Monday, August 30, 2010
I Don't Want To
Then Sunday morning an associate pastor preached a message he entitled, "I Don't Want To." My sister, the mother of my three year old nephew, turns and looks at me and laughs. We both softly mouthed her son's name. At the end of the message however, I substituted my name for her son's name. I thought I've been pretty obedient to the Holy Spirit. There's a lot that I do that I don't want to do, especially in recent months. There's a lot that the Lord asks me to do that I don't want to do in my flesh but that I do anyway. But the Holy Spirit was prodding me, convicting me and saying to me, "There's more and it's on-going."
I went to bed around 1:30am this morning and the Holy Spirit woke me up at about 5:45am to pray. I said, "I don't want to get up yet." Then I remembered the message yesterday. What's more ongoing however, is something the Lord reminds me of every now and then when I don't want to do something He's telling me to do. He says, "Didn't you tell me that you would do whatever I asked you to do?" He gently reminds and rebukes me. It gets me moving to do His will when my flesh says, "I don't want to."
Romans 12:1 is also ever present in my mind, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as LIVING SACRIFICES, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." Can I be transparent here? God forgive me if I'm wrong for saying this, but sometimes I think it would be easier for me to just die one time and be over with it than to continue to be a LIVING SACRIFICE. I suppose this is along the lines of Paul's struggle in Philippians 1:21-23 where he says, "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain...I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far, but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body." Well, let me temper my little diversion here by saying, that I do rejoice in the honor that is mine to serve Christ and explore the depths of having life more abundantly. It's exciting really, but dying daily to my flesh is not easy, i.e., "offering myself as a living sacrifice" is not easy; it's just worth it.
I don't want to wake up early,
but I'm always glad to wake up.
I don't want to get up and pray,
But Oh, how sweet it is when I press my way into His presence.
I don't want to read the Word of God,
But Oh, how sweet it is when He speaks to me through it.
I don't want to worship Him,
But it is the "garment of praise" that lifts the "spirit of heaviness."
I don't want to talk to people,
But I learn so much and grow when I do.
I don't want to eat right,
But it keeps me out of the doctor's office.
I don't want to forgive,
But God won't forgive me if I don't forgive others.
I don't want to face conflict,
But blessed are the peacemakers.
I don't want to...........
How am I any different from my three year old nephew? I do it anyway. Because love motivates me to be obedient. After all, it's not about me. It's about glorifying His name.
Every time my flesh says, "I don't want to...," to God, it's a test of my faith or trust and obedience to him.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4)