By Jen Rickard
My favorite part about Christian life is the depth and quality of relationships built with people who are like-minded and walk in the same faith and beliefs as you. It’s so great to be able to sit down for coffee with someone, hear their heart, share your heart, and walk away feeling so encouraged and edified by each other and the Holy Spirit working through you.
During one of these times, a lady was chatting with me about the events of her week and we began talking about how she had started going out a lot with her friends and drinking when she was out. She was feeling conflicted because she’s a youth leader, and people know her well in her town. We talked about how she didn’t feel convicted necessarily, but she felt that maybe it was starting to play a part in how well she could impact the lives of these kids and how well she represented her church and leadership.
My heart in that conversation and in this post is not to tell you how to live your life, but to encourage you to seek out the things in your life that push you TOWARDS God. Our actions are never neutral. I don’t believe that we can perform an action without it having some result.
When you put nutritious foods in your diet (whether you see it or not) it affects the way your body is able to perform that day. When you watch a movie, you’re choosing to give the opinions, words, and actions in that movie a platform in your life. When you speak, your words carry the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21, James 3:6). When you spend 21 days in prayer and fasting like we are now, your spirit is empowered and you walk a little bit closer to God.
His heart for us is that nothing would stand in the way of our connection with Him.
We joke about our need for coffee, certain foods, or even our Netflix time. But ultimately, our greatest need is Him. When we clutter our lives with things that don’t push us TOWARDS Him, you can assume that we’re definitely not moving any closer. That’s our goal as Christians. That’s the prize, closeness with Him. In that closeness we find peace, wisdom, refreshing, creativity, wholeness, health, and innumerable other things.
My friend decided that while maybe her actions weren’t pulling her away from Jesus into sin, they weren’t drawing her closer to Him, and she wants that more than any food, drink, or fun.
Even after these 21 days are over, I would encourage us all to check our lives for the things that can go. Things that don’t push us forward in our relationship with Him.