When I was a kid, when something was difficult, I would say to my Mom, "Hard to do, Mama! It's hard to do". At that point in life, something difficult consisted of my blocks falling over when they were supposed to be making a castle for my Barbies, or trying to read a big word in a book. Now though, things that are hard to do have evolved into more challenging principles: Love your neighbor as yourself, love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and (on a sillier, but true note) don't eat a fourth piece of cake! These things didn't even cross my mind when I was two and three years old, but at twenty-one, things look differently.
In Deuteronomy 30:19-20, we
Re shown that both life and death have been set before us. This means
that God and His ways, as well as Satan and his ways, have both been put
in front of us, and we must choose which way we will go! Scary, right?
seems simple enough: "Go God's way, Kristin". "Do the right thing". But
many times, my mind, my feelings, and my will end up at war with God,
His ways, and His will. This is not uncommon to the Christian,
unfortunately. We all go through times (whether short or extended) where
we feel resistant towards right living, our circumstances, and what God
calls us to do. However, as Christians, we know that God should be our
all. We are to submit ourselves and our wills to Him, and trust Him that
all He does is beautiful.
We are to: "Love the Lord our God,
listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him." (Deuteronomy 30:20). Now,
get ready for the last part of this verse . . . "The Lord is your life!"
(emphasis added). The Lord is to be our LIFE. Not part of it. Not just
at times where we need Him, or are feeling super spiritual, but always!
So how do we do this? How do we love the Lord (with all our
hearts), hold fast to Him, and listen to His voice always, in a broken,
sinful body? My answer is that you do it anyway!
Don't feel very
loving towards God? Praise Him anyway, even if you are mad. Even if you
are unhappy with where He has you at the moment, and even if His will
seems like the exact opposite of what you want to do or consider good.
Don't want to listen, or scared of what He might say? Listen anyway.
Seek Him anyway. Stay in His word, and trust that He is good and
wonderful. Anything He says is right, is for His glory and is for our
ultimate good (Romans 8:28). He is not going to do or say anything that
will harm you (Jeremiah 29:11), but that will be amazing in the long
run. And because of this truth, finally, hold fast to Him. Cling to Him,
knowing that He is for you. He is not against you. He sings over you
with gladness (Zephaniah 3:17)! And when you find yourself doubting (and it will happen. Even as I type I struggle to absolutely know and cling to this truth), just keep believing. Force yourself.
And finally, ask God to change and renew your heart, feelings, emotions, and mind (thoughts).
We cannot do it on our own strength, and nothing about our actions will
be renewed until God gets a hold on the deeper issue: the heart, the
mind, our wills, and our emotions (all which we typically allow to
control us). Ask Him for help. I was reminded of that this morning, by a
dear friend. "Don't just try to not live by the flesh... ask God to renew our feelings and thoughts with His ways and His truths".
when you find yourself saying "Hard to do. This is hard to do!", take
heart. It is hard to do because you are human. Ask God to help you. He
may not make it easy, but He will assist you and start a process of getting you where you need to be that only He can.
me in seeking this out for our own lives. I will be asking God this for
myself, and you should to. None of us are there yet (and won't be until
the day of our complete renewal in Heaven) but we can begin the process
by asking God to help us in mind, word, deed, and feeling to live as we are commanded to in Deuteronomy 30:19-20.