What are you investing in?
Whether you realize it or not, every day of your life, you are investing in one of two things. The flesh, or the spirit.
The biggest problem that I’ve encountered in people is that,human nature being what it is, we tend to live passively. Living passively, indiscriminately, is exactly what feeds the flesh. It’s reactive. It’s comfortable. And ultimately, it’s destructive.
Living in a proactive manner is hard work. That’s why so few people do it. It takes commitment, effort, and determination. It’s not always comfortable. Sometimes it means being uncomfortable. But it’s worth it.
Nothing can explain the satisfaction and quality of life that a person can gain who is willing to walk by faith, not by sight. Who is willing to life by grace, not emotions. Who is willing to invest in their relationship with God, not let it play out.
What does it look like to invest in your relationship with God? Most people would say church, read your Bible, pray. Those things are all crucial. That’s the foundation. But why stop there?
When’s the last time you spent a lot of money on something? What was it for? I’m amazed at how many times I’ve seen and heard of people who will make great sacrifices (in regard to family, money, church, work) for something secular, but who are unwilling to make the same level of sacrifice for their relationship with God.
I, of course, see this most frequently in people who, at the time, have no relationship with God. When I share the gospel, there are those who are unwilling to forsake everything to follow Jesus (Luke 14:33). Why does this amaze me continually? Because these are people who have had no problem forsaking everything to follow themselves. They didn’t mind throwing away their family to get high. They didn’t mind giving up control of their money, their job, or anything else in life, so long as it was something that they thought would bring them pleasure. But Satan is a cruel task master, and it didn’t. Oh sure, maybe for a few minutes or a few hours. Maybe even a few days. But eventually it wore off, and they found themselves in a worse state than they were to begin with. But give up family for Jesus? But give up my money for Jesus? That’s just crazy talk.
But even as Christians, we who have surrendered everything to follow Jesus, can start to slip back into the same mindset. My time is mine. My money is mine. My family is mine. We begin to tell ourselves things like, I deserve to enjoy myself. Since these are all my resources, why not use them to enjoy life? So we throw money and time and energy at things like secular music, novels, movies, family vacations, and more. We have no problem skipping church once or twice a month for it — I mean, Jesus wants me to be happy, right? Jesus wants me to put my family first, right?
But what about taking a day off work for your family? Scratch that. What about taking a day off work for Jesus?
When’s the last time you sacrificed time, money and energy to serve Jesus?
When’s the last time you spent a decent amount of money on godly music or books?
I’m going to a concert next week. It’s a worship concert. It’s 45 minutes away. I paid $20 for my ticket. It’s going to be in the 40s and it’s general admission, so that means going early and standing in line. But you know what? It’s worth it for me. I’m willing to sacrifice my time by going early and driving a little ways. I’m willing to deal with the crowd (those who know me best understand just how much of a sacrifice that can be). I’m willing to invest my money. In fact, I’m not just willing, I’m excited. Because it’s worth it to invest in my relationship with Jesus.
I love going to the Christian bookstore. I don’t mind the tolls I have to pay to get there. I don’t mind the insane traffic. I don’t mind that things are slightly overpriced. Why not? Cuz it’s not my money. It’s not my life. I will make whatever “sacrifices” necessary to enhance my relationship with God because He is my priority, not entertainment. Not comfort.
I’ve found that the sacrifices I think I’m making really aren’t sacrifices at all. Because when I invest in my relationship with God, He invests in me. The satisfaction, peace, joy, and contentment is beyond description.
How are you investing your life?
Do you listen to godly music?
Do you read godly books?
Have you invested in a study Bible? (Those things are EXPENSIVE!)
Do you make church a priority?
Are you seeking him every day?
Are you willing to go out of your way for Him?
Or only for you?
In a word: passionate. About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even iced skinny soy mochas.