Thursday, October 22, 2009

2009 – Day 294.Oct 22 – Stubborn Independence

2nd Passage for Study: Acts 9: 28 – 31 [NKJV] ... 28 So he [Paul] was with them [Christ’s disciples] at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. 29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. 30 When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus. 31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

My Journal for Today: The title of my journal entry for today, Stubborn Independence, all too often reflects the attitude of many Christians; and once again we use the passage from Acts 9: 28-31 to illustrate that Paul had to be knocked off his high-horse of stubbornness and independence of spirit by the very Lord who needed him to be in humble reliance to do The Lord’s work.

Chuck Swindoll, in his devotional for today, quotes the great Christian apologist, Francis Shaeffer, who taught this: “The Lord’s way must be done the Lord’s way.” Well, that sounds right, doesn’t it? But what does that truth imply? Well, duh! … It is this: “The Lord’s way cannot be done Bill Berry’s way?” Ergo, I’ve got to either choose to get down off my high-horse of stubborn independence and surrender to God, the Holy Spirit, or like Paul, I can expect that God will knock me off that high-horse so that I can see Him for Whom He really is and do life His way … not as the famous song implies, “My way.”

As I said yesterday, we either CHOOSE to humble ourselves to God’s way; or He will humble us for His purpose; … and as I also put forth, it’s a lot less painful do the humility bit ourselves, voluntarily, rather than having God do it for us. … Been there, done that, … and I have the T-shirt of surrender.

I love the stark, and very true statement from the Apostle, whom we’re studying, Paul, in Phil. 2: 5, stated right before he exposes the humility model of Christ’s life. It reads, quite simply in the NKJV it reads, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, …” In the NIV it reads, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:… " And of course, in the context of Phil. 2: 5 – 11 [linked for your study], that attitude is HUMILITY.

So, are you resisting “God’s way,” trying to get God’s purpose done as best YOU can, rather than surrendering to God’s Spirit and let Him lead you to do what Francis Shaeffer spoke of earlier … doing God’s way, God’s way! Personally, I’m one who’d really like to humble and surrender myself to do life God’s way; but so often I find myself, when I’m feeling the conviction and direction of God, reverting to my default human mode; and that is pridefulness and/or selfishness. And when I go there, I try to do God’s will my way; … NOT GOOD! But when I finally come around – sometimes from a Damascus road knock-down – I find that when I go the humble route voluntarily, God pours His grace into me doing life His way; and though life still may be tough, God gets the glory when I’m doing it His way rather than … “MY WAY.”

How about it, my friend? How about we just do what Christ commanded His disciples to do in Luke 9: 23; and I’m not going to link you to this one because I’m assuming you know it by now. So, let’s just agree today to surrender and move forward as Nike says it; and … “just do it”God’s way!

My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to do it Your way … not as Frank Sinatra would have sung it, … “My way!” Amen

PS: I’ll bet you never heard Frank Sinatra mentioned in a prayer before, did you? ;) <’BB><

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