I have recently been learning some deeply profound lessons. Lessons about things I thought I understood years ago. Lessons about what it really means to be a Christian, to die to myself, to take up my cross each day, to allow Jesus Christ to live in me. God has used many means to reveal His great truths in my life; stories, songs, friends, family, books, movies, His word, the road, this treadmill.
All of this walking has forced me to stay quiet. Alone on my path.
The rhythm of my steps seems to clear my head.
I’ve learned that I cannot be a Christ follower by myself. My faith is for others. It is for encouragement, for strengthening, for reminding, for rebuke.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Having a personal quiet time, reading scriptures every day, memorizing scripture, keeping my eyes on Jesus, working on my personal relationship with Jesus so that I will earn heavenly rewards and so that I will inherit eternal life is not the ultimate purpose of my faith. That “Christian Faith” is self-centered and dead.
My faith walk, my nature change, my love of Jesus should overflow from me and splash onto all those around me. It moves me to action that leads to serving others. What I want, is of no consequence. It is what Jesus wants from me, through me, in me, my will is surrendered to Him and under His authority as He is my Lord and Savior. Slowly, eventually, my will transforms and becomes His will. This is HIS life, not my own. May God be glorified in all that I do and say!
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Stay with me here because this is very subtle.
What Would Jesus Do does not just mean, “In these circumstances, how would Jesus act/react?” Rather, it means, “In these circumstances, Jesus take the lead in me.” He is alive in me – it is not just me merely trying to act as He did.
I have a saying written on a board in my kitchen – bidden or unbidden, God is present. I can choose to ignore Him, but He is there. He is always present. No need for a little elf on a shelf at this house. God is here. My husband, my sweet boy, created a bracelet from John 3:30 – He must increase, but I must decrease.
As my life vanishes, His life shines.
I have been studying the scriptures of God’s holy word for more than 25 years. I have had more opportunity than most to spend time learning, reading and discipling others in God’s ways. I know the truth, that God’s word is alive and active. I know that He is alive within me, molding me, pruning me, changing my heart of stone to a heart of flesh. This will continue as long as I allow it and submit to God’s work in my life. He gives that choice to us in free will. These are spiritual matters. You must have spiritual eyes to see them.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:26-27
I am on His path and doing my best to walk in His ways, not perfectly but increasingly so. I am slowly learning the lessons He has for me. Like walking the Camino path, I am slowly, step by step, day by day, moving toward His church, and when I reach it, I do not live there, stay there, but I am sent out into the world, to bring others to Him.
Lay your life in the worthy hands of Jesus. He will give you a heart of flesh and a love so deep that you will be changed forever.
He is not done with me yet. Be encouraged. Press on.