Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. Deuteronomy 11:1 NIV
I spilled a lot of my personal guts last week. If you missed it, you can read it here. If you don’t want all the sordid details, obedience to God was the general gist. I think I need to continue the conversation because it’s heavy, and yet it’s the only way to true freedom and peace. We must push through the yucky feelings that initially come from conviction to reach the joy and relief waiting on the other side.
When we make a decision to change something about ourselves or our lifestyle after hearing the siren call (or gentle whisper) of the Holy Spirit, things often get uncomfortable for those around us. Most people can understand believing in God – even if they don’t. Praying, attending church even. But radical obedience seems, as a good friend of mine would say, cuckoo-cachoo. Getting serious about a sin like gluttony makes people particularly uncomfortable. In fact, upon my confession and request for prayers, one sweet friend patted me on the knee and suggested I was being too hard on myself. Albeit well meaning, would she have said that if I confessed to stealing, or lying, or cheating? In the United States our big portions of greasy, fatty foods have become the norm. And if not the norm, at least considered a “treat”. And why shouldn’t we “treat” ourselves? Because in Philippians, Paul warned that those destined for destruction are those whose “god is their stomach” (3:19)! And when the prophets spoke of the city of Sodom – that God chose to destroy – being overfed was at the top of the list of the people’s infractions (Ezekiel 16:49).
Don’t hear me saying in some legalistic way that your favorite food, or mine, is inherently evil. But if it is more than we need, it is a problem. And I still very much have a problem. I put all of this out into the blogosphere and almost immediately began to struggle in my resolve. Unexpected stressors and temptations hit me from all sides and I slipped back into old sinful habits. I got busy and started neglecting my time in the Word and in prayer. Then God gave me this verse yesterday,
“Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Galatians 3:3
Luke 11:28 tells us, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” I hear Him. I know what I should do. But as I stated in the title of this post, should can be contagious. Once I “should”, I will soon be “should-ing” all over the place. That’s not what I want my testimony to be. And it’s not the response I want to give my Lord and Savior. So today I have repented again. Today I rededicate myself to time with God. And today I’m choosing to replace my “shoulds” and even “have to’s” with “want-to’s” and “wills”. Not in my own power. I have none. But in the power of the Holy Spirit. Would you pray for me in this? It would mean so very much to me. And if there is anything I can pray for you about, I would be honored if you would let me know. If you don’t want to type it in the comments for everyone to read, click on the CONTACT tab and send me a personal email.
“And this is love that we walk in obedience to his commands.” 2 John 1:6
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