Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (NIV)
I hold the North American land speed record in two events, turning from God and sinning. I can turn from God in the blink of an eye, and I have been known to sin in a heartbeat. Make no mistake. I love God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. When I am focused on Him, my heart burns with a love so hot it could dwarf the sun.
Ah, but there is the catch. When I am focused on Him. Like every person who has lived since Adam, I have spiritual attention deficit disorder. I know and believe that He provides for me, yet it is amazing how quickly I will resort to my own strength. I know and believe that He wants what is best for me, yet the speed with which I will do what I want would make your head spin.
Think about how much of the Bible is devoted to people returning to God. He constantly called the Israelites to stop what they were doing and turn back to Him. The whole mission of Jesus was to show people how they could be restored to God. Fortunately for us, God is even quicker to take us back than we are to leave Him.
Dear God, just when I think I am making some progress in my relationship with You, I slide back. I try to fight the world in my own strength. I give in to sin. Forgive me, Father, I pray. Once again, I surrender to You and take up my cross to follow Your Son, Jesus, in Whom I pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2012 by Steven R. Perkins