A title interrupted my thoughts this week. I dug around in my office to find that book written by Wesley L. Duewel. It wasn’t a bestseller. Most people I tell about the book never heard of it or the author.
Yet that book—Measure Your Life—has helped transform my thinking.
The subtitle is “17 Ways To Evaluate Your Life from God’s Perspective.”
The Lord brings that title to mind when I fall back into evaluating my life from a perspective other than His or when I get upset that people are measuring me against a standard other than the Lord’s. Trouble comes when I start trying to live up to their standards.
Here are ways I’ve measured my life which have nothing to do with God’s perspective: how much I weigh, how good I look or feel, how many great purchases I’ve made lately, how much I know, how many people like me, how much I’ve accomplished in a day, how much money I make, how well my children are behaving. And the list goes on. Although God has freed me from holding tightly to these, I can still slip back into believing they are essentials of life.
As I looked through the 17 ways to evaluate my life once again this past week, the one that stood out to me was “Measure Your Life by Obedience.”
When it comes to eating right, I am consumed with the desire to obey the Lord only for moments at a time. I’m much more concerned with wanting to look good, feel good and on my more sensible days—to be healthy. I care about what I weigh but not that much about whether I obey when it comes to food.
When I think of my writing and obedience, I remember I have at the top of the page where I list the manuscripts I have in the mail: “Success = obedience.” God led me to put that there when I formerly measured my success as a writer by how much money I made. Too often I’ve told myself I must be a failure because my earnings as a writer are meager. But God assures me that obedience is most important to Him.
When I obey and write low-paying or no-pay personal experience stories that feel like slicing open my soul in order to help others, I know God is pleased. When I obey and write a blog about my weaknesses and how God intervened with His strength, I can hear Him whisper, “Well done.”
Other ways God calls me to obey are: forgiving those who are cruel, giving when I’d rather take, showing compassion to those who care nothing about me.
Today I’m asking God to show me where I’m failing to obey. I want to measure up—to grow taller in my faith. I can see in my mind God putting a mark on some invisible wall like a parent does for a child who is growing taller and taller. Oh, how I long to hear God say in areas of my life where I struggle, “My, how you’ve grown in your obedience.”
One of the promises in Scripture that I love has to do with obedience. It’s from Psalm 6:40 in the Amplified Bible. It says,
You have given me the capacity to hear and obey.
God calls me to obey, but He also helps me to do it. And even when I fail, He doesn’t give up on me. What a great God we serve.
How about you? How are you measuring your life this week? By some worldly standard or in light of God’s Word? Ask God to let you see your life from His perspective and then live it that way. This will lead to increased joy and peace.
To hear more about Measure Your Life listen to Hearts Set Free with Elaine on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 8:00am EST. Tune in on the radio at WTIS 1110 AM or listen online by going to www.wtis1110.com and press “Listen Live.” You can also listen from the archives.