Hello readers! I am so glad to be a part of this awesome ministry and all the great ways it reaches out to our youth today. If you don’t already know, the ladies and gents behind this blog work very hard to serve God through their thoughts from the Word, prayers, music suggestions, and just practical advice for living life. I am very glad to be a part of this to see how I can encourage and uplift other youth as well as learn and understand from God’s word through the thoughts that are shared here.
So I am going to extremely blunt and honest about this, I have the biggest problem with procrastination. If I can push something aside and do it later, I probably will. Recently when I was asked to share with a post on here, I started to do the same thing, procrastinating! For the last two weeks I kept on thinking to myself that I had writers block and it would eventually just come to me of what I had to write. There were two things I realized from this: I don’t write nearly enough as most people to have writers block and much more importantly, I was looking at it from the wrong perspective. You may have heard this before but the quality of our spiritual life is directly correlated to how closely we are walking with God. I realized this in the hardest way recently.
I had been travelling a lot the last two weeks and I used that and the daily busyness of life as an excuse to not read my Bible as often and spend as much time in prayer. Recently it had been a lot of Psalm/Proverb devotions each morning mixed in with two minute prayers timed just right so I could make it out to work on time. This is not the way that God wants us to walk with him. He wants people who seek and desire to serve him with a genuine heart. Going through the motions and doing it so that a “God” box can be checked off on a daily basis is the wrong intent. If we don’t make time to slow down and serve him with a focused mind and a pure heart he will let us know.
I used to rollerblade and play roller hockey a lot as a kid growing up. I remember how great of a work out it was and how much I enjoyed doing it. Recently I decided to change up my cardio routine and buy a pair of rollerblades so that could add that along side the mundane running that I already did. Well I ended up buying a pair of rollerblades and went out onto my street to try them out. Me being the overconfident person that I am went full speed down the road after not having rollerbladed for over ten years and realized that I didn’t have the balance that I once had. Long story short I ended up falling on my left arm while hyper extending my elbow and fracturing the bone where the ligaments connect. It ended up being a painful experience to end an ambitious desire to relive my youth. The point of me telling you all of that was to show God doesn’t mess around when it comes to spending and allocating time to serve him. I had the impression that I was busy and that I didn’t have time to focus on the Lord’s things but in reality I did not MAKE time to focus on the Lord’s things! It really forced me to take a step back and realign my priorities and my focus.
When all this happened, the first story from Scripture that popped into my head was the story of Cain an Abel. To take a closer look lets look through
1 Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
We see from this portion that both Cain and Abel brought the first fruit offerings of their labor but Abel’s was accepted and Cain’s wasn’t. The reason being that one brought his offering before the Lord with a genuine heart and a sincere spirit while the other brought it out of requirement. Though the people around us may not know our hearts or intent, God always does! He knows the decisions we are going to make before we make them! That is why it is important to come before His presence and serve Him with all sincerity.
You notice later on in the Scripture that Cain’s jealousy, which was initially caused by his false depiction of devoted service, drives him to go out and kill his brother. We understand from this that because of his distance and separation in his relationship with God, his sins start compiling. It was no longer just the sin of jealousy but now along with jealousy, he had committed murder. Now we all know God doesn’t weigh out our sins and reward our punishment accordingly; if so, we would all have been gone already! God is gracious and patient with us but when we go too far, He doesn’t hesitate to remind us of who He is! God could have in turn killed Cain for his actions against Abel but He chose not to. Rather, God spared Cain’s life and even gave him a sign so others would recognize he was protected by God. This didn’t go without punishment though. God specifically tells him that from this point onward, even though he labored hard for his crops, it wouldn’t yield the same way and from now on he would be a wanderer and vagrant in the land. Just like Cain, sometimes our disobedience to God will have lasting consequences for our duration here on earth, but God will always be gracious enough to provide us a way out through His personal protection. He is reaching out to us as believers and reminding us not to lose focus and not to stray!
Naturally with a fractured elbow that would take six weeks to recover and physical therapy on top of that, I knew I had plenty of time to sit and think of how I could serve God better. Sometimes God presents situations in our life to force us to refocus our priorities in case we are hesitant to do it ourselves. It may not be in the easiest or most convenient way that God works, but at the end of the day, God’s concern for His children is not for Him to accommodate to our comfort, but rather for us to live a life in devotion to Him that honors him through all of our actions. Let’s strive to achieve that in the coming days!