Following God is a daily decision
by Dana Calit
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It's a rollercoaster ride. It's a wheel that never ceases to turn. Sometimes you're in, sometimes you're out. There are times that it's hot and cold all in the same day. Rain and sunshine within the same hour. What comes up must come down.
Aahh. Opposite poles...extremes...the two ends to the spectrum. Where are you today? Is your attitude dependent on your mood. Does the circumstance dictate your stance? Are you reactive instead of proactive?
I am personified in all of the above. Pain and joy, chagrin and pleasure, meek and proud, pliable yet stiff...That is just how we are wired. Opposites allow us to experience one from the other. How can you tell good when there's no bad, what's gloom without bliss, what's thin without fat...and on we go with the cliches...This divine dichotomy is the heart of our human struggle. Every Christian is Jeckle and Hyde, whether we admit it or not.
So what keeps our paths straight in our Christian walk? How do we stop the vicious cycle of sin and servitude? How do we avoid being mere spectators in our own lives and simply watch it unfold from day to day?
It all boils down to decision...Yes, just as we've decided to accept Christ so shall we decide to reject our old self. Ultimately, we must decide to give Jesus the key to our hearts and stop taking it back every once in a while. A very perfect illustration would be the video shown in the Billy Graham Class we attended last night.
It was the scene where Baggins did not want to let go of the ring and keeps clutching it in his hands. Not being a LOTR fan myself, I have opted to quote it from an LOTR site lest I do injustice. "When talking about the Ring, Bilbo strikingly changed, became angry and aggressive. When talking with Gandalf, he called the Ring “my precious” as Gollum did once. It was a terrible ordeal for him to see the Ring again in Rivendell."
You see here the agony Baggins goes through as he refuses to give up the ring; meanwhile, Gandalf only gently urges him to do so. Isn't this a very vivid picture of how we are with our Lord. We hang on to our ring of sins (the never ending cycle), sweating in sheer resistance as Christ lovingly prods us to do otherwise.Just as we haggle for the best price at the flea market, we try to bargain with God. Compromise is a good thing, right? Meeting half way is our strategy for conflict. So then we say, Lord you can have everything else but "THIS". You can take care of my finances, but let me handle my career. Or Lord, I give up drinking, and smoking but I just can't stop cheating my clients or I'd lose my job.
How often are you caught stroking the ring and calling it "my precious." Is it not true that Satan dines on our leftovers? Whatever we keep clutched in our hand speaks clearly of our priorities, so the harder you try to hold on to this world, the more you lose in the heavenly realm...So where is gain if the earthly concerns we hold in high regard are like sand that sifts through our very fingers?
Jesus said in Luke to "sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me". So want to be a disciple a.k.a. follower of Christ?
Live the life that upholds "Less of you and more of God." I feel like singing Alanis Morisette's song right now because isn't it ironic? "In surrender there is strength. If we give it all, we gain more."
Let every Christian take the kneeling position as his strongest fighting stance.
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This is a great article! You have summed up the human condition in the most artistic manner!!
Wonderfully informative! I think I probably deal with giving up my selfish pride more than anything... slowly, slowly... He knows just how much I can take. Don't we just serve an awesome God!?!