Many of us are visual people. We live in an intensely visual society. I know that I am a visual person and by that, I mean, I learn most effectively when I can see what it is I am trying to learn. When my kids were young, I have fond memories (not!) of having to build their toys. I can remember vividly staring at the directions to some Lego set and literally having no idea how to begin. BUT, when I looked at the picture, coupled with the directions, I was–usually–able to complete the project.
Today, as an adult, I love to hear stories that illustrate teachers’ points. I know many other women do, too. So, I wasn’t surprised when a woman in my small group recently asked us what it looks like to live a life that is surrendered to Christ. She wanted a “picture” of what it looked like to truly thirst after the Lord (Psalm 63).
Of course, we have JESUS as our perfect example! Fully God, fully man, He lived the perfect life. His life is a life we strive to emulate, despite our human weakness and frailty. We know we are called to imitate Him, to follow Him, and as Christians, we WANT to do that. But in terms of practical HOW TO’S (because who doesn’t need a good “how to”?!), some of us may desire something a bit more detailed than just saying, “Be like Jesus.”
This week in our Falling in Love Again with Your Lord study, Laurie shared with us what the fruit of the gospel looks like in our lives – in other words, the ‘HOW TO.” If you are living for Christ, if your life is surrendered to Him, you are either DOING the following or you are WORKING, with God’s grace, to:
- Walk in the grace given by God and display the fruits of the Spirit. (Okay, so what are the fruits of the Spirit? See Galatians 5:22-23 for the list!)
- Exercise a sound mind and a disciplined life. (A sound mind comes from speaking biblical truth to oneself so that one is meditating on Scripture regularly.)
- Cultivate a HUMBLE, HOLY, and HEAVENLY heart.
- Suffer for the sake of Christ (this WILL happen).
- Be willing to DIE to yourself/deny yourself (put your desires behind you; you are to disown yourself, to refuse to acknowledge yourself or your “old” ways; you are called to pick up your cross and follow your Lord.
Number 5 could be hard to give an example for because what it looks like for me to die to myself might be different than what it looks like for you to die to yourself. Our circumstances are all unique, all different, and could require different sacrifices. But as Christians, we will all have to die to ourselves. EVERY ONE of us. Be ready.
So, can we “see” a woman following the Lord in these descriptions? Can we envision what that woman would look like? How she would go about her day? I know for sure she would have her eyes fixed on the Lord on a moment by moment basis. Would she be perfect? No. But, she would be in constant communication and prayer with the Lord as every minute passed. Whether it was backing out of a parking place at Kroger, or walking the dogs, or changing her baby’s diaper, or sitting in carpool, one thing would always be the same: she would be seeking the Lord.
These are not impossible directives. Our Lord requires us to surrender our will, and we can do it because we can claim the same power of the Holy Spirit that He possessed.
So, whether you are brand new to Christianity or have believed for a long time, remember, we all begin with our Lord’s directions. Start there. Build. Keep your eyes on Christ, the author of these great instructions. He will work in your life to build. And build. And build.
Growing in Grace