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Sticky Tape - A Devotion

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Psalm 63:1-8 (NLT)
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.

In our house, a roll of transparent tape is a hot commodity. Who would think that such a thing as a sixty-nine cent package of generic tape would be so hard to keep on hand? It is nothing special but it seems like every time I need to wrap a present or seal a package I cannot find one. I have taken to hiding it so I have a secret stash. Who is the culprit? My kids love this stuff especially the girls. Inevitably if I ask who has my tape, she will say, “I do!” only to produce the mangled end of a used-up roll. Tape has many uses if you think about it and is probably why it is so desirable. The girls and I have had many discussions about being careful when taping things. The tape is very sticky as they soon found out. One evening they decided that it would be a good idea to post birthday wishes all over one of the painted doors in our house. With an entire roll of coveted tape, they plastered their messages only to my horror the next day when removing them. Peeling a piece of tape would remove a chip of paint each time leaving marks all over the door. The tape was clinging to the paint naturally. The tape was created to cling to things. It is used to seal things together so it was only doing its job. It is up to us what we allow the tape to cling to. Thus, my immediate concern when a roll of sticky tape goes missing.

God created you to cling to Him. (Deuteronomy 13:4) It was His Plan all along that the Eternity in our heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11) would draw us to Him. The measure of faith that we have been given is to allow us to cling to the firm foundation of Jesus Christ. (Romans 12:3) But it is up to you and I who or what we choose to adhere to closely in this life. It is part of that thing called freedom. It gets us in trouble every time. I have a friend with a young boy who was fascinated by painters tape. He decided to experiment wrapping it around his hands so he could break-free from it like a superhero. Painter’s tape is made to stick to things but is not as sticky as regular tape so he could easily break it or so he thought. Imagine his disdain when he had no other choice but call out for help when he wrapped up his hands in one too many layers so he could not break free anymore. Hence is the life lesson that I am discovering in this journey of our life. I must decide what I cling closely or adhere to in my life. It is a natural drive in our creative being to be relational – God created us that way. To cling to, hold fast and adhere closely to another person brings us great satisfaction, the problem is that it will never fulfill the longing of our heart and soul without Jesus Christ so as these connections fall apart and we remove ourselves from them, like the tape took paint off the wall, they take a part of us with them leaving less and less each time. To learn to live in close fellowship with God through Jesus Christ and cling to Him, something amazing happens as our life becomes one with God. We begin to cohere to the Lord so that we become united.

Deuteronomy 13:19-20 (NLT)
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

The Amplified Bible reads “and may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him.” (Verse 20) The choice between life and death between blessing and curses begins with one’s affiliation. Just as it matters how and where you invest your money, so it is with your life. You cannot cling to this world and have the Kingdom of God. There are oppositional forces colliding every day. Yet we cling to the things of this world with our heads filled with the knowledge of this world, but claim we want life everlasting. In order to cling to the Lord, we must do certain things. We must love the Lord with all our heart and soul. We must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who allows us to step into righteousness and then we must live the rest of our life clinging to Jesus Christ. There is no other way into the Kingdom of God or to live in His Presence. If we viewed our heart as “sticky” or “clingy”, we might better understand the importance of our choices in life. If we could only see the value in our relationship with God, I believe we would be more effective in taking back the pieces of our life to hand them all back to Him.

Jeremiah 13:0 (AMP)
For as the girdle clings to the loins of a man, so I caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me, says the Lord, that they might be for Me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory; but they would not listen or obey.

I put on my pants each day just like the next person, one leg at a time. After I button or snap them, I go about my day and do not worry whether or not they will stay up. As long as they are fastened securely, they will not fall down so I can go about my daily activities. When God created people it was with the express intent that they could cling to Him much like our pants cling to our waist. Why? God wanted us to be His People. He called us by name. We are to give Him praise as He surrounded us in His Glory. But His People would not listen or obey. It is up to each of us to take our life and plant it by faith in Jesus Christ to reestablish our connection with God. If you want the Glory of God to fill your life, there is no other way but to cling to Him.

Mark 7:7-9 (AMP)
In vain (fruitlessly and without profit) do they worship Me, ordering and teaching [to be obeyed] as doctrines the commandments and precepts of men. You disregard and give up and ask to depart from you the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men [keeping it carefully and faithfully]. And He said to them, You have a fine way of rejecting [thus thwarting and nullifying and doing away with] the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition (your own human regulations)!

In order for us to prosper and live productive, fruitful lives, we must learn to cling to Christ. How does one hold on to someone who is not here? He lives inside of every single person who has called on His Name. The Holy Spirit’s purpose is to connect you to Jesus Christ and His Power. He is the One who coheres us to Christ so that we begin to stick together, become united until we are inseparable. But in order to do that, we must let other things go. Wrapping gifts, I will often pull two or three pieces of tape off the roll so they are ready to use with only one hand while the other holds the paper. This is very effective until the tape gets stuck to the table or countertop I have temporarily put them on. We are temporary residents of this world who have become immersed in its culture and ideals even those of worship. We have developed our own form of servanthood that is less submission and not sacrificial because the world has defined grace as an excuse to live a less committed life to Christ and many believe it. You will cling to something it is built in your DNA and human nature defined by God to fix our hearts to Him. Are you clinging to something other than Jesus Christ? Have you given pieces of your life to lesser things in an attempt to stay connected in the world? God has told us to love Him with all of heart and soul. He asks us to cling to Him. He wants us to hold tight to His Word because it will never return void in our life. He wants us to be and remain close to Him at all times which sin does not permit. Grace is not a doormat that allows us to come and go as we please from the Presence of God. The Lord desires a people who are firmly attached to hope which only comes by faith in Jesus Christ. This is how we cling to life in the midst of losing it. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [in the eternal kingdom of God]?”(Mark 8:36)

Hebrews 12:1-3 (AMP)
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.

There is little or no resistance in this life when we live the way that we want to. The enemy has no beef with the lost for their destiny is defined by their rebellion so what does he profit. But for the righteous who are learning to cling to God, he offers many of options to wander or fall away. Unless we learn to cling to Jesus Christ who is our leader and source of faith, we are going to lose this race. If you have ever entered a three-legged race where two people are joined at one leg to run as a team, then you understand the struggle it is to learn to walk in step with Jesus Christ. Each person walks a certain way and has not experienced limitation until we must learn to walk joined together. This is the only way that we will ever learn to join our life with Jesus is to learn to walk in step with Him. The problem for people is that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If anyone is going to change friends, it is you and me. Jesus will not give up or give in which works in our favor once we learn to effectively cling to Him. But until then the enemy is read to subject us to sin which clings to us and entangles us unless we are cohered with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. His Blood washes it right off. Our past cannot stick to the Blood. Our present struggle will not leave a stain. Our future consists of the Light of His Love as He forces the darkness away. We must learn to cling to Jesus Christ to have the Blessings of God and His Limitless Power unrestricted. What does this mean? It means that when opposition comes we do not become offended but choose to forgive. It means that we fill our life with the Word so we will not give any credit to the lies of the enemy. It means that when given options we still choose Jesus Christ every single time. It is a commitment to live so stuck to Jesus Christ that soon it will not be clear where you end and He begins as you become one.

Luke 8:14-15 (NLT)
The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.

We must evaluate everything that is close to us and determine that which is valuable clinging to it but also releasing those things of no benefit. We weed our flower gardens so that the weeds do not overtake that which we desire to grow. Why would we not do the same with our life? We are a vessel (a fragile one) that can be broken but God wants to fill us with His Glory. As He completes us, we will shine a light from our life that shows the others His True Value and Worth as we prosper in this love affair by faith. Unfortunately, it is the hardest times in life that reveal the substance of our soul. We think we are doing the right thing and clinging to the right person until everything falls apart. It is in that moment it is clear where are hope comes from. We must be good-hearted people. The truth is clear as there are none righteous no not one. Jesus Christ is the good in me. I am good only when my life is completely united with Him. We must cling to the Word of God. Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh. We must be patient because He’s not finished with us yet or He would have already come!

Romans 10:10-11(AMP)
For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation. The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed.

Have you ever tried to open a roll of tape when you cannot find the beginning of the roll? It is totally frustrating as it adheres to the piece underneath and you cannot find the beginning or the end. Then when you do find it and can manage to peel it up with your fingernail it is uneven and worthless. I must admit I have thrown an entire roll of tape in the garbage before in annoyance. Well, this is the kind of adherence that Jesus Christ desires in our life. It is called coherence. No beginning or end just completely stuck together like the strongest sticky tape ever made. When we choose to use our heart to adhere to, trust in and rely on Jesus Christ we become justified (or just as if we never sinned) which means we are good with God. Such a life returns to its original form and creative use which is to walk after the Lord, respect and love Him, keep His Word, obey His Voice, serving Him and clinging to Him all the way into Eternity. He gives us His Glory in return for our faithfulness and we are never ever put to shame or disappointed. It just may take a little time and patience to see the harvest but your labor is never in vain. You will prosper as your soul prospers. We are made complete in Christ as we cling to Him.

I Timothy 1:19 (NLT)
Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.

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