Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Crab food. That’s what my husband calls it. He says that if I don’t have food when I’m hungry I get really crabby. He’s right. We all need food, water and rest on a regular basis to function optimally.
Water and rest? I’ve got that pretty well mastered. It’s food that’s the problem.
The other day, I was so focused on getting the gardens cleaned and the pots planted that I forgot to eat and then wondered why I had a whopping headache before dinner.
I’ve noticed the same result when I neglect God and his word. My soul needs nutrients as much as my body needs food. Without consistent feeding of God’s truth and love, I become unbalanced, improperly focused, crabby and worried. I feel like a branch cut off from the trunk, withering. There’s a reason Jesus invites us to “abide” in him (John 15:4).
For me, time with God and his word is necessary first thing each morning. (After I get my Starbucks Italian Roast brewed and let the dogs out and in. I mean, these two things are absolute necessities, I think, aren’t they?)
My morning times with God are my lengthy heart-to-heart times. I listen to him by reading his word. I pray his word, claiming his promises of provision and asking him to grow me.
But here’s the kicker . . .
I leave my quiet time and enter the chaotic world. I go out and blow it in some way, every day, because I forget to abide. A one-time quiet time in the morning just isn’t enough for me. I need to abide in God all day long. Because only by abiding IN him can I abide BY him.
But, alas, everyday I go my own way (you know, like Fleetwood Mac, all you “baby-boomers”? Click on the orange, all you “gen-x-ers” and “millenials”. Listen to the lyrics and think of yourself in relation to God.)
All God wants is to give us his all.
So why don’t we “shack up” with God instead of other things or other ones? (Listen closely to those lyrics!)
I blow it. That’s why. In the moment, I choose something or someone other than God. Period.
So what do I do with God when I blow it?
I’m tempted to hide. From God. From you. You know. Like Adam and Eve? Instead of running back to God and others, I run away.
Same reason I get myself into my messes in the first place.
Pride and shame.
Both the same focus on self.
I see my “nakedness”. I see who I really am under the holy light of God.
I see—I am nothing.
Nothing—but for the grace of God who loves me lavishly only because he sees me wholly through the holy blood of his Son, Jesus, the Christ, who suffered and died so I—and you—won’t have to suffer and die eternally.
My shame and my pride does not want to accept such a gift.
But I must.
If I want to be free. Truly.
If I want to discover who I am, in relation to the great I AM, in all my glory, only a reflection of the Holy who has made me whole and called me “good”, in the beginning, before I chose—and choose—to go my own way. Every day.
What can I do with this?
Confess what’s sin in me, according to HIS standard—his word—not my own.
Believe He’s sure to deliver on his promise to forgive, to heal, to set free. All and only because of Jesus—the One who paid our ransom price with his blood.
His grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
My hungry soul can then be full-filled. Again and again.
So what’s with that pride and that shame and that flip-flopping we all do between the two, again and again?
Here’s the thing . . .
I think I should behave better than I do because I think I’m better than I am.
What I need is to remember I’m only a sinner saved by God’s grace alone. Period. No if’s, and’s or but’s.
I need a holy humbling so I can come before our holy God and say I’m sorry for offending Him as well as my “neighbor” by refusing to live by his holy word.
I need to accept his forgiveness given to me because of Christ alone.
And I need to ask for grace to get up and keep moving forward in faith, not focusing on what I think are my inadequacies or adequacies, but focusing on God revealed in his word, only.
Only Jesus Christ crucified is adequate for me.
When I humbly accept such a gift, I can receive the fullness of forgiveness. Then . . .
I can be set free—from me.
Then, after the hard prune of pride/shame is done, this crabby tree can bloom. Again. And again.
Abide in God’s word—the truth about you in love letters.
Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.