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Today’s Truth

He must increase, but I must decrease.

John 3:30

Friend to Friend

I once listened to a talk on the foundations of contemporary discipleship given by scholar and apologist Ravi Zacharias. Toward the end of his lecture, Ravi spoke of a conversation he had with a former Muslim who had become a Christian. The gentleman humbly explained to Mr. Zacharias that there is a compelling contrast between the way he was taught as a Muslim to view faith and the way he sees faith being perceived in the lives of many Christians.

He drew a circle and a small dot inside the circle.

After this, he drew another circle and a small dot in the other circle.

Then he told Ravi that since he’d become a Christian, what he sees is that the circle of the Christian seems to be his life, and the dot is his faith. The contrast is that when he was a Muslim, he was taught that the circle was to be his faith and the dot his life.

Zacharias asked him what he thought about the contrast.

Essentially, the former Muslim’s response to Ravi was this, “As Christians we’ve got it all wrong. We’ve got it all wrong! God should be first. The circle. Everything else should be the dot.”

I heard this story and a hush fell over my heart. Conviction. Embarrassment. I felt as if I’ve been found out.

Because I often perceive life as being all about ME.

Me. Me. Me.

Questions rise in my mind. Do I really worship God above all else? Am I designed and created to live for Him or for me? Do I center my life around the One who gives life – or do I simply “include” Him among the many small dots?

The fire of conviction warms me. Bends my knees. I know the answer to these questions. He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)

Yes… this.

I breathe in His deep grace and, once again, am thankful that the kindness of the Lord leads me to repentance and re-calibrates my heart to His. He refocuses my mind and redirects my soul toward what really matters.

And I pray the words of the old hymn penned by Adelaide A. Pollard:

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.

Mold me and make me after Thy will,

While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Search me and try me, Master, today!

Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,

As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!

Power, all power, surely is Thine!

Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Hold o’er my being absolute sway!

Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see

Christ only, always, living in me.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, You are the circle. I am the dot. Forgive me for the times – the many, many times – when I invert this. Let me be found in You – in adoration of You, led by Your Spirit, washed in Your grace. Help me live for You today.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Now It’s Your Turn

Don’t gloss over this message. Consider where you really are with this. Reflect. Repent if needed. Respond to God in prayer. Go deep with Him. And be honest. God can handle your honesty. I’d love to hear what’s on your heart with all of this. CLICK HERE to visit my blog and leave a comment. Let’s take the conversation deeper and encourage one another.

More from the Girlfriends

God has big plans for you, friend. Ready to allow HIM to be the circle? Explore God’s purpose and hope in your life today as you read I WANT IT ALL. To order the book, go to Amazon, your favorite Christian bookstore, or for a signed copy, order from Gwen’s store.

7 Responses to “Do We Have It All Wrong?”

  1. Veronica says:

    I have been walking with the Lord on a vision he gave me a little over a year ago. It’s not been an easy year for me. I want so much more of Him in me than me in the world. This site, my first upon waking, is a big help. The analogy of the circle and dot was just what I needed to see. Makes sense and is a good visual for the times I want to run on my own and do it all. Thank you, Gwen for this.

    Thank you, Ladies, for this great resource that inspires and gives so much more than you realize. Love you ladies and wish you nothing but blessings!

    Veronica

  2. Mandy Foley says:

    Wonderful message and YES, I am just as guilty and needed conviction. A lot of times as adults, even when we intend to do better, we have a tendency to let the environment that we were raised in to gradually creep back in to our way of doing things!!! It really isn’t intentional we just can’t seem to see it until Bam we read a message such as today’s and there it is!!! I always want to be a better Christian but sometimes, unintentionally past behaviors creep in via Satan and I need a wake-up call!!! Thank you for my wake up call. Please Dear Lord help me do a better job for you!! I truly love you all the time!!!! Amen

  3. Thank you for your daily devotions. I truly feel convicted each and every day of my life. I continually fall short! I am struggling in so many aspects of my life, there are too many to list. God is there to carry them all, but I continue to try to do things my way and on my own. I pray that I can recognize the moment it happens, and turn to God!! I begin each day in prayer, thanks to GIG, but something happens as my day continues. I love the Lord and want to say THANK YOU for finding your calling in life. You truly are an inspiration to me and lead me to God’s Word and the reading of His Word each day. There truly is nothing else in life more important than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!!!!!!

  4. It is all about Him and not us. We are all lavished in grace, let’s appreciate it and not abuse it some do, living any kind of old life.

  5. Kristi says:

    Wow!!! Powerful & crucial revelation to get things right side up!!!!

  6. this message made me realize I am the dot and Jesus needs to be in
    Every part of my life. Me seeking him in every situation. Not making any
    decision without praying about it first. Thank U

  7. Jenny says:

    Oh how I needed your illustration Gwen! I struggle everyday with my thoughts and at times the words I speak!! I pray that God will always encircle me and, that I ALLOW Him to do so. What a picture, what a beautiful thought that God our heavenly ‘daddy’ will enclose us with His arms and we make it all about Him, His strength, His guidance, His will and His love. Thankyou Gwen!

    May your Christmas be of pure joy. My love to you in Christ – Jenny

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