“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
Today is a big day for me. Today I make my last payment on credit card debt and, except for school loans, my car and my mortgage residual, I am debt free!! It has been a long road the past 18 months but it has paid off, literally. I am praising God in a way I never have before because he has freed me from the chains and stresses of debt. My reward for earnestly seeking him and earnestly seeking to live a life pleasing to him is that I am no longer handing over my paycheck to cover debt. Thank you Jesus!!
Let me share with you my even greater reward…peace. My life has a measure of peace that it has NEVER had before and I say that without exaggeration. 18 months ago I was miserable and that also isn’t an exaggeration. I was drowning in a huge ocean of grief, anger and depression and I had compartmentalized my life to such a state that my closest friends and family didn’t even know. I was spending my free time with the wrong people in the wrong places doing the wrong things and I was drowning. The scary part of all of it is that I was still functional. I was at work every day. I was at church every Sunday. I was at family gatherings every time. One the outside I was smiling and probably showed a little of the pain but on the inside I was living for the next drink. I am goal oriented and my goals were getting to Mondays, Thursdays and every other weekend because then I could numb the incredible pain I was in and find relief.
18 months ago that relief and those compartments started cracking and caving in on me. And actually, they started cracking a few months earlier and I knew I was headed in a terribly wrong direction. God was the last person I was trying to earnestly seek. I was in church every Sunday and without fail, I would end in tears crying out for God to rescue me and through my tears He would lovingly say, “Give me your life and you are saved.” Unfortunately, I was unwilling to give Him my life. I was more interested in the pain and feeling cheated in life than I was in facing my responsibilities fully and earnestly seeking Him. I wanted the easy way out and I knew God wanted the hard work. I wanted Him to rescue me and He wanted to transform me. I wanted to keep being angry and destructive and He wanted me to love and seek.
Pain is a scary place if you aren’t very careful. Pain has to be fixed, it has to be numbed and it reveals a problem which has to be fixed. My pain was over the sudden death of my mom who was the manager of my life even though I was an adult. My pain was over having to actually be an adult and face my responsibilities just like most other adults. My pain was over losing the one person who always made excuses for me. My pain was over losing my mom who had been my friend and caretaker. My pain was selfishness and self-centered and it turned to anger in an instant and I wasn’t careful. There’s a verse in 1 Corinthians 15:33 which says, “bad company corrupts good character,” and I fully believe that bad company is waiting on every corner. Bad company is pretty, it’s handsome, it looks like the right thing but it is deceptive and it is fatal. Bad company may not kill your flesh but it will kill your soul and your peace because it keeps you from faith and it keeps you from earnestly seeking God.
I gave my heart and devotion to people and things which were bad company and I had replaced God. I felt that God had no place in my life because He was mean and hurtful. I desperately longed to feel close to Him but for a time was completely unwilling to do what He was asking me to do: give Him my life. Giving God my life, earnestly seeking Him, meant giving up people and things I thought I loved. (I say “thought” because that’s the most accurate description. I didn’t really love, I used.) Earnestly seeking God meant that I would have to trust that He really did love me and that He really was going to rescue me. Earnestly seeking Him meant that I would have to let him tear down all the compartment walls I had built and that was terrifying.
Giving my life to God was a 2 minute action. I made a phone call, ended a friendship and determined right then that God was my priority. Done! Earnestly seeking God, however, is a moment by moment activity that soaks up my life more and more every day. Yes, I am credit card debt free and I do believe that is a reward for me but that is not where the rewards stops. I am alcohol free (none since November 9, 2011)! I am bad company free! I am pain free! I am anger free! I am fear free! I AM FREE!!! Activating my faith and earnestly seeking God has been a challenging and sometimes painful process and the result is my freedom. I am free to love God. I am free to love people. I am free to live the life God created me to live. I am free to NOT have compartments in my life. I am free to be a member of my family in a way I never was able before. I am free to be a better parent.
Are you free? Are you activating your faith so that you can earnestly seek God? If you answered yes, then amen and pass the hugs ‘cuz your life is like mine and God is in control and you are receiving every drop of His precious and amazing love. If you answered no, make the necessary changes. God is going to rescue you but you have to turn to Him. You have to truthfully and intentionally give your hurt, your pain, your anger, your whatever to God because He is bigger than it and He will rescue you.
If you are struggling with seeking God, please email me so I can pray with you. I know what the bondage of sin feels like and it stinks. I know what it’s like to wrestle with God and not feel like you can give up bad company because your heart is involved and it hurts. I want so badly for you to feel this freedom and I know how you can, I just want to show you God. God is so good, try Him and see.
Live in the love, grace, peace and mercy of our most amazing Father and Redeemer.