Is Your Seat Secure?

Ephesians 2:6 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”

My running plan called for strength training on this day. Taking a deep breath, I grabbed the handles in front of me. This familiar weight machine was designed to tone my upper body. I’d used this machine dozens of times, but for the first time I noticed a small warning label at eye level: Verify seat is secure before exercising to prevent injury.

After thinking about this, it made perfect sense to me. This tiny adjustable seat held my entire body weight. If it wasn’t adequately set in place, it would most certainly cause an injury when I reached up to pull down the weights above me. It wouldn’t matter how efficiently I lifted the weights. It wouldn’t matter how heavy the weights were. If the seat were loose or crooked, I’d be putting myself at risk for injury.

Thousands of people sustain injuries every year due to using weight machines improperly, sending them to the emergency room. How many of these could have been prevented? I wonder how many people didn’t see the warning label? Or how many people saw the label but ignored it? Perhaps some actually thought their seat was secure, but it really wasn’t.

Before we set out to do something in the name of Jesus, are we secure in Him? Do we really understand where our power comes from? Are we aware of the supernatural power that reigns in us if only we will yield to Him? He has promised us an inheritance. We are His beneficiaries! But do we really live like that?

If we aren’t secure in our position–our seat in the heavenly realms–then we will fall short every time. Instead of dying to self and walking by faith, we dart out mindlessly in our human strength. It may keep us going temporarily. But then at some point we crash and burn. We get defeated. We feel stressed out. We feel inadequate about the very things God has called us to.

We might even sustain an injury if we keep going without humbly recognizing this. Not a physical injury. But an emotional or spiritual one. Some of those injuries run deep to the core of our heart. Years of leaning on “self-sufficiency” finally run its course and a wave of depression surges. Months of bitterness and resentment pour out like lava from a volcano, burning those within reach. Or maybe a life characterized by pride brings one to utter isolation, staring at a wall of bricks built up over time.

I struggle with pride and selfishness daily. Some days I humbly start out with my eyes fixed on Jesus, leading me to a day of joy and peace. Other days I get it wrong. Terribly wrong. I dart out the door with my “to-do” list with no thought about what God’s purpose is for me that day. And then I find myself drained. I find myself frustrated. I find myself worried.

And when I’m still enough to listen, God gently reminds me, You’re my child. I love you. Trust me to guide you through this day. Rest secure in my presence.

READY? Are you getting ready to dash out the door today? Are you starting the daunting task of crossing things off your list? Before you do so, ask yourself this question: Is your seat secure? Have you lined up your thoughts and your plans with what God says? Are you wobbling in your human strength instead of firmly walking by faith? Before you sustain an injury dear friend, secure your seat!

GET SET. Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I will never be shaken.

GO!  Jesus, I’m often guilty of getting too wrapped up in my own world. Worries cloud my mind. Burdens weigh heavily on my heart. My thoughts get pulled in the wrong direction and insecurity sets in. Help me to remember what your word says. Remind me that as your child, I’m completely secure in you. Amen

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Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett

Are You Drifting Away?

Last week my family experienced the blessing of soaking up the sun on a Bahamas cruise. Four wonderful days of relaxation, refreshment and rejuvenation! No “to-do” list. No preparing meals or cleaning up after anyone. Those things alone are enough to excite anyone who is constantly on the go.

One of many highlights of the trip was a stop at Great Stirrup Cay. The beautiful beach was lined with lounge chairs waiting for us to claim our spot for the day. I could have stayed there all day long in that same lounge chair without a care in the world. But at one point we noticed people floating around on huge blue rafts… large enough for three or four people to enjoy.

My daughter squealed with delight after she talked her grandmother into renting one of these cool rafts.

“This is going to be so much fun!” she exclaimed loudly.

Everyone else out there looks so relaxed. How appealing to just lay out in the clear blue water under the bright sun. Small waves barely splashing against the raft. It will be refreshing to lay there and do nothing.

It took all three of us to push the huge raft out into the water. We experienced some difficulty getting positioned just right on the raft, but finally, we were all set. For a little while we were enthralled with the beauty of the water.

“Look how clear it is!”

The cool water felt so refreshing on my sand covered feet. Then we saw our cruise ship in the distance. We talked about what we’d have for dinner later that night and all the fun activities that awaited us. My daughter searched for fish along the side of the raft. She told us about the colorful fish she’d seen earlier when she’d gone snorkeling with her daddy. We were all caught up in our conversation. We were relishing the moment. Time seemed to stand still.

But then all of a sudden my daughter screamed frantically “Oh no! Look how close to those rocks we are! We’re going to crash right in to them!” 

Rocks? I didn’t notice any rocks earlier when we started this pleasant journey!!

I turned my head towards the direction she was pointing at and sure enough…there were huge rocks just yards away from us. How did we get out here so far? I thought we were just twenty yards or so from the shore. But now we were WAY far away from where we started.

After the shock of realizing how far out we’d drifted, we all had to start paddling like crazy to get the raft turned around. My mom jumped into rescue mode and was brave enough to get out and start pushing her side of the raft away from the rocks! My feet became the “motor” of the raft as I kicked furiously from the back. My daughter paddled like crazy with all her might on the other side of the raft.

Little by little we moved away from the rocks. It was harder to get back because we were going against the current of the water. With all the energy we exerted, it sure felt like we were getting nowhere at first. Finally…we made it back to the shore. Exhausted.

What started out as pleasure turned into panic.

What started out as rest turned into a race.

Our plans to doze in delight came to an end because… WE DRIFTED AWAY!

Do you sometimes find yourself floating around aimlessly without direction? Do you start off down an intentional path only to realize later you are nowhere near where you wanted to be? Do you wake up in a startling panic and see that you’ve drifted away?

We’ve all experienced this! The scary thing about it is that it happens ever so slowly. Gradually. One innocent ripple at a time. And then before you know it, you’re way off track headed for jagged rocks.

What causes us to drift? What causes us to go from the safety of the shore to the jagged rocks?

We were so focused on having fun that we didn’t even notice how far away we’d gotten. We were so wrapped up in our conversation we didn’t see the approaching rocks. We were caught up in the awaiting pleasures of the cruise boat we failed to be aware of where we were.

Pleasures of this life can cause us to drift if we aren’t careful. Even blessings directly from God can cause us to drift if we forget where those blessings come from.

Laziness and passivity are often culprits causing us to drift. I am often guilty of sacrificing quietness with God for something I think is more important. Choosing comfort instead of commitment is frequently a challenge for me.

So what can we do in our journey of faith to keep from drifting? What should our focus be on?

We must be intentional in seeking God daily.

Time in His word.

Time on our knees in prayer.

Time to be still in His presence.

Time to pull away from the distractions of the world and refresh ourselves in His spirit.

And we can’t do it alone. No, we must surround ourselves with other believers who help hold us accountable. We must encourage one another. Be vulnerable enough to share our struggles so we can be encouraged by others.

These are the things that keep us focused on Him. And when we do, we won’t drift away. He becomes our anchor to hold us where we need to be.

So where are you dear friend? Are you starting to drift in a specific area of your life? Are you getting too far away from the safety of the shore? Are you close enough to see where you went off course? Or are you getting ready to crash into some rocks?

Wherever you may be, the loving hand of the Father is ready to gently turn you around. Ready to wrap you up in His grace and mercy. Ready to take you from drifting away to delighting in Him.

Hebrews 2:1 “We must pay careful attention to what we have heard so that we do not drift away.”

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