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Have To’s and Get To’s

     Isn’t it crazy how hard it is to actually follow through with some of the decisions or commitments that are most important to us? We want to exercise and be in better health, but still it is so stinkin’ hard to make ourselves exercise or skip dessert. We may hate ourselves after we eat the chocolate cake and resolve to do better…but still the inner battle rages the next time we’re confronted with some evil, sugar-infused treat.

     Don’t you often find that to be the case when it comes to spending time with Jesus in the Word? From the high altitude perspective, we want to walk more closely with him and see him change us….but from the every-day-get-out-of-bed perspective, it’s really hard to make happen.       What’s even worse is that somehow, through the busyness of life and our flesh, the opportunity to experience God’s presence and be transformed by his Spirit and Word can drift into the realm of being something we feel we “have to” do. Jesus endured the cross so that we would get to be in his presence, yet it often feels like something we have to do. A “get to” has changed to a “have to.”
     Here are two steps to fight this: First recognize this as a lie. We have a spiritual enemy whose only objective is to get us to take our eyes off Jesus. Our enemy is evil and can’t be trusted…but neither can we trust our feelings that often lead us to believe that other priorities are more necessary for us than renewing our mind. There’s no short cut here, you’ve got to acknowledge the lie that time with Jesus is a “have to” when in reality, it’s the best of “get to’s.”
     Second, ask God for a greater to desire to be with him. He doesn’t get offended when we say, “Father God, I’m really struggling to want to sit down and be with you. Other things seem more appealing or more important. Will you give me a greater desire for you?” God’s okay with this…he knows we struggle and he even tells us in Philippians 2:13 that he will give us the desire to be with him. (Read the verse, it’s sort of amazing.)
     Stay in the fight and don’t give up. God is for you and wants you to be close to him. He’ll meet you at your point of need.
On the adventure with you,
Kirk Freeman

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