We want the benefits of God without following the processes of God.
I was talking to a friend this week about living a tuned in lifestyle. One where you are able to release encouraging words, words of knowledge and prayer no matter where you are or what is going on around you. One where the Holy Spirit dictates your day even in the midst of regular activities. I desire this. I desire to live so tuned in that if the Lord speaks to me about a random person at the grocery store I know it's Him and I push through any fears and follow what the Lord is leading me to do.
I desire this. I desire to live so tuned in that if the Lord speaks to me about a random person at the grocery store I know it's Him and I push through any fears and follow what the Lord is leading me to do. I want to live a lifestyle that impacts people around me not for my benefit or acknowledgment but because Christ lives in me and I am a representation of the Church.
I want to live like Christ. I want to do the will of the Father every day.
But there's a problem with this lifestyle.
The Problem with A Lifestyle of Christianity
The problem is that we must totally surrender. This lifestyle requires that we lay aside our own agenda, feelings, judgments and motivations. It also requires us to lay down our pride and make our spiritual senses a priority over our natural ones.
It's downright hard to fight the fleshly instincts that have guided you every day of your life since birth. The flesh wants what the flesh wants the world be damned, and to made a transformation is almost as hard as kicking the nicotine habit. On the days I am out in public I pray, “Lord, help me see the people you want me to see. Highlight someone for me that needs prayer.”
Living this lifestyle requires us to lay down our agenda and pick up His.
Even today, as I sit in the local college-town coffee shop with a few hipsters, several old guys reading the paper (and one taking a nap), and a few early-season tourists, I want to know if someone needs what I have.
Is someone in my midst struggling with a private issue that just needs an encouraging word? Is someone in my midst struggling with a private issue that just needs an encouraging word? Does someone just need a compliment to brighten their day? Can I bless someone by praying for them right here, in the midst of freshly ground coffee and strange “art” pieces?
Yet as I sit here, my focus wants to turn inward. I want to drown out the world and spend my precious 75 minutes writing and working on my book before my haircut and my lunch date. After all, this is my day off.
My spirit is well aware that those around me need me yet my flesh and my soul want to be free from the requirements of a lifestyle of faith that is filled with love for others. This is the problem.
Living this lifestyle requires we lay down our pride and stop people pleasing.
The second problem is our pride.
Have you ever felt that you were to pray for someone and then wrestled with yourself? What if they reject me? What if someone see me? What will others think of me? What if my prayer is wrong? Me, me, me. I, I, I.
They aren't rejecting you, they are rejecting the One who is in you.
Living this lifestyle requires refinement of my spiritual eyes.
Snap judgments have no place in this lifestyle.
My coffee shop crowd is all a buzz with political conversations today. Donald Trump was in Harrisburg last night, and today Bernie Sanders will be in the college. Most of this crowd is gearing up to “Feel the Bern.” Personally, I'm glad my lunch date is on the other side of town, away from the ensuing circus about to descend on Lincoln Ave.
But living a lifestyle of love requires us to put aside our snap judgments of people. We need to see people the way God sees people. We need to see spirits walking in Earth suits that need a touch from their creator.
This lifestyle requires my time and surrender.
To achieve this lifestyle, I must commit my time to Christ. Daily time in the presence of the Lord is essential. We cannot know the voice of the Lord if we do not spend time with Him. We cannot surrender to Him if we don't transform our minds, which comes through time with God.
Living like Jesus is not an ability issue, it's a yielding issue. You see, everything you just read is an issue of yielding to the Holy Spirit, moment by moment. You do not have the ability to live like Jesus, but you do have the ability to yield to the Holy Spirit and through that submission, you will find the yourself living like Jesus lived.