You must create the right conditions

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
Our Bible verse for today: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ but then not do the things that I say?” John 8:36 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You have to create the right conditions”
You probably noticed that I’ve used the same Bible verse today that I used yesterday. I did so on purpose because we haven’t fully answered Jesus’ question yet. Why do we proclaim Him to be Lord but then not live in the way He has instructed us to live? And why is this so important?
In her book “Teaching a Stone to Talk”, author Annie Dillard wrote about our personal responsibility to structure our lives in such a way that we create the conditions within which we can grow in Christ and live our best life. She wrote:
“God does not demand that we give up our personal dignity, that we throw ourselves in with random people, that we lose ourselves and turn from all that is not Him … It is life with God that demands these things. Experience has taught (us) that if knowledge of God is the end, then these habits of life are not the means but the condition in which the means operate. You do not have to do these things … unless you want to know God. They work on you not on Him. You (also) do not have to sit outside in the dark. If, however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary.”
Annie’s point is that God does not insist, for His own sake, that we give up our own will for His, or that we align ourselves with other believers in church families, or that we commit our full lives to Him, or any of the other ways in which the Bible instructs us to live. He calls for those things for our sakes not for His. Annie goes on to explain that if you want to know God deeply, experience Him fully, and live your best life, then there are conditions you will need to establish in order for that relationship with God to develop. Just like if you want to view the stars you will need go outside into the dark, so too if you want the life God wants for you, there are conditions you will need to establish in your life so that relationship can develop and flourish.
In John 8:36 Jesus asked those who profess faith in Him why they were not following through by creating the conditions that would allow for the development of the very relationship they were claiming to desire. Doing so is a matter of personal responsibility for all of us. It’s also a matter of choice. Do you remember yesterday’s devotional? We have been set free by Jesus to do this. But the question is “Do you want that life?” If so, then you must create the conditions for it.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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