Monday, March 18, 2013

Coffee and Christlikeness

"O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine.

99 I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the aged, Because I have observed Your precepts. 101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word. 102 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, For You Yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.”   Psalm 119:97-104

It’s A Vehicle…
Have you ever noticed that you may not like some things, but those things are the means of getting to other things you DO like?  Here’s an example:  Coffee. I don’t like coffee.  I like French vanilla, and I like Sweet-n-Low.  If these are not present in my coffee, I do not like coffee.  How folks taste black coffee and utter the sound “Mmmmm” is beyond me.  Black coffee makes me shudder.  

I like coffee flavored ice cream…but here again, we have the presence of cream and sweetener.  Coffee, apparently, is but a vehicle for what I really want to taste…that is, the cream and the sweetener.
I’m much the same way when it comes to salad.  I’ve never found myself sitting and thinking: “You know what I really want is to go and consume some shredded lettuce, shaved carrots, and sliced cucumbers.”  It simply never happens.  However, if you take that mixture of tortured vegetables and drown it with Ranch dressing, a smile suddenly appears on my face and I am ready to sit down and consume.  Obviously, I don’t like salad; I like salad dressing!  Salad is merely the vehicle for getting to the dressing.

Getting to the Good Stuff
Few if any of us like practicing the disciplines of living.  Living in our fast food, credit card, instant gratification generation, we know what we want, and we know when we want it…NOW!  Much of long term satisfaction in life doesn’t come from instant gratification though.  It comes from the waiting.  It comes from the working.  Toiling on our hands and knees in the flowerbeds, for instance, may not be near as fun as watching a movie, but in the long run, the product is MUCH more satisfying to have: vital, clean, beautiful flowerbeds. 

Likewise, spending hours studying the scriptures and wrestling to stay focused in the prayer closet are not nearly as fun as playing, but in the long run, the joy and growth of those disciplines bring about much greater fulfillment and reward than entertainment ever could.  Because I want to get to the good stuff…that is, fellowship with the Lord, the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, and greater Christlikeness in my daily living; I need to choose the disciplines.

Disciplines, particularly spiritual disciplines are the vehicles which bring us to those things we will ultimately experience the greatest reward and satisfaction from.  The people of Joshua 24:15 had to make the right choices: “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Do you want the good stuff?  You may need to find and choose the right vehicles.

Prayer:  “Almighty God, In my heart and mind, I know the choices I need to make.  I am aware of the vehicles I need to choose to get to where I want to be as I live for you.  Lord God, I want to be more like Jesus!  I want to be an effective servant of Your Kingdom. Today, work within me the will to follow you determinedly.  Cultivate in my life those disciplines which will be the vehicles that will get me to the Good Stuff you desire me to have.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Submitted By Kerry Patton

Devotional Archive