Tonight the President will share with us the state of our great Union. He will tell us what he and the congress have accomplished in the past year, and outline for us the things he would like to accomplish in the year ahead.
As he speaks some citizens will think he hasn’t done enough and some will think he has done too much. There are people who think he is moving our nation toward greater things and others who think he is leading us to ruin. After his speech there will be a rebuttal and hours of commentary both praising and condemning his leadership.
Aren’t you glad that you don’t have to give a televised speech on the state of your life? I’m glad I don’t! Let me go on record and say that if I had to, I’d be quite satisfied with the FaceBook version of my life: wonderful family visits, a few successful blog posts, some exciting speaking engagements, the privilege of leading occasional women’s retreats, an amazingly easy transition to Texas, and the joyous anticipation of a new grandson this summer. The state of my life would be overwhelmingly positive.
However if that were the televised version, God would most certainly schedule a rebuttal. I expect he’d have quite a bit to say…
“I gave her everything she needed to accomplish everything I asked her to do, but she struggled with fear and insecurity.”
“Her prayer life is like FaceTiming with a three-year-old — as soon as I begin a conversation with her she’s off and running to the next thing. And when she does settle in, she’s like a five-year-old — she doesn’t want to listen to me, she spends the entire time telling me about her day.”
“Sometimes she listens to public opinion more than she listens to me,”
“She struggles with hard things more than she wants anyone to know.”
“She appears put together, I’m the One who holds her together.”
The reality is, a true and honest assessment of the state of my life would be quite embarrassing. Would yours? If everyone were aware of the promises I’ve made to God and failed to keep, or the ideas He’s given that I’ve been too fearful to pursue, would they criticize me as readily as they will criticize the President on the news shows tonight?
Some people may look at my life and think I’m doing OK, that I’m on the right track; some people will think I should be doing more. But the only opinion that I should be concerned with is God’s. I must live my life before an audience of One and if I do that successfully, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
“But Jesus said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in men’s eyes, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly prized among men is utterly detestable in God’s sight.” — Luke 16:15 NET Bible
God knows the state of my heart: regenerated (no longer dead in sin, but alive in Christ)
“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you…” — Ezekiel 36:26-27 NET Bible
He knows the state of my life: justified (no longer condemned, but in right standing with Him).
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” — Romans 3:23-24 NET Bible
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” — Romans 8:1-2 NET Bible
What is the state of your life? What is the state of your heart? Whose opinion matters most to you? Could it be that all your inadequacies, the things you don’t want others to see or know about, are the very things God wants you to lay bare before Him?