Have you ever been sidetracked? Beginning a project with the right intentions, only to find yourself miles off course when you start to evaluate things? I'll be the first one to admit my guilt. As an inspirational/devotional writer, I'm serious about pointing readers to the Lord. Sharing His love and holiness. Yet sometimes, my thought pattern shifts. I'm ashamed to say it, but I get distracted by things that will promote me more than my God.
Satan's deception is subtle. I may still be conveying Bible truths, yet I become more concerned with building my platform than seeing people pointed to the Savior. When I start down the wrong path, my steps begin to slide. Consider what led to Satan's removal from heaven: "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God...I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High," (Isaiah 14:13a, 14; KJV). What arrogance! Yet every time I call the shots and focus on self-promotion, I'm responding just like Satan - focusing on my desires instead of the will of my Heavenly Father.
Being aware of the problem is half the battle. I'm thankful for a God who is slow to become angry and who is extremely merciful. He loves me and is just waiting for me to run back to Him. His Word reveals these truths, "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy," (Psalm 103:8). "Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually," (Hosea 12:6).
Having the proper perspective of God, helps keep me on track. The Psalmist's words remind me of His greatness, "Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind," (Psalm 104:1-3). His tender love is revealed by the pen of David," He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him, " (Psalm 103:10-13).
With an awareness of my weakness, and an accurate perception of my Father and His strength, I can return to the job before me with the resolve of John the Baptist, "He must increase, but I must decrease, " (John 3:30).
Do you struggle with pride? What helps you put things in proper perspective?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your abundant grace and mercy in my life. Your Word acts as a lifeline - showing me when I've sinned, and clearly guiding me back to You. Help me to love and exalt You in everything I do. In Jesus' name, Amen.