verb: to soak in a hot liquid; to cause to become filled or saturated
"Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met." Matthew 6:33 MSG
This was the message I heard at a Young Life camp the night I gave my heart to Jesus. The speaker used the New American Standard Bible translation of this verse to challenge and encourage us to give Jesus first place in our lives:
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
I was excited and terrified at the same time. Put Him first? Above everything else that I loved and wanted in my life? Something deep down in my teenage heart was brave enough to say yes to that. To Him. I wanted nothing to be more important to me than Jesus.
So what has that looked like for all these years?
It has been the absolute best adventure ever. But if I'm really honest, putting Him first has been a bit of a messy process for my selfish heart. It sounded so simple at first, but more often than not my fears and my desires have taken over. Too many times, I have climbed into that place of priority and bumped Jesus out of the way.
I've worried far too much about my family, about money, about my appearance. I've spent an inordinate amount of time and effort seeking the approval of others. And I've made some really important decisions in life without listening to Him. Sigh.
I guess I have finally realized that I need to continually ask Him to help me put Him first. If I sincerely relinquish control and fear and self-seeking, He can make His way back to the top spot in my heart. He is more than able to handle all the complicated parts of my life, of me. I just have to let Him. It's that simple.
Kind of reminds me of making tea...
It isn't difficult to do. Boil water, pour it into a mug with the teabag, wait. But what happens during the waiting is really kind of fascinating--hot water swirls over and through the tea leaves creating streams of rich colors, delicious scents, and interesting flavors. In this intricate process, the heat and the water transform dry, crumbling leaves into healing and comfort. It's beautiful.
And so it is when God is first in our lives. When we are "steeped" in Him.
His reality? A way bigger picture, a happy ending. Help and hope no matter what.
His initiative? Always love. Overwhelming grace. Bringing good into every situation we face.
His provision? Everything we need. More than enough. We really can trust Him.
Maybe we all should let ourselves get into a little more hot water...
Let's invite Him in: Steep in His presence for a few minutes. Let Him pour over your heart and saturate you with His grace and love. He will fill you up. He will reveal the essence of you in the most beautiful, creative ways. And He will soothe your soul. His reality, His initiative, His provision--you will have everything you need when you give Him first place in your heart.