Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Promise of the Spirit.6

"If you then, being of this earth, know how to provide good things for your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the breath of God to those who ask him?

When the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, whom I will send to you from the Father, has come, he will testify of me. He will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I have told you." 

--Jesus


"My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh..." Genesis 6:3

For as long as I can remember it has been my habit to recoil at reproof.  Maybe its a strong perfectionist streak...I don't know...more likely, just plain old fear & pride.  

A high school football coach once put his arm around my slumped shoulders after an especially fierce rant. Directed at me. "Charlie," he sighed, "don't be upset when I yell at you.  Be upset when I don't...that's when I stop believing in you."

In my current occupation I am "striving" with God's Spirit.  I'm confident-most of the time-God wanted me here.  I've enjoyed relatively good success, but recently hit a difficult stretch...and I don't like it. 

 I want to move on. 
      I'm sure there is nothing more for me to learn here.

 I'm real sure I don't like it anymore.  
I know there is much more important work I could be doing

 I'm getting too old to work this hard.  
I don't think I can get the enthusiasm back.
                   It's a great job...if it weren't for people. 

 I'm burnt out. 

 My car is getting beat up.  
                 I'm getting beat up. 

 People are too stubborn to be wasting my important time.                        What if I just can't do this anymore.  

My company expects too much. 
                 I can't keep up with all the changes.

There you have it.  
Ironclad reasons why my will is better than God's!

I hear the sigh...

Make no mistake.  Jesus' teaching is not to give me good information or to be able to get the right answers to the heavenly pop quiz.  It's to make me a man like Him.  To realize my human potential as God had in mind when He imagined me.

Any youthful fantasy football dreams were quickly quashed by the reality that I wasn't made for professional football.  But I was made for truth, righteousness, courage, strength, wisdom, justice, mercy, love, kindness, peace, and goodness; citizenship qualities of the Kingdom of God.  
Because this world's ambitions, once realized, are quickly exposed for their temporal and futile nature, it is worth believing in a place where Kingdom qualities, not athletic prowess, political pandering, aristocratic credentials, or fashionable chic, are the currency of the culture!  More importantly, they are eternal!

Hungering and thirsting for His righteousness is the primary indicator that the Spirit is striving, working, teaching, moving us step by difficult step toward the upward call.  

While not always knowing if and how close we are getting to what we shall be like, we know Whom we have believed.  

Lord Jesus, thanks for your patience with me...sigh...I won't stop striving if you won't!