A few Saturdays ago I went to an event and I found myself sitting directly in the Florida sun for about half an hour. The problem? I’m as fare as you can get and extremely prone to sunburn. That day it just didn’t dawn on me that I would be in the sun, and I found myself burnt. It was a moderate burn, not nearly the worst I’ve had, but most people looking at me just see my surprisingly red face and assume it is one of the worst burns ever.
I dreaded going to church the next day because I knew every conversation would revolve around my burnt face. Reactions questioning why I didn’t where sunscreen, giving me instructions on how to avoid getting burnt and how to care for my horrific skin. One person even asked if I know what aloe is, saying if I use aloe I won’t peel at all! That’s just not true for someone like me, it helps, but not so completely. My response to this person was, “I’m not hispanic like you!”
I kept having to tell people, I KNOW ALL THIS, I just didn’t realize I’d be in the sun, it caught me off guard!
There are times in life when we feel like we have all the answers and, at least for me, it is incredibly frustrating when people are trying to give you answers you already know! But for all that frustration and for all my knowledge there is one fact I cannot change.
I got a sunburn.
That fact alone means I either still have more to learn or I need to do a better job of applying what I have learned.
It’s easy sometimes to neglect the application of lessons we’ve learned through the years. Especially when it comes to spiritual matters. Life gets busy, there’s so many things to do, we push aside our spiritual health, our times with Jesus, our Bible reading our prayer time. Other times we just get lazy, and watch tv instead of doing the thing that would really benefit our soul.
I am reminded of one of my go to scripture verses.
1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Stay alert! That’s a simple idea and scriptures like this fill us with a kinetic energy, we feel fired up, ready to charge into battle. There is a good chance when you’re in that state that the enemy isn’t gonna even try.
The enemy is described here as a lion. We know lions are fierce, they’re the king of jungle! However, most of the time a lion isn’t looking for the strongest in the herd, he isn’t looking for the toughest fight. He is looking for those who are weak.
When we allow ourselves to neglect our spiritual life, the things we’ve always known we should be doing, we weaken ourselves spiritually. We are lulled into a false sense of security, or distraction by the busyness of life and before we know it, the enemy strikes. Maybe it’s a sin issue that creeps back up and suddenly you find yourself again bound to something you thought you were free of. Maybe you suddenly sink into an emotional pit and feel powerless to climb out of it.
We must stay alert! Apply the principles you’ve learned. Don’t fall into neglect.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 (NLT) Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.”
Perhaps you are in a place today where you’ve already fallen victim to the lion. Maybe you’re not who you know you should be, but you’re struggling to find your way back. Today I would encourage you, don’t wait for your emotions to change, don’t wait for you to “feel” christian, don’t wait for the motivation to come. Dig deep and begin to pray. Get away from everything else. Turn off your phone. Get alone with Jesus.
It is never too late do the things you know you should be doing.