One Year Bible - February 22
Scriptures to read:
I know I’m like the millionth person to complain about the difficulties of the past 12 months. But the struggle is real!
As I’ve been reflecting on what has made this year particularly difficult for me personally, I think it comes down to isolation.
I am an extrovert, and like many extroverts, my greatest daily incessant sin is my desire to people please and to earn the approval of others and myself by what I do. But this season of isolation has made it much more difficult for me to receive the affirmation and approval that I desire, which has resulted in greater anxiety.
So, I find it interesting that often in scripture, God invites people into isolation. In Matthew 4 Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where he fasted for 40 days and nights, and in our Exodus passage God speaks to Moses during 40 days of fasting on Mt. Sinai.
During times of isolation there is no one to impress, and our identities which are so often built on our accomplishments, are challenged. So, I find it interesting that all three times that Satan tempts Jesus, he begins by attacking Jesus’ identity saying, “If you are the Son of God, [then do such and such].” Satan wants Jesus to prove his importance by doing something, to prove it. Satan gets me with this one all the time. He says, “Scott, if you’re the leader you’re supposed to be. You’ve got to prove it.”
Yet God invites us into occasional seasons of isolation to remind us that it doesn’t matter what we do, we are important to God, and no one else’s opinion matters.
So, I want to encourage you that as you continue to experience the challenges of isolation during this season, take a moment and realize that isolation is not necessarily a bad thing, and might in fact be The Lord helping you see how loved you are, no matter what you do.
Memory Verse: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness - Matthew 4:1a
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I confess that my mind is stuffed with thoughts about what “need to do.” Although much of it is good, my worrying is not. Help me to be motivated and guided by what you would have me to do rather than the things that think I need to do. I invite you into my day today. Amen.