By Rev. Dr. Judy Baumgartner
Perhaps one of the most useless machines is the treadmill. Upon it, we can toil for hours accomplishing little. Although the machine benefits our overall health, the labor is fruitless. It would be far better to expend less energy while enjoying tangible results.
Even worse is sin, which destroys resources without offering any benefit. Has someone’s life become better because he or she became an alcoholic? Has a child ever benefited from his or her parent’s drug addiction? Our world is full of broken people in the wake of such meaningless activity.
“Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways.” (Psa. 119:1-3, NIV)
The psalmist discovered the key to spiritual prosperity. This is living a life that pleases the Lord. Everything else is meaningless. The psalmist freely acknowledges his failure to live by the Lord’s holy standards; yet, he recognizes the incredible benefits from doing things “God’s way.” After deep contemplation, he has resolved to change his future actions.
The essence of discipleship is learning to live a better life through the power of the Holy Spirit. This does not happen over a weekend. Instead, our training encompasses the rest of our lives. It is a difficult challenge, but can anything compete with the blessings of God? His favor is far better than anything else this world has to offer.
Walking with God is not like the treadmill. What we learn through the process is well worth the effort. We taste sweet victory over sins that seemed to dominate our lives. Finally, the journey ends in the loving presence of our Lord. What could possibly be better than this?
Father, help us to stay the course as we grow ingrace and continually increase in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. In Your mighty name we pray. Amen!