I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. – Ephesians 1:17
Walking with God is much like that. It’s not a course revealed for the next 40 years, but a walk of steps and turns and moments. Each day is a new day of walking with God and finding his will for you in the moments, in the encounters of your life. The course, as it looks to you, might go around in circles for a bit, but God has a plan and it’s only revealed as we come to each turn in our course.
We are in Hawaii for a couple weeks and although I have never been here before we have found our way around easily with the help of our GPS. We don’t need to know the route, we simply need to obey the prompts of the sweet voice on the GPS and soon we arrive at our destination. God’s Spirit works in that same way as we walk with him through the day. We may not know all the turns and twists in our route, but simply need to trust the guidance we receive as we walk with God through the moments. Walking with God is a fascinating adventure. You never know who you will meet, where you will go, but it’s never boring.
The eight blessings included in Matthew 5:3-12 from Jesus during His Sermon on the Mount…
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
My biggest problem is not my work, other people around me or even the struggles I face. My biggest problem is ME! I live in a world of people all struggling, for the most part, with themselves. It’s all these struggling people clashing together that creates the problems we see around us.
Unless I can deal with the me I see in the mirror I can never work though my issues with you. Paul the apostle knew this struggle himself, we all understand the struggle, but he actually articulated his own battle. Here are a few of his thoughts,
“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?”
My biggest problem is ME! I hate that. I want to please God, I want to be who he designed me to be. I want to live as he designed me, but something keeps pulling me down to the base person I was when I first met him. That “me” that causes all my problems, all my anger, my sinful thoughts, my frustrations, irritations, my resentments. All the things that come from that “me”…..is not the me God wants me to be. He has created in me a new man, and yet I so easily fall back to that old man. It’s so frustrating. I hate it! I so understand Paul’s words and struggles. So do you, don’t you? We all live with this tug of sin pulling at our hearts, minds and affections, but it’s not the end of the story. There is a solution that Paul mentions at the end of his thoughts in this passage. Here’s his conclusion,
“Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”
The truth is that my sinful nature will never improve. I have to deal with that and “walk in the Spirit,” the new man God created when I trusted him. My old man, the old me, always wants its way…that won’t change…it’s my reality. It’s yours too. My challenge is to choose to walk in his Spirit and not as the “me” who wants his way. Today I’m struggling with me. Frustrated by the man in my mirror, but I know God has provided a better way.
My next step today is to walk in that new way and thank God for his forgiveness and grace.
This struggle will be ours until we finish this life. It’s part of the curse, but the hope we have is the Spirit of God in us that gives us the opportunity to live in a new “me” that pleases God. I remember the story of a young man asking his grandfather when the passions of life ebb. The old saint paused for a moment and then, with 85 years of wisdom, responded, “I don’t know, but if they ever do I’ll let you know.”
Dealing with “me” is my struggle for the day. Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Visit Mike at Finishing Well.