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By: Larry Shaffer
Insights from my travels
I am on vacation with Leigh and family. We have a spectacular view from our villa in a cove on the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. We are enjoying this view because of the blessings of my employment with Insperity for 20 years. I glanced out last evening and viewed a yacht that had anchored in the cove. As I fixed my gaze upon the multi-million dollar, high-end condo on the water, I considered the people on board. Surely they have a crew to sail the seas at their bidding, a chef to prepare gourmet meals and premium European wines to sip at their leisure. As I pondered, I heard a whisper; You could pursue such a life; it is within your grasp; if only you put the time and effort into such a pursuit, you could have this.
Fortunately, daily time in God’s Word prepared me for moments such as this. They come to me less, now that I have stepped up my time alone with God. But they come, nevertheless. These are defining moments that trigger my flesh to pursue ends that result in extreme pleasure…pleasure that comes at a price.
What I’ve learned from Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy and other success gurus is true: if one focuses their effort on a desired end, it will materialize over time and come true. There’s really no doubt in my mind that if I pursue a yacht such as this, I could attain it. I have the business and financial acumen to do it. But for me, the price would be my soul; my soul would need to transfer my affections from spending extensive time with God, time with my family and time away from using my gifts in ministry to edify others.
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I have told of
All the ordinances of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.
16 I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.
So I prayed, O God of my delight, fix my soul upon Your throne of grace and mercy where I realize that my existence is solely for Your glory and purposes and not my own. Set my vision upward to eternal passions rather than temporal delights that entice and deceive.
Lord, in kindness, you gave Paul a thorn in his flesh to keep him from exalting himself. I realize you will do the same with me but I ask that you don’t. Instead, I now humble myself before you and thank you for protecting me from prideful pursuits today. But I resist the temptation to glory in my noble decision today because tomorrow will bring another means of deception that I may not be prepared for.
Everyday I need Thee…every hour I need Thee…every moment I need Thee! Never can I rest in my own spiritual strength. May I rest in You alone. Today I find victory within my soul and I rejoice in You. But tomorrow will come. I must remain diligent and sober and never over indulge in the wine of wealth You have given me and (I know) is within my grasp. It is temporal and You are eternal. May I cherish the suffering, meek and bleeding Messiah for my salvation and adore the King Jesus on His throne in heaven as the Lord and Master of my soul. Amen!