would have been viewed a complete failure since Moses was not permitted to cross the Jordan River due to his sin at Meribah (Numbers 20); but God’s goal for Moses was something much greater than achieving a temporal goal – it was Himself. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) In fact, Moses did make it to the Promised Land, but in a far more glorious way than he could have ever imagined – “And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.” (Matthew 17:1-3)
How much different would your life be if sought the Lord as one searches for a great treasure?
- Matthew 6:21 — For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- Matthew 13:44 — “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
- Hebrews 11:24-26 — By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.
- Ephesians 3:8 — To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
With the goal of increasingly knowing Him and making Him known each day, endeavor for your last day on earth to be your best day on earth.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 20 June 21: Today, focus on knowing God more fully and making Him know as your life’s goals, and do everything else in a way that supports your ultimate goal – “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)