“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another, but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” – Titus 3:3-6
Have you ever wanted something so badly that it completely consumes you? Every thought you have, every word you say, everything you do is indirectly or directly related to that desire.
That desire now owns you.
Good or bad. Healthy or unhealthy. Productive or unproductive. It is irrelevant.
When something owns you, it becomes your owner, your motivator, your driving force.
And nothing and no one should be come before Jesus Christ in your life.
Sins are a given. But what about good things?
You may ask, “What if it is my education, career, volunteer work, spouse, significant other, salary, children, my biggest dream? All of these are important things!”
True, all of the above are very important things. Your family is very important. Your education, job, dreams are very important, but they are not the most important.
Christ is the most important. Him and Him alone. All these other things must come after Christ.
There may be times when you have to take a rake to your heart. A rake? Yes, a rake. You may have to take it over your heart and gather all of the driving forces that are consuming it, and set the pile aside for a moment.
In the autumn, we rake fallen leaves into piles and then set them on fire. Why? So, we can clear a path, a straight path, a clean path. It’s hard to walk when there are obstructions every step of the way.
Now, I am not saying you need to set fire to your family, your schoolwork, your job, your friends, but what I am saying is you may need to set these things aside for a moment so that you can clear your path to Jesus Christ. If these things are obstructing your view, your communication, your heart towards God, they are in essence harmful to you. Even if they are good things.
What thought or desire is consuming your every moment? Take it captive. Rake it aside.
What do you wake up thinking about? What consumes your mind throughout the day? What is the last thing you are thinking about as you fall asleep? Is it the same thing? Take it captive. Rake it aside.
What is motivating your every action, your every word? Take it captive. Rake it aside.
God must be first and foremost, and all other things second.
Do no become enslaved to an idea, a purpose, an identity, or a goal. We are to be enslaved to no one or nothing. God bought us with a price. He then set us free. This freedom was not given to us lightly; therefore we must not take it lightly. God, our Father, sacrificed His son for our freedom.
How can we then enslave our hearts and minds to a lesser thing?
Take a rake to your heart. Examine the pile. Separate the good things from the bad.
Now, set Christ first. Through Him, you can do all things. Through Him, you can love your family, be a good student, a good worker, a good volunteer, you can accomplish your goals. But notice: He is first.
God gave us things to enjoy. He gave us life, family, dreams, careers, brains. He wants us to enjoy these things, not be enslaved to them.
Rake your heart, and start experiencing freedom.
“No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” – Matthew 6:24