Age can have its benefits—especially when you can see patterns in hind sight.
It has been said I have a Type A personality. I don’t know if that is true or not. What I’m sure is true, is I work hard at trying to finish a task. I’m not always sure if it has always been a God-assigned task or one I thought might be His, but regardless I went ‘all in’ to accomplish the task I thought was assigned by Him.
One of the reasons for my uncertainty of who assigned the task is because I can exercise my will-power, my giftings (limited as they are) and my energy to the point I feel more anxious in doing it than is characteristic of our Lord. In my drive to accomplish those tasks and to slip the boat into dock the right way, I now see I may have inadvertently tried to control people and situations. Unfortunately, I suspect I unintentionally bruised or at least caused more stress to others in the process. I truly regret this.
The more I’ve learned about God and His ways in Scripture, the more I have trusted Him and found His peace in the journey. This has resulted in me letting go of the controls more and simply waiting for Him to bring me safely into the ‘boat dock’.
As we’ve launched into 2018, one of the things I’ve learned from God and His word is that if I focus on what He deems to be the main things, the other things will fall into place. I found that the critical thing I need to do is not as hard as I once envisioned. Actually, it is so simple ANYONE has the capacity to do it and do it very well.
God explains salvation in Ezekiel 36:25-27 is when He gives us a new heart, new spirit and puts His Spirit within us as well. The result is we a strong desire to carefully obey His rules and mission. Fascinating study!! Our part is then to simply nurture that desire as we might feed a smoldering ember or flickering flame in a fireplace. When we do, the desire He puts in our spirit will lead us to do His will or whatever brings Him pleasure.
That belief is based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:6 (ESV) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” The defining difference between having God in one’s head, in contrast to their spirit, can be reduced down to one word, ‘desire’!! And if we actually allow the ‘desire’ He put within us for His righteousness to literally lead us, we will experience an abundant life!!
Jesus said, Matthew 6:33 (NLT) “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” The Holy Spirit had Paul add clarity to that principle by having Him write, Philippians 2:13 (NLT) “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
Oh, why didn’t I get that 50 years ago??!! Let’s live out 2018 this way together.