"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Friday, March 23, 2012

Every Step to the Cross

Living a life of faith is challenging, is it not? My will is at war with my spirit. I find myself in the old age struggle Paul refers to in Romans 7, specifically, verse 19 "For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice." (emphasis mine). When the road proves difficult to walk or when I think I couldn't have failed any more then I have already, I am tempted to just 'rest' in my misery. And yet at the same time I am aware that I can not stay in that state because it is not rest, it is confusion that gives way to the conflicting emotions of fear, anger, disappointment and loneliness. All these emotions and feelings can lie and the longer I stay in that state the further away I walk from the truth. Our Pastor spoke once about this in a sermon and one of the points he made rings true in my spirit. When we are squeezed and pressed, our sinful nature is easy to embrace, as a result it is essential to decide in advance how we will respond to those times of trial. I need to have a plan in the moments of stress. I appreciated this train of thought because it is something I too, have determined to do. My biggest struggle is fear and allowing feelings to rule me instead of choosing the truth over the feeling. When I see that I am doing this, I reach for my plan of warfare: Bible verses, prayer, praise and worship. Sometimes it take a bit but if I dig deep the result is true rest and my spirit settles to be in tune with the Father's voice. It reminds me of that song by Casting Crowns: "But the voice of truth tells me a different story..." It's an active choice to accept the truth over the lies. Sometimes the battle of doing this takes more time then others but the key is to persevere with it. Isn't this what our Lord and Saviour did? Sometimes the steps are hard to take, they were for Jesus too. Each step He took closer to the cross bore the weight of the task He must accomplish. He knew forgiveness awaited there for us so He took the steps. He knew His plan, His mission, His task. God gave me such a clear picture of this today as I prayed through some matters. In my mind's eye I could picture the steps He took, how He took them for me, so I could experience freedom and forgiveness. The reality is that when I take my time to surrender it is because I've forgotten my task of choosing to embrace the truth. Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your soul, For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." How amazing is our Saviour that He promises this?! I want to share a passage of scripture that has come to me 4 times throughout the end of last year, once through a friend, at small group, church in my home town and church 5 hours away at my parents. I think of these verses often. Hebrews 6:17- 20 " Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability (def: Not subject or susceptible to change) of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which is is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." I have kept these verses close because I understand how much I need the anchor of my soul; He is sure, never changes, has gone before me and will give me the rest I need. Again, an active choice, to listen to the truth over my own will and the lies the enemy would have us believe. In this way I am armed to face the reality of my situation, whether good or bad, I can count on Jesus to give me all that I need to deal with the joys, the triumphs, the difficulties, the failures. What a mighty God we serve.

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