November 1, 2018

Ridge Reading Challenge Devotional 1 Peter 1:13-16

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16 NLT)    

A few Sundays ago, I was attending the final week of the “I AM Jesus” series. This quote from Francis Chan was referenced, and it really challenged me:

 “If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream.”

As I was thinking about my own faith – I have to admit, sometimes it’s more passive than I wish it were. It’s as if I’m living under a super-comfy blanket, knowing that my eternity is secured, and then I get lazy. I start making excuses about why I’m unable to spend time with God, read my Bible, or give people my full attention. When life gets active, most of the time my faith life becomes passive. Why is that? I think part of the answer is found in 1 Peter 1:13-16. In these verses you will see there are a lot of direct ACTIONS we need to take in order to live a holy life. Words like: prepare, exercise, live, obedient – all are used when describing how we are to live a life that best reflects God’s character. These words remind me that my faith requires my time. When I allow other things to creep into the whitespace on my calendar, or I prioritize something else above time with God, I’m going to eventually wake up and realize I’ve traveled off the mark and further from the person God has created me to be. Putting faith into action requires two key things:

  1. Preparation: You have to prepare or pre-plan your day to make God a priority. You could do that by blocking off non-negotiable time on your calendar to pray, read your Bible, or listen to God. You could set an alarm on your phone to remind you to stop and re-connect with God throughout the day. Whatever you do to prepare, just know this step is important, because it’s the time when you stop and allow God to begin transforming your mind, setting your perspective for the day, and allowing space for Him to speak to you.
  2. Obedience: Once you have prepared, it’s important that you not only follow your plans for how you are going to create more space for God, but to obey God’s promptings. If you’re consciously letting God sit in the driver’s seat, try not to be a back seat driver. Self-control is required in order to allow God’s will to trump our own.

Stop this week and take a hard look at your schedule, making sure you have prioritized God. Then, during your time with Him, honestly pray: “God, I want to grow in my relationship with You. Show me how I can live out my faith today. How can I be obedient to Your direction? Stir up my heart so I can ward off any bit of complacency I may feel – and put a fire in its place so I’m fully alive for You.”