“Meditate on these things; give yourself to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Tim. 4:15).
My greatest motivation in life is to live in such a way as to stand before God one day and hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” This is truly what keeps my conscience clear and unfeigned. I fall short sometimes, but I have learned to forgive myself and just keep on going. If your heart is pure you can do the same.
As I’ve looked back and reflected often on my life in Christ I realize that four things have been constant.
1. I have asked God for a heart that is quick to repent and quick to forgive. I work on that. Always. Sometimes I’ll ask myself, “Is there any one person in my life that I could not face on the streets and give a hug or a warm handshake to? Is there anyone that I would avoid by crossing the street opposite of where he was walking so I wouldn’t have to meet/greet him? Is there anyone that I could not stand to walk into a room and greet and engage in conversation with? If there is, then I may have unforgiveness or resentment in my heart toward someone. Make it right because that thing will make you sick in body one day, and it will hinder your prayers.
2. Loving my wife. This is work. Every day. Because she is so different than I am. Her needs are varied and her temperament so often contrary to mine. But we’ve grown together and we understand each other so much better than when we first started. We know what each other will say and do beforehand in almost any situation. Love has done that. As a man, I believe I am to love my wife first before she responds with submission and honor. Many men give their wives very little love to submit to and honor. This takes work. This takes an intimate knowledge of Christ’s love.
3. Knowing God. This one should’ve probably been listed first as it is the root of all the rest. I have learned much about my Father and about my Lord. I have learned some of His ways. One thing that is constant is that He is love and He is full of mercy. He does not see things like we often do. I have to stay open, meek, and teachable to learn of Him. Remember that the Lord dwells with the lowly and humble and contrite heart. I use to be a hard preacher. I’m still strong and endeavor to preach the uncompromising word of God, but when I think of how patient, merciful, and kind He has been toward me I want to extend the same to others. I want to know God better. I want to know how He thinks and what makes Him tick. I want to know more of His tender heart for people and what pleases Him and what grieves Him. I want to learn to love like Him. I work on that continually, looking for Him in others, looking for Him in situations, listening to His heart and being taught from His Word and of His Spirit.
4. Staying full of the Spirit. This is a challenge in today’s busy and hectic world. Keeping a song in your heart really helps. Hum, whistle, and make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Pray and sing in other tongues much. This will launch you into a greater Spirit filled life and help keep your spirit light as a feather. Life’s burdens and stress don’t stick to a full man. There is a leisure in God that ministers great rest to your spirit. My little book on Prayer (Prayer: The Language Of The Spirit) , which is a favorite of many people, will encourage you in this regard.
I hope these things are a blessing to you.