In the middle of playing with her toys, my daughter asks, “Daddy, I have to use the bathroom. Can I go?” I responded, “Go ahead Honey. Thank you for asking, but you don’t have to ask permission to use the potty.” After all had been “accomplished”, she forgot a few minor details; flush the potty, wash hands, and turn the light off. My inclination was to get upset and reprimand her for not doing what she has been taught time and time again. Yet the Lord showed me something that stopped me dead in my tracks prior to coming down on my girl. He simply spoke to my heart and said, “So, should I yell at you for all the things you say, do, or think that go against my Word?”
I took the opportunity to speak love to my daughter and asked her kindly enough to go flush the potty, wash her hands, and turn the bathroom light off. I didn’t need to yell. I didn’t need to get frustrated. I just simply needed to remind her of what she needed to do. I spoke to her in love and she simply responded, “Oh! I forgot. I’m sorry Daddy.”
As adults, do we not need constant reminders? Are we expected to live a perfect lifestyle, free of mistakes? It would be nice, but it doesn’t happen. The Lord has His way of reminding us of who we are, not so much for discipline’s sake (although necessary at times), but to shake us back to our true reality (1 Peter 2:9).
There are too many times when we, sometimes subconsciously, live arrogantly. We think we’ve got it all together. Life seems to be going well. The job is good. The family is healthy. There’s food on the table, and money in the bank. We may have even solved a few problems or completed tasks that made us feel really good. Yet, it is in these times when we tend to think we’re wise. But in reality, we are fools, thinking life is good because of our own doing. This is the exact moment when God gives you a gentle “nudge” to bring you back. 1 Corinthians 4:20 tells us, “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness,’ and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.'” Why was it necessary for Paul to write his letters to the various churches? They needed reminders of who they needed to be. They needed to have their mistakes and sins exposed in order to bring themselves back to who they needed to be. When we choose our own ways over the Lord’s…futile. When we make decisions a part from seeking God’s will for our lives…futile. When we start placing our trust in the things of this world, or even the words of man…futile.
One of the greatest reminders for me, is the opportunity to take communion. It’s my chance to examine my heart, see where I truly am, how I’ve been living my life, and realize that I am nothing without Christ. To be reminded that Jesus’ blood was shed for my sins. There is absolutely nothing that we can do to change or build upon that. Jesus Himself said very clearly, “It is finished.”
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” [italics mine] 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, ESV
We need reminders. We need to remember that we were created to worship, love, honor, and serve our Heavenly Father. That is why we were created. This is why we exist. What has the Lord used in your life recently as a reminder of His goodness? The key is not to look at it as discipline. But as a father who needs to constantly remind his children of how we are to live our lives. Your Father in Heaven loves you. He wants you to live in a way that is going to be a reflection of Himself to those around you.
Rak Chazak! God bless you!!