This past year I have become a bit consumed with eating healthy and exercise. I was wondering yesterday why it has become so easy for me to haul my patooty out of bed so early in the morning to exercise when it is sometimes so hard to find the time to spend with God. It hit me as I was doing my workout. Two things keep me hitting the elliptical day after day, tangible results that I can control. The more I exercise, the more I can physically see those results on my body and I have complete control over those results. I can choose to work my body or not. The weeks I am better at sticking to my routine, I see a better return for my time. When I start to feel flabby or tired because I have eaten the wrong things, I have nobody to blame but myself.
But spending time with God is different. True, the more time I spend with Him I see results, but those results are sometimes less tangible and I definitely do not control them. As you may have guessed, control is something of an issue with me.
This was an important realization for me to come to because it helped me to see that I try to do the same thing with God that I can do with exercise. I try to control His favor by my good deeds. But I need to understand that is not possible. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." Thank you, Paul for the reminder. I have done nothing to earn my salvation and I can do NOTHING to earn God's favor. He gives it according to His grace, exceedingly, abundantly, according to His grace.
I find such great comfort in that this morning because if I can do nothing to earn His grace than there is also nothing I can do to make His grace disappear. God loves me and He has an amazing plan for my life, a plan filled with wonderful things. It may not be my plan and it may go in a completely different direction than I would have thought. But I know it is the BEST plan for my life and I choose to trust Him.