Are you settling for less in your life? Are you living a mediocre life of compromise? Or are you doing your best to live the life God planned for you?
You have the power to choose how you'll live. For instance, you can be a lazy and passive Christian and still make it to heaven, but you'll miss out on the fulfilling life you could have here on earth. Or you can refuse to settle for less than God's best and do your part to live the way He wants you to live.
The question is: What do you want while you're here?
Think About Your Soil
In the parable of the sower in Mark 4, it says the same seed fell on different types of soil. Some soil was an open pathway, where the birds came and ate it up. Some soil was rocky, where nothing could grow. Some soil was thorny, with weeds and thistles, where nothing could flourish. And finally, some soil was well-adapted and ripe for planting. Then, depending on the kind of soil it was, some seeds produced 30, some 60 and some 100 times as much as had been sown into the ground.
God is the sower, and His Word is the seed that He sows in our hearts. He is always the same, and His Word does not change. But the different types of soil do change. The soil refers to our hearts—and we are the ones who choose what type of soil our hearts will be.
I want to encourage you to cultivate the good, well-adapted soil the parable talks about. How? By being obedient to the Holy Spirit and following His lead. Press in when it gets difficult. Keep on keeping on. Don't give up! Delight yourself in the Lord, and watch what He'll do for you and in you. In other words, don't settle for less than the best in life.
Too many people settle in life. They get tired and weary or lazy and apathetic. Then, instead of pressing forward, they stop or begin to fall back, many times just short of accomplishing a desired goal or getting a breakthrough or answer to prayer.
If that's you, you don't have to live that way anymore. By God's grace, you can change. You can choose to live a full, productive, satisfying life.
It's so important to make this decision, because our choices affect much more than just ourselves. God wants to use each of us in our everyday lives to touch and bless others. So I want to say it again: Don't settle. God is an equal opportunity God, and His blessings are for anyone who will do what He says to do.
Avoid the Devil's Wiles
In Mark 4:24, Jesus told the disciples, "Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you" (AMP). Basically, this Scripture is saying we need to take the time to study and meditate on the Word for understanding and spend quality time with the Sower in order to gain wisdom and direction in our lives.
But beware—here's where the enemy comes in. His goal is to steal the seed. He'll throw all kinds of aggravations, problems and legitimate life issues and needs at you to frustrate, discourage and distract you. Don't let his wiles work on you this way. Stand strong in your faith in God. Humble yourself before Him, submit to Him, resist the enemy and he will flee (James 4:6-7). Remember, the Holy Spirit is not only your guide; He will also give you the power to do whatever He directs you to do.
The bottom line is that the fruit of the Holy Spirit increases in our lives as obedience increases. So do your best to be your best. Follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to show you what is excellent for you, and do that—in private as well as in public. Live for God, not people. When the great artist Michelangelo was asked why he paid so much attention to such intricate detail in his work that no one would even likely see, his response was, "God will see it."
I think every one of us wants all that God wants to give us. But we each need to ask ourselves, "Will I do all that He asks of me in order to have it? I know I'm going to heaven, but what do I want while I'm here?"
It's your choice. Make the wise decision to be the best you can be. And trust God to help you succeed—because when you do, nothing and no one will be able to keep you from God's best for you!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and God Is Not Mad at You. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce, visit charismamag.com/meyer.
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