A kindergartner teacher told our friends about how their son would run to the front of the line all the time. In response his father said, “Son, from now on, you take the last place in line.” This really tickles me because I can see his little 5-year-old heart restrained by the desire to be first, but resolved to do what his daddy said…or else!
His situation reminds me of how I need to restrain myself on a daily basis. I need restraint from my flesh in what I say, what I do, what I eat, and how I exemplify Christ around those He placed around me. I, too, am tempted to race ahead—to be first, to be recognized, to be proud. Yet my heavenly Father restrains me through the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Working on my first book, Spirit over Flesh, brings to mind how much I need to stay close to God. My flesh (or sinful nature) resists the teachings of the Bible, the promptings of the Spirit, and the convictions of my mind. Although I’m growing through it on a day to day basis, I’m still surprised to know that I have so much farther to go. Basically, my faith is being stretched as I grow up in Christ.
However, there is grace—more than enough grace to help me through this journey. I’ve written about the flesh, the mind, the Spirit, and the grace in blog postings previously. Review them if you would like in this order:
- It’s the Dog in Me Part I and II (Feb)
- Take a Walk with God (Feb)
- What’s on your Mind? (Feb)
- What’s Grace Got to do With It? (March)
Bottom line is this: we can’t grow in our faith unless it is tested. Just as a muscle becomes toned and stronger because of the weights—our faith must pick up something heavy to grow. The true test of your faith isn’t when everything is comfortable, but when it’s hard to press on and easy to give up.
Know that faith in God is a necessity to accomplishing your dreams and destiny—this will keep you humbled before Him. You will recognize that giving the flesh free rein in your life will keep your faith weak and ineffective for the kingdom. Your faith is precious and can be easily taken for granted if you don’t exercise it regularly. Remember…
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see… And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (
Hebrews 11:1, 6)
The New International Version. 2011.
: Zondervan. Grand Rapids,