Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Headin' Out

The picture to the left has nothing whatsoever to do with today's post. My wife took it while we were in Jackson Hole a few weeks ago and I like it. So there you have it.

Moving right along, I will be going to So. Cal. this afternoon to care for my father. While this will open the door for the usual pressures on my wife and daughters (would you pray for them?), I have one main desire: I want to be filled with the Spirit.

If I had to make a top five wish list, being filled with the Holy Spirit would be right at the top. When I’m filled with Him, it’s then that Christ is formed in me. What’s better than that? Jesus’ wants and don’t wants become obvious, Jesus’ ability and feelings move right to the front of my experience, and nothing is impossible.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Gal 5:22, 23)

What would I lack? What would my dad lack if I were filled with the Spirit when staying with him? Nothing. Jesus, my wanna-be, would be obvious in me, and I always love it when He is.

See why I want this?

Living by the Spirit, I won’t gratify the desires of the flesh, which always offers a way of doing things that doesn’t involve God. I hate that. I always feel awful, sort of hung-over after navigating the day by the flesh. It requires something of me—the right approach, the right choice, the right response and the right attitude. Focused on all that, what does Jesus actually get to do for me? Well, yeah, I suppose He can clean me up after I’ve blown it, but that’s not what I mean. When I get really busy trying to be good, He has nothing to do in me or through me.

And getting around my dad incites my flesh to offer all kinds of navigational skills, since I’ve known him for just a few years. It’s not that he’s a bad guy—not at all—it’s just that he’s my dad, and I want to please him. That can really get in the way of wanting to know the Spirit and to allow Him to do whatever He wants in me. Does that make sense? The desire to please my dad can cover-over the better desire to sow to the Spirit so He can please my dad. Which do you suppose would be better?

So that’s it. Would you pray for me? Would you pray for my dad?

“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” (Gal 5:24-26)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:21 AM

    "I HAVE BEEN crucified with Christ
    and it is no longer I who live (I'm dead)
    BUT Christ lives in me (Ralph)
    And the life that I (Ralph) now live (in this flesh, this earthen vessel)
    I live BY FAITH in the Son of God
    (not faith in myself, not faith in my good works or fear of my bad thoughts or deeds)
    I live by FAITH in the Son of God,

    Who loves me and gave Himself for me.

    That's it. You belong to Christ Jesus. You're His. His Spirit came into you and abides in you from here on out. It doesn't come in and go out. His Spirit occupies you. He crucified the flesh, your flesh and its passions and desires with His death at Calvary. You do live by the Spirit now. (Remember, that old flesh is dead). Your spirit does walk by the Spirit.
    It's a done deal.
    You're better off than you think.
    You're way better off than you think.