I just posted something to my Facebook page, a verse and a comment.
Here is the verse:
Proverbs 1:32 “For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;” (NIV)
Here’s the comment:
“OK, that may seem a little intense for a first verse share of the new year, but my heart (for you and me) is that we live our lives for the Lord *intentionally* in this new year. Make today count *for HIM*. There is a way you can live, today and for the year, that shows that your life is no longer yours, but *HIS*. Live your life *that way*. Today, by the power of His grace, begin to live that way. May God strengthen you for the journey.”
Have you ever gotten to the end of a day and thought, “well, that was a wasted day”? To be honest with you, I HATE it when I feel that way. Ever since becoming a follower of Christ, I have wanted every day to mean something in my walk with Him. To grow in grace, to put away a sin issue, to share the gospel with someone, to love others better…all of these and more drive me each day in my life with Him (and for Him). By God’s grace, I think I have had many days that were lived with a real kingdom purpose and mindset.
But what do I do with the day that just doesn’t “feel” that way? How do I come to God at the end of that day? Well, here are a few things that I do:
1. first and foremost, I do a heart-check. Was this day really a failure? Was there some artificial marker that I had set for myself, and, not having achieved it, feel like a failure? If the answer is “yes” to the artificical marker question, I confess my sin of works righteousness before God, and ask Him to show me how to do good works for His sake (not my own sense of self-fulfillment) and in His strength. God has prepared good works for me to do (Eph. 2:10), but I am a fool if I think that the good works that I do make me more acceptable in His eyes (Eph. 2:8-9). I breathe a prayer of confession and repentance and seek to commit the next day to Him.
2. Was there a blatant sin (of commission or omission) that I did during the day? Did that keep me from pursuing my whole-hearted service to the Lord in everything? Nothing makes me feel like more of a failure than when I sin. Jesus died to pay the price for my sin, so that by faith in Him I could be restored to a loving relationship with God the Father. When I sin, I despise the price paid for me. I take for granted that which Christ purchased with His blood: my life and my hope, now and forever. Satan wants me to wallow in the regret of the sin. God wants me to confess the sin (and therefore confess my utter dependence upon Him), accept His forgiveness, forsake the sin (turn away from it, by the power of the Spirit), close my eyes and rest in Him. I can rest and sleep a peaceful sleep by resting in the grace and mercy of God.
3. I am a physical being. Is my sense of the day being wasted just wrapped up in my tiredness? Or my sickness? One of my daughters has rheumatoid arthritis. I have a close friend who has fibromyalgia. I know others who are suffering with cancer and suffering with the treatment for cancer. If all they have to count on for a sense of purpose and peace in life is their physical sense of well-being, then they are in the most despair. God is sovereign over all things. These afflictions are His doing. I am tired or weary or sick because I am *not God*. My tiredness reminds me that He is always the one who gives strength. So, I have to pray for my spirit to rest in Him. And, if neither #1 or #2 from above are in play, then I try to recount the blessings of the day, give God the glory for them, and close my eyes in rest.
So, what do these things have to do with the verse quoted from Proverbs? Even as a Christian, it is all too possible for me to live like a fool. It is all to practicable for me to be complacent in my life. (Complacency = “satisfaction or *self-satisfaction* accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies”). I want my life to be the *opposite* of those qualities. I want to be wise in my living. I want to be intentional in the life that I live. I don’t want to be wayward, directionless, in my life in Christ. I don’t want to be complacent. I want to be satisfied in Him (not self-satisfied). I want to be aware of the dangers around me (the world, the flesh, the devil). I want to be aware of my deficiencies (so that I would glory all the more in the *sufficiencies* of Christ.)
O Sovereign Lord, help me in 2012 to live a life that is purposeful. Help me to make the most of each day, each opportunity to love You and to serve You, as well as loving others and serving them. Help me to focus the energy and grace of the day You have given so that it resonates with Your strength and joy and hope. Help me to be aware of the dangers of complacency. Help me at the end of each day to confess my sins, count my blessings, and rejoice in the glorious hope of the Gospel.