“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Open this link for 5 ways to be immersed in God’s Word- https://abigailtovah.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/6-ways-to-stay-immersedingodsword/
Written by Nancy Ruegge for “From The Inside Out” @ http://nancyaruegg.com
View original post @ https://nancyaruegg.com/2023/02/09/less-exertion-more-immersion/
Less Exertion, More Immersion
February 9, 2023 by Nancy Ruegg
Perhaps like me, you remember these proverbs from your childhood:
- If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right (Philip Stanhope).
- Never leave till tomorrow what you can do today (Ben Franklin).
- There is no substitute for hard work (Thomas Edison).
The Bible verses we learned in Sunday School seemed to support the same mindset of straining and striving:
- “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
- “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1b).
- “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12a).
And along the way some of us began to think:
- I must strive to become more like Jesus.
- I must strive against sin.
- I must strive to meet all the expectations of attending church, having a consistent quiet time, treating others with kindness, and more.
It’s not that these goals are invalid. Scripture does encourage these behaviors, because they lead to peace and contentment.
The problem lies in striving on our own.
We can’t do it.
First, note that in 1 Timothy 6:12 (above) Paul didn’t say to fight the good fight of self-discipline. He said “fight the good fight of faith.”
How do we do that? By holding tightly to God our Savior–trusting that with the holding will come the enablement.
This clinging faith can be expressed as simply as Peter did when he was sinking in the crashing waves of the Sea of Galilee. He cried just three words: “Lord, save me!” And of course, Jesus did (Matthew 14:25-32).
God is more than ready to help us too:
I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand
And says to you, “Do not fear; I will help you.”
Isaiah 41:13 NIV
Second, consider the plants in a garden. Do they work hard to grow and produce vegetables or flowers? No, it’s just a natural, God-engineered result when roots reach deep into the soil for water and nutrients, and leaves reach up for the life-giving light of the sun.
What if we follow their example? What if we spent less energy on exertion-to-perform and more energy on immersion-in-relationship—relationship with our Heavenly Father?
Those “I-must-strive” statements, like those above, will be silenced because:
WE DON’T HAVE TO STRIVE TO BE LIKE JESUS; we naturally grow more like him as we learn about him, contemplate him, and worship him.
All of us, then, reflect the glory of the Lord with uncovered faces;
and that same glory, coming from the Lord, who is the Spirit,
transforms us into his likeness in an ever greater degree of glory.
2 Corinthians 3:18 GNT
WE DON’T HAVE TO STRUGGLE ALONE AGAINST SIN. As we draw near to God, he draws near to us (James 4:8). And the more we follow his ways and discover the wisdom behind his instructions, the more obedience becomes our joy, just as Jesus said:
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love . . .
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:11-12 NIV
WE DON’T HAVE TO PUSH OURSELVES TO PERFORM 24-7; we can focus on pushing our roots deep into the love of God, enjoying his presence, and listening to his voice.
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.
Then your faith will grow strong.
Colossians 2:7 NLT
That’s the secret. Instead of exertion, we focus on immersion–in God’s Word, in gratitude and praise, and in affirmations of trust.
Out of that immersion will blossom the most beautiful reality:
“The life that intends to be wholly obedient,
wholly submissive, and wholly listening,
is astonishing in its completeness.
Its joys are ravishing, its peace profound,
its humility the deepest, its power world-shaking,
its love enveloping, its simplicity that of a trusting child.”
*the original language of Paul’s letters
Photo credits: http://www.picryl.com; http://www.canva.com; http://www.freebibleimages.com; http://www.flickr.com (J-O Eriksson); http://www.commonswikimeida.org; http://www.flickr.com.
P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !! If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ?? Here is the truth about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… https://godsmanforever.com
To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…
You say you are a “born again” believer… BUT is your soul “ON FIRE” for the Lord ?? If not, open this link – https://godsmanforever.com/2020/08/01/are-you-a-christian-in-gods-eyes-and-on-fire-for-the-lord-or-not/
Picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=AJOqlzX_67GgpF5TThCntxgxmyoFMo8D1w:1677070781341&q=image+be+immersed+in+God%27s+Word+Bible&tbm=isch&source=univ&fir=vaCx1Xz-gdPwWM%252CbYQRb4Zm8VQK2M%252C_%253BdSYLLGKY8JvtCM%252Cv1lLauSSGNsJeM%252C_%253BQiLOcU1H4zwjKM%252CHWlayw4-tar9NM%252C_%253B3RtS6C0sjRkuxM%252CbYQRb4Zm8VQK2M%252C_%253BuUYZpi6BwPNPkM%252CiWyrf-pcFwLeTM%252C_%253BcHY6vD9x_xqLoM%252CF6CQW0vApnVrTM%252C_%253Bu3JSVP0Mpu-zxM%252CiYXbWo9xC2vXxM%252C_%253BZj0oOl_LvxCv3M%252CbYQRb4Zm8VQK2M%252C_%253Bo4mENlrqcPwMqM%252CxxgOq4rVPTx_WM%252C_%253BH5asDqn520vAKM%252CHWlayw4-tar9NM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kT2mNDmIqvvlDYDi4qKr7KDfuAUqg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjUiL3Bl6n9AhXyD1kFHdJBAhwQ7Al6BAgGEEY&biw=1319&bih=930&dpr=1#imgrc=eCtoucC3VO2FyM
Thank you, Bruce!