I don’t know if I have done a post like this on this blog in particular, I know I did something similar to this on my old blog. But basically this one is coming about because of inspiration, part of the credit goes to a Matt Chandler sermon I was listening to, and the other one came from a friends blog. However that being said, after essentially hearing/reading the same message today, I have decided to expand the original concept that I had for this post. Originally I was going to just list things that refreshed me and/or brought me joy and at the same time caused me to press into Jesus….which would bring me joy. So I’ll start off with the list, and the add my expansion.
The things that cause me to press and worship Jesus:
1) spending time by myself reading the Bible or theology books: This in essence is one of the main ways in which I recharge. I especially like doing this when I have been around either too many people, or people for too long. I love reading books. I love reading the Bible, and by love I mean, more often than not I find that it convicts me much of the time, but God uses it to change me. ditto with the theology books.
2) listening to a sermon while biking or working out: I find that even more than just reading. Working out and listening to a sermon re-energizes not only my soul but also my body as well.
3) making food for friends: I love cooking for my friends. and I am thankful that God gave me this gift of cooking (although a lot of things are still hit or miss, the things that taste good I share with my friends…although sometimes I kind of think it up and let them be the testers….and it turns out alright 🙂 )
4) taking a nap: I like to sleep, it is refreshing for my body and it is refreshing for me mentally and emotionally.
5) video games: although I am thankful that I can’t sit down for more than an hour and play one nowadays, I still on occasion do like playing video games.
6) Manga and Comics: Japanese comics, I enjoy reading them. I enjoy the artwork, although for the most part the storylines aren’t all that original, there is still something that is refreshing about it for me. ditto for comics.
7) Anime, web series: I do this to unwind, not to forget about school but really to aid in me not continuously think about school. I find it helps alot.
Now a lot of these are morally neutral (anime, manga, comics and video games have some sketchy items but generally speaking, as a whole…they are morally neutral) however, these things, especially because I enjoy them, can easily turn from good things used to refresh me, to god-things. I can easily begin to worship them if I forget that, yes they are good, yes they are refreshing to a point, but they cannot and will not satisfy the depths of my soul. Yes they can draw me closer to the One that ultimately created these things (God) but they can also enslave me. I would be lying if I said that it hasn’t happened before, because it has. I would not be so arrogant as to say that it’ll never happen again, or that it isn’t happening now. I hope that by God’s grace that it will never happen again, and that it isn’t happening now. And if does happen again, my prayer is that God will UTTERLY convict me (even though I will not like it, and not necessarily want it…but I know that it is necessary). The further I move away from the Cross, the more appealing everything else seems. The more it appears that these things that I’ve listed (and maybe even didn’t list) can save me, can satisfy me, can fulfill my desire to worship. But I know, that it will leave me incomplete, it will leave me parched and thirsty.
If there is one thing that I can pull away from this, one thing that I hope you will pull away from this. Is that it is so easy to get caught up in the things that are good, and because of our nature it is so easy to turn them into god. But by God’s Grace, because of the Cross, we can stand under and be grounded in the Blood of the Lamb, we can come to Jesus, the Living Waters….the Bread of Life and be fully satisfied infinitely more than those good things could ever provide. Look, I’m not saying cut the things that you love to do out of your life. If God uses them to refresh you, to draw you closer to Him, by all means do them. But remember to give praise to the One who created them, and not the things that were created.