It's been a while, huh? I apologize. My thanks to those of you who e-mailed me and asked if I was ever going to post another entry or let the site go to the great blog wasteland in cyberspace. I keep telling you this, but it really is very nice to know there are people out there who actually read this and get something out of it. All half dozen of you...
To tell you the truth, and I'm not joking, it's been so long since I posted that I actually forgot I had a blog! Someone recently said they assumed I was too consumed with what the Lord was doing in my life to post anything and understood that I had to take a break to attend to the business at hand. You have no idea how much I wish that were true.
Unfortunatly, the facts are much more dismal and fleshly than that.
The good news, you'll be happy to know, is that you missed my vitrolic party-pooper rantings about Christmas and my intentioinal lack of New Year's resolutions. By my own unscientific but probably very accurate calculations, only one person in a thousand actually sticks to a New Year's resolution long enough to see any results. Everyone else is depressed by mid-February and wondering what's wrong with them that they can't ever see anything through. So I did myself a huge favor several years ago and made a New Year's reslution to never make another New Year's resolution. Which, ironicllay, makes me the one in a thousand. The rest of you might as will go ahead and get your perscription for Prozac filled.
Seriously though, isn't it a huge relief that you don't have to "try" in the strong arm of the flesh to accomplish anything? Oh, sure, it might work for a while. But eventually even the most strong- willed among us will "become weary in well-doing."
My Bible tell me "It is for freedom that Chirst has set us free." That's a powerful statement worth meditating on.
(Side note: I was watching a PBS special on the brain last night and the doctor lecturing said that meditation, rather than slowing down your mental processes, actually heightens them! I makes you more energetic and better able to concentrate, set goals and complete tasks! You need look no further than the opening paragraphs to realize this is something I need to incorporate more fully into my life...but not in the flesh, of course...)
This freedom means if I have an area in my life that needs changing or a habit that needs to be added or subtracted from my life I don't have to "set my mind" or "steel my will" or "make every effort" in my own inferior strength. I simply need to present my need before the throne of grace and then "set my mind"and "make every effort" while relying on the power of the Spirit to work through me to accomplish the goal.
Granted, this can be a difficult tightrope to walk. We are often in danger of falling off on the side of trying and ultimatley failing in our own strength, or attempting to rely on the Lord to the point we expect Him to do it for us rather than enabling us to do it with His help.
Two verses that beautifully illustrate the tension of our efforts coupled with God's empowering grace are 1 Cor. 15:10 and Phil. 2:12-13. The first says:
"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God in me."
And: "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."
The upshot of all of this is that we both have our part to play. Our job is to rely on the power of God. God's is to fill us with that power which then enables us to make the choices we need and want to make and move forward in victory.
I really didn't mean to get off on all that! But I have to get dinner on so I am going to leave it. I will try to post again tomorrow and let you know what the news is in my world.
Let me hear from you!