The evening was delightful as I spent time with lovely people immersed in laughter and happiness. From the outside, things were going well and I was experiencing a wonderful time. However, take a peek in my heart and a different scenario was taking place. My mind was at complete war. Consumed with myself, I could hardly stand to be in my own skin. “Was I dressed appropriately?” “Did I just say that?! That’s not what I meant to say!” “Why didn’t I get a pedicure before I came?” “I hope my kids behave so that I look good.” Tormented by Satan’s lies, I endured the evening.
After the activities came to an end and I returned home, the evening review began and conversations replayed in my mind. I began to wonder if I should have said things differently…I contemplated why I wore the outfit I chose rather than a more appropriate one…I attempted to decipher whether I left a good or bad impression. And then it hit me: this is not the way God intended me to live my life.
I knew this way of thinking was wrong but why was I so consumed? Why did I put myself on such a high pedestal as though I was my own god? How could I ever change? Then God brought me to my knees and revealed to me the lack of time I had spent with Him in the last several days. With each passing day without time in His Word, my heart became entangled in self-absorption. He proceeded to guide me to Psalm 16, reminding me through His word that when I am apart from Him, nothing good can come from me. (Psalm 16:2) However, when I keep my eyes on Him, nothing will shake me, not even myself. (16:8) The only way I will ever be able to have joy is when I live this life on His path, not my own. (16:11)
It’s a cycle: I take my eyes off of Christ, focus on me and the result is painful and miserable. Reverse that cycle by taking my eyes off of myself and putting them on Christ; the result then becomes joyful and peaceful.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing…As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” John 15:5, 9
It’s simple, really. We cannot go through this life without Christ. Therefore we mush remain in Christ. For He loves you. And He desires you to live life to the fullest.