The Litmus Test for Life

“For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”

It is a bad idea to allow human beings determine our peace and contentment. On any given day, you may buy a new dress, and a third of “your people” will say “It’s about time, I’m happy for you!.” Another third will criticize the use of your money. The final third will applaud your purchase, but determine the style, color, cut, pattern, accessories… something…is not to their liking.

litmuspaperTruly, humans are fickle creatures. Raise your hand if you have had a day that began so wonderfully, everything seemed to be going right…and then that “something” happened and you decided it was a terrible day after all. Our hearts are so driven to using circumstances as a litmus test. What a crazy emotional roller coaster we ride every day when that is the case. Exhausting.

And it becomes even more dangerous and precarious when we apply this reasoning (if you can call it that) to our spiritual life! So many want to evaluate their spirituality according to how they feel. Miserable! Do you have days when you don’t necessarily “feel” saved? I do. Because I’m forgetful and finite. I think, “God loves me more today because everything is going smoothly” or “I didn’t read my Bible this morning, so I’m pretty sure God won’t walk with me today.”

No. We have to have something solid upon which to plant our feet. Here’s a familiar verse:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“So loved”…it was His choice, and He is no respecter of persons.(Acts 10:34) He chose before the foundation of the Earth that He would love you. You had all of His love, right then, in that moment. There is no earning more. There are no “brownie points”. He loves. His love is not conditional…we learn that in doctrines class, but I’m not sure we believe it. If you fail today, does He still love you? Absolutely. In fact, it is the precise reason that He DOES love you and me…because we so desperately need it (whether we know it or not).

Does this mean He is not displeased when we walk in disobedience, when we neglect His word, when we choose prayerlessness and pulling on our own “bootstraps” instead of leaning upon Him and bringing Him our cares? No. He wants so much more for us!

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

This abundant life is what He desires for us. It has nothing to do with finances, nice houses, perfect health, perpetually harmonious relationships. This abundance is peace in His promises, freedom from fear, rest in His truth, the permission to be His child…vulnerable and needy and not having all the answers. Do you enjoy this today? If not, ask Him to show you the reason.

Like a river glorious
Is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious
In its bright increase.
Perfect, yet it floweth
Fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth
Deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah,
Hearts are fully blest,
Finding as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow
Of His pierced hand,
Never foe can follow,
Never traitor stand.
Not a surge of worry,
Not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry
Moves the spirit there.

Every joy or trial
Falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial
By the Sun of Love.
We may trust Him fully
All for us to do,
They who trust Him wholly
Find Him wholly true.

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