If a sheep doesn't learn this it could be death for that sheep.
I guess sheep are on my mind because I read a few chapters in Luke, specifically 15 - 17. Two verses when viewed together has got me thinking this morning.
First Luke 17:33: "Whoever seeks to keep his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life shall preserve it."
Second verse is Luke 15:29. This is the elder son in the Prodigal Son story speaking:
"But he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you, and I have never neglected command of yours; and yet you have never given me a kid, that I might be merry with my friends."
This son had deceived himself. He thought all his obedience would get him in good graces with his father. He thought if he worked really hard he'd get rewarded. His eyes, his focus is still on himself. He didn't get it. He was still holding onto his own life rather than letting it go and just living. He was still the center of his own world.
I saw a lot of the Christian world in these verses. There's a lot of teaching out there that has just enough truth in it to make someone think they are living God's way when in fact, it is just more religion which puts humans in the center rather than God.
God is so patient though. He keeps reaching out. He patiently shows us truth. He patiently listens to our complaints and confusion.
We are not here to serve ourselves. We are not here for our own agendas.
It is all about Him and His desire to be in relationship with everyone we come into contact with.
He wants us to be on His team. We are on His team or we aren't. We are working for Him or we aren't. Yes, He will bless us with good things. All good things are from Him (that's in James 1). But that isn't the focus. Our struggles are often self-induced because our eyes are gazing at the wrong person. When a challenge comes into our life, if we go to God with it first, ask Him what He wants to do with it, ask Him for His peace while dealing with the challenge it will be used for His purposes.
Think of Job. Job suffered. God saw this. And when He could He brought it all back around and blessed Job for his faithfulness while he suffered.
Even the stuff that happens to us is about God. When we make it about ourselves we get unsettled, stressed, lost.
Don't be lost.
Be right there, overcoming with God all those things in your life.
Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth!