Recently I was reprimanded for an outburst of anger. All my life I have dealt with these wrathful outbursts in one way or another. Sunday we were challenged to be a living sacrifice…but I confess I’m not sure what that fully means until now. We were encouraged by our brother to stay on the alter and allow God to deal with the thing he puts his finger on in our lives.
Galatians 5 talks of walking in the Spirit and having freedom in Christ. I won’t candy coat my sin by saying I have struggled or I am struggling for Galatians 5:19 clearly denotes “fits of rage” as an “act of the sinful nature” and furthermore goes on to state that “those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
In asking for wisdom, knowledge and understanding about this thing which God has pointed out, I have come to the conclusion that I can look at this situation one of two ways. 1. I can be offended and let my foolish pride step in effectively blocking the work of the Spirit which in turn would allow me to stay as I am trapped in my sin and unable to inherit the kingdom of God or...
2. I can determine to lay on the alter still and quiet and allow the Spirit to remove this blemish from my soul, gain a victory and learn to actually be affective in my spiritual walk with Christ.
“Let it burn! Let your flesh burn on that alter!” my trusted friend EJ would say.
I confess the temptation is strong to do the first option, however I choose the second option because my life is no more my own and I don’t want my testimony to be tainted but pure. This is the true gospel to pick up ones cross and actually follow after Jesus. A time is coming when the sheep will be separated from the goats and I don’t want to be found with the stubborn goats :)!
Perhaps, if I am enabled by the Spirit of God to have victory this time by surrendering to the discipline of the Father, which by the way only means he loves me because he only disciplines those he loves, then maybe I will walk in a greater relationship with him.
But what do I do? What is my part? As I wrestled with these questions the other day my sweet husband, not knowing of my thoughts, began to sing a song “…at the cross you beckon me, draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.”
I cried. God is so good.
So many times I have seen surrendering myself at the foot of the cross as an intimidating thing because it means I am totally helpless to do it myself. Pride dies there…completely. But recently, I have begun to view surrender at the cross as the narrow road or gate that leads to freedom. To be broken before him is sweet but painful at the same time.
What do I want? To walk in the Spirit, live by faith and please God or please myself and stay the way I am? Time is short…Father, I want to be really real, I want to be free, I want to follow you. By your Spirit, I choose door number 2. Amen.
(The song’s title is Sweetly Broken by Jeremy Riddle and it is an awesome song!)