Self-reliance is a very hard habit to break. I remember when I took the art and humanities class in college and the historical information was about the evolving self. From the beginning of time, the goal of humanity has been to do without God. In the expression of art and humanities such as psychology, the evolution has been to focus on self (our abilities, our mind, our desires, our flesh). “Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation,. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41, NKJV). Jesus found it necessary to remind His disciples. I speak about the flesh today, the natural man who looks to do things his way no matter what. But I also speak to the spirit man of those who know that we can do nothing (no thing) outside of God. What He allows us to do, even when we don’t consider the consequences, is about Him and not us; about us drawing closer to Him, trusting Him, leaning on Him and glorifying Him, not self. There are several Scriptures that come to mind as I write today.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. ” (Romans 8:1, NKJV). Even when we think we are making the best choice and the results don’t turn out that way, we cannot allow guilt to keep us from returning to God. The enemy seductively plays with the thoughts he sends us like “God will not continue to bless you.” Or, “You are not worthy for God to keep helping, blessing you.” There are a plethora of these thoughts that the enemy sends to you. The point is, that when harboring those feelings, the enemy has an open door to to keep sending those thoughts to our minds. The depth of the point is that our feelings should not control our beliefs. We cannot allow the enemy to run with them. Repent, pray, ask for forgiveness, receive that forgiveness (it is a difficult thing to forgive ourselves and accept His forgiveness) and move forward. Continue to seek God’s guidance and be led by the Holy Spirit.
Another important Scripture is about trust. “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:5, NKJV). Self is still in the way. It is a daily process to allow the Spirit to lead and the flesh to be buried, to commit your way to the Lord. God gave me a new definition of trust a few nights ago.
T otal … R elease … U nder … S tressful … T imes.
At the time, I wanted to use it right away. However, patience is a virtue (self is very impatient). This is the right time. I have been dealing with trust for a while now but more in the details of the daily choices made. It has been in the small things. (Or, what I deem small. See, there “self” is again.) Until anxiety, worry and impatience rear their ugly heads. They are the antithesis of trust. What looked insignificant becomes a major problem. In taking matters into my own hands, I increased the anxiety because of the result of choosing my way. The point here is that when we truly trust God, we release total control over the process and the results. It is so very easy to trust when things are going well. The impatience we feel tends to fuel the anxiety and the anxiety causes worry. The remedy, of course, is total release under stressful times, trust. Yes, it is easier said than done but perfect practice makes perfect. Grab the Scriptures you need. Repeat them. Put the Word of God in your heart that you might not sin against Him. “Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11, NKJV).
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against hosts of spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV). This is significant because we can be narrow minded regarding this Scripture by forgetting to include ourselves in this warfare. The enemy seeks to steal, kill and devour and when it comes to self, the exclusion is a doorway for him. Continue reading about the warfare in Ephesians. It is very clear on what needs to be done by us and when we have done all we need to, it is time to stand.
As you can see, my heart was full today. This message goes out to all who are in the daily process of this journey and is a reminder that the battle is not ours but God’s. However, as is necessary with any warfare, we must be prepared to handle the attack from the enemy. God has given us the weapons of warfare. Put on the whole armor. Ephesians so aptly describes this armor which includes the sword of the spirit, the Word of God.
The intention here is not to dismiss the love God has for us, the love we are to show others, or the message of salvation. It is only to present the fact that we cannot ignore this other aspect of the Christian journey.