Day FOUR: Oct 18-24

Mission and Vision Part 5: BECOME

As we begin today, take a moment to breath deep and be present to this moment. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges we have to deepening our relationship with the Lord is focus. 

Breath and count to 40…

Now, imagine walking along a riverbank on a cold, damp fall day. It is easier to imagine the river in the summer when inadvertent splashes actually provide relief from the heat. But, now, your slipping along the mossy rocks and each misstep is muddy. It is a bit of a trudge. It’s an effort to stay on this river. 

Presently, you come upon an open area and there is a man sitting on a rock with his back to you. Campfire smoke rises and beckons you. 

James says, 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:8 (NASB)

You approach the campfire and the man turns to greet you. His smile is warm and he searches your face. He beckons for you to sit.

The choice to sit or not is yours. You feel compelled to stay, but you, like Bree, want to move on—to get to where you should be. 

What do you do? Do you remain in the presence of Jesus and draw near to him? Or do you move on down the river focused on your own muddy feet?

If you choose to remain with Jesus, you will be given the opportunity to to be cleaned. And, your heart will be searched by the Spirit. You will see your tendency to be double-minded—wanting the things of God, but often devoted to the things of this world.

If you choose to move beyond Jesus and his warm fire, you won’t experience the opportunity to become more self-aware and unburdened from your sin. It appears to be more effective to use your time to move beyond such a scene, but in doing so, you walk with burdens not meant to be yours. 

Jesus wants to free you from what entangles you and makes your steps short and your journey unbearable.

Sin is simply thinking, acting and living according to a fearful, selfish Telos (that demands we make worth rather than receive worth) which invariably distorts the image of God and destroys relationships.

Today, take time to hear Jesus unburden you of the need to prove your worth to him or the world around you. Jesus will help you wash your hands of sin and will relieve you of the heavy weight of performance. 

Picture yourself taking to Jesus by the fire and say this prayer as your own:

Jesus, thank you for the rest of this moment.
I confess I am prone to taking on great burdens of worth-making.
I need you to lead me today.
Now, speak to me.

Conclude with a few minutes of silence. Take note of whatever comes to mind. God is speaking to you.

Isaac Hovet
Isaac Hovet

Isaac has been the Lead Pastor at New Hope since 2016. He graduated from Life Pacific University and has served in numerous roles including his previous role as Lead Pastor at Cottage Grove Faith Center in Cottage Grove Oregon. Isaac is married to Donia, and together they have three children.

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