Devotional: February 19, 2021
An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny;
an obedient, God-willed life is spacious.
Proverbs 15: 32 The Message
We are now in the season of Lent, a forty-day period of time where Christians prepare themselves to celebrate Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter morning, and the Day of Resurrection.
During this time, one often finds themselves focusing more upon traditional spiritual disciples of prayer and reading the scriptures. Some may give up certain things for Lent. Rather than completely focusing on taking something away from our lives, it is often more helpful to think about what we are adding into our lives during this liturgical season of Lent. Hopefully, our Lenten focus includes a renewed relationship with the Lord.
Here, the writer of Proverbs makes a stark but simple comparison. The author profoundly contrasts the wise way to live, with the foolish way to live.
First, the Proverbs writer insists that those who lead undisciplined and selfish lives end up with rather small lives, “Puny”: This adjective used by the Message translation is one that modern readers have no problem understanding the meaning. It makes sense when you think about it: small-minded people end up leading small lives, centered only around themselves.
In the second wiser option on living, the Proverbs writer unveils the result of living a God-willed life. Here, the revelation that those who lead lives obedient to the Lord, who seek God’s will rather than their own, end up leading spacious, larger-than-life lives. This bold, breathtaking assertion makes sense. If you stretch out your beliefs to be as big as the Lord’s, you will lead a life bigger, bolder, and more world-changing life. It will be a life beyond what you could possibly imagine.
Those who seek to follow the will of the creator of the universe end up living out spacious, expansive lives.
Although this side of heaven we will never fully escape sin, trying to pattern our lives after the Lord continually stretches us. Every believer should strive to love others with a heart as big as the Lord’s. They out to try to learn as much as they possibly can, as they seek to love God with all of their mind. We should always be seeking to emulate the servant heart of our Lord, who said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.”
Often, our world sees this backwards. Many seem to believe that those who center their lives around themselves are those who live big. On the outside to be living an impressive lifestyle that some may be jealous of, or want to emulate. Yet in actuality, they are only serving themselves. This is not a servant's heart, and it often leads to sinning in a large way as well. In truth, they are the ones living the small life.
Some cynics also believe that living a life of faith and love and servanthood, particularly for Christians, is a form of clipping your wings. Those skeptics believe your faith causes you to live a small, insignificant life. As Christians, we know that nothing could be further from the truth!
Therefore, give yourself enough room and strive to live a spacious life. Live a life where you obey God, and allow Him to stretch you. Let the Lord grow you into the person you were meant to be. May our faith grow deeper, stronger, wider, and bolder during our Lenten journey with the Lord…
Thank You Lord, that You are a God who expands beyond our imagination. Help me to live that life with You at the center of it, and not myself. Help me to take my eyes off of me. Guide my steps, and open my eyes to all that You have offer. May my actions and my words show others who You are, and what glory you offer to all.
With an open heart I pray this prayer in the name of the One who came to serve, Your son Jesus, Amen.