Have you set a goal or two lately? Have you decided who you would like to become over the course of the next few years? How do you intend to reach your personal goals?
If, perhaps, your goal in life were to become an Olympic athlete, you surely would not hire someone to train under who had merely walked around the block a time or two. However, with your eye set on Olympic gold, you would likely choose to train with someone who either had trained other Olympic athletes or someone who had been an athlete of that standing.
If your goal in life was to become a world-famous chef, you would not prepare under someone whose only culinary accomplishments were grilled cheese sandwiches or a tasty PB&J. Certainly, as you endeavored to be a chef at a 5-star restaurant, you would choose to enroll in one of the premiere culinary schools in the world.
At this esteemed institution, you would surely learn from one of the most respected men or women in this very competitive field. You would master the strategies of how to prepare a lovely béarnaise sauce, a glorious baked Alaska or a beef Wellington that would melt in anyone's mouth!
If your goal in life were to play the piano on the stage of Carnegie Hall, you would realize quickly that you needed to study under a master who knew how to play more than "Chopsticks" or the elementary C-scale.
Regardless of what field you choose to enter in life, you need to learn from an expert and not from a novice; it is necessary to be trained by a master rather than by an amateur. I know that if I listen to and then apply the words of an expert that I will be able to meet the goals that I have set. When an authority figure on a subject offers wisdom to me, I am able to surrender easily and do exactly as he or she advises.
Why, then, instead of taking Christ at His Word, do we choose to argue with Scripture or to make a mess of things and muddle through on our own? Why, indeed?
Our goal, as disciples of Christ, is to live a life of heaven's approval by the principles established in the Word of God. Our ambition is to please Him in all respects and to live a life of purpose and power according to His eternal principles. Neither you nor I will ever be a true and dedicated disciple of Christ until we lay down our own agenda, let go of our narrow preferences and surrender our passionate opinions. We must humbly commit to learn from our expert teacher.
The Bible is our guidebook, and Jesus is our teacher and our perfect example.
"Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, and who seek Him with all their heart" (Ps. 119:2).
You and I will never be a success at living an abundant life unless we die to self and choose to live for Christ. Jesus calls us to the way of the cross as the only route to live a life of joy in its fullest measure. Just as Jesus obeyed His Father, He bids us to die to sin so that we might live forever. He is the master, and we are His students; He is the authority, and we must be willing to follow Him in all of our ways.
I must surrender to the master; I must commit myself to His teachings. I must not argue with His wisdom or question His authority. I must give all that I am to all that He is. I must.
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. Carol has written 11 books, including Significant, Storm Proof and Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.
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