And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” Job 28:28

See those people polishing their chariots, and those others grooming their horses? But we’re making garlands for God our God. The chariots will rust, those horses pull up lame— and we’ll be on our feet, standing tall.Psalms 20:7-8, MSG

I am a very capable person. I am strong, smart and resourceful. These are all gifts the Lord has given me and I try to use them to the fullest measure. And …that’s when I get into trouble. In my quest to do and be the best, I blow past what the Holy Spirit is trying to do through me. I trip Him up so I can sneak past Him to get to the finish line first.  

The verse above from Psalms 20 says it all. When I depend on the strength of my flesh — my innate abilities and skills, I’m going to be successful — for a while. But the end is always the same: I can do get a ton of things done, but the gas gauge will eventually read empty.  The gains will only be fleeting.

Work + Myself = Temporary Gains and Eventual Burn Out

Yet, when I start with the Lord, I don’t falter.  My energy doesn’t run out – the tank never runs dry.  I can keep going, plugged in, bearing fruit and making changes that will last for eternity. 

Work + Following the Lord = Lasting Rewards and Limitless Strength

The secret is to purse the things of Christ first. I can pursue my own goals all day long, but by the end of the day, I’m totally worn out. There may be happiness but not joy.

I’m not going to look much different from anyone else either. I will look, talk and act like the world. But I am a Child of God! I’m supposed to be different. I can’t just stop and ask for His blessing on my plans, either. This is as convicting to me now as it ever has been. When I run in a direction without asking the Lord to start with if that is the way I should go, I’m going to get lost. 

Thankfully though, the Holy Spirit doesn’t let me get too far ahead. It is by His wisdom I understand I’ve got to slow down and let Him come up beside me. When I’m alone with Him, my path gets easier to see and my energy is full. 

Let’s be a people that seek Him first — people that seek His wisdom and understanding over our lives. Let’s be different and show others what a life of peace and joy looks like. Let’s slow down and put God first. Then we will see His Kingdom come and earth will be like it is in heaven.

Carve out a few minutes in your day today to seek the Lord and His purposes for your life.

Heavenly Father — I come to You asking for the blessing of Your presence right now. Not a blessing on my plans or ideas, but a fresh indwelling of Your Spirit so that I can do Your will. Forgive me for not seeking You first. Help me to remember that it is better to spend one day with You than a thousand in my own strength. Help me to remember that true life comes from following Your Word rather than my own ideas. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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