In keeping with our theme –AWAKEN–I’ve asked Maranda Hoefs to join me today to chat about what it means to live wide awake to the things of God, both spiritually and physically.
(Shereen) Perhaps we should identify what we mean by the things of God–what can you identify as Godly?
(Maranda) – The first thing that came to my mind when I thought of the “things of God” were the fruit of the spirit. [i.e. love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.] I love using those qualities as a benchmark for different things in my life. If I’m not seeing “fruit” from the activity, I tend to spend time really considering if it’s something I should be doing or participating in.
(Shereen) So if those qualities are not evident in us, would you say we are drowsy and need a wake-up call?
(Maranda) Absolutely! I’d say if you’re not seeing those qualities in your life you could even be slipping away from God. I think the slipping is a slow process. It’s one choice after another. We quiet the spirit here and there because it’s uncomfortable. Then we start to hear less and less from Him. We make a choice to be angry about something we feel convicted to be grace-filled about. It’s one choice after another, and as we make the wrong choice, it gets easier and easier to make the wrong choice. Justified actions begin to numb the Spirit.
We can numb ourselves with so many things: food, Internet, social media, tv, movies, books, working out, or obsessing over anything from cleanliness of home, to work, to kids behavior, etc.
(Shereen) “Working out” and “Obsessing” sound like busy activities to me . . . how can those things also show a drowsy faith?
(Maranda) Simply by placing them as a priority over God is one way. But we could obsess to fill a void. Or to run–avoiding things and feelings. We can’t control something in our life, so we obsess over the things we can control. Or think we can control. Jesus told us to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Heart, soul, mind, strength. What does it look like in our lives to love God with all our hearts? What does it look like in your life to love the Lord with all your soul? . . . mind? . . . strength? How are you NOT loving the Lord with all your heart? Soul? Mind? Strength?
(Shereen) Our bodies can distract us from God, but because we are the masterpiece of His Creation, this body we live in can also draw us closer to Him. We are made to sense and respond physically to spiritual things. It’s important to remember that Jesus took on a body and He understands how we are made–we can trust His care for us when we cry out to Him.
Practically, how can we reorient ourselves to become more awake?
(Maranda)This week in MUMs we are studying Proverbs 22. The instruction Solomon gives in verses 17-21 are perfect for this “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge; for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, that they may be ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I have taught you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things of councils and knowledge, to make you know the certainty of the words of truth that you may correctly answer him who sent you?”
So don’t just read, don’t just listen. Apply your mind, think on these things, memorize these things, that they may be ready on your lips. So that we may trust in the Lord!