Mike just posted this video of me teaching on my website. I think it’s funny how sometimes my own teaching comes as a a timely reminder to myself. Listen to the video first, then I’ll explain …
Did this get you thinking like it did me? I found myself asking some questions, so I’m going to put them out there for you …
Where have I worn ruts? I can tell you where I haven’t worn a rut and that’s to the gym … and it shows! I need to get my bo-hiney out of this computer chair more often and get moving. This wasn’t meant to be a confession – sorry. Just bein’ real.
Are some ruts okay, as long as they take you someplace you want to go? I don’t know. Ruts – to me – suggest that you are doing something mindlessly, without engaging your heart and mind. Then that makes me think the answer is no. Most things I take the time to do deserve my attention. My parenting … my meal preparation … my homemaking … my home schooling … my blogging … my writing … my speaking … my time with my husband … my study … my time with the Lord. I’m truly trying to think about something that is okay to do on auto-pilot and I’m stumped. (Honestly, going to the bathroom is the only thing that comes to mind and that seems kind of crude to mention here, but if I don’t that’s what you’ll point out, so there you go. No pun intended.)
What would motivate me to surrender my affinity toward my favorite ruts and make the bumpy transition out of them? Am I as motivated as I should be to make a decision simply because I know it would please my Lord? Not always. (Oh, my. This IS becoming a confession!) That’s me being honest. Here’s me telling you that I know that I am meant to please God. You are too. That should be our desire – our motivation to do what He calls us to do – to get out of ruts – to grow in spiritual maturity. Listen to 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 in the Message:
One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life.
Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.
Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.
Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God’s concerns, and he will take care of them. We’ve warned you about this before. God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.
If you disregard this advice, you’re not offending your neighbors; you’re rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit.
Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.
Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.
Oh, friends, don’t be a rut-dweller, sponging off your friends. Get out of the rut and please God.
I need to go navigate a few ruts myself.