I had a good spiritual workout this week. That is my new way of saying, “It was a rough week.” Several things all happened at once and I was feeling overwhelmed. I was coping with fears and thoughts that I was under the impression I had “grown” beyond.
Here is the thing about our spiritual life, any growth we think we have made is really relying on God’s nature in us. We make the choice to put aside our selfish nature and let Him be revealed in and through us. When we really understand this principle we move from self effort to a grateful, humble heart.
I was encouraged by a book I am reading by Andrew Murray – God’s Best Secrets. He writes,
The new believer must understand that he has no power of his own to maintain his spiritual life. Rather he needs each day to receive new grace from heaven and commune with the Lord Jesus Christ. This cannot be obtained by a hasty prayer or superficial reading of a few verses. He must take the time to quietly and deliberately come into God’s presence, to feel his weakness and to come to his knees, and to wait upon God to his Holy Spirit to renew the heavenly life and life in his heart. Only then may he expect to be kept by the power of Christ throughout the day and kept from all the temptations.
What excellent advice to a new believer and equally powerful to an older believer! When my eyes get off Jesus and His nature and power living in me, I go back to my default of trying to live life on my own. I try to make things work out for my comfort and what I think should happen. That is a recipe for disaster. Thanks be to God who has rescued me from the need to try harder in my own strength.
Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. Romans 8:5 Message Version