I once met a man who defied all advice I had read or heard. All the advertisements and salesmen said boots; he proposed tennis shoes.
Experts who help hikers choose gear emphasize the importance of a good pair of boots. Too large and your feet will slide back and forth producing painful blisters. Too small and your toes will be damaged. And never hike in a new pair of boots.
Iíve bought several pair but never been satisfied with any of them. Then I encountered a rebel who hiked the Appalachian Trail in New Balance tennis shoes. In more than 2,000 miles of treading water, caressing roots and traversing rocks, he wore out only two pair. They were comfortable and his feet didnít ache.
So I immediately visited a shoe store and bought a pair, and my feet and future hiking escapades were transformed. No more blisters, no more aching feet and no more cumbersome laces and loops. No more pain outweighing pleasure either.
Iíve also discovered my spiritual walk can be painful if Iím wearing the wrong shoes. Paul did too. He tried religious rules and regulations. He adhered to customs and traditions. When they failed him, he said, Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh (Galatians 5:16 HCSB).
Spirit walking is pleasurable while flesh walking is painful. The second results in blisters that impede my progress, but the first is like wearing tennis shoes when accustomed to boots.
When walking by the Spirit, I seek Godís rule, will and authority. No area of my life is off limits to him. What he wants for me is more important than what I want. I submit to his authority because he loves me, I love him and I realize every breath is a gift from above.
Freedom of choice allows us to walk Godís way or our own, but only Godís way results in pleasurable experiences.
Prayer: Spirit above, when our pursuits take us in selfish directions, remind us where pleasurable walking is found. www.lovelinesfromgod.com
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