If you’ve read my bio or the letter to my old self you know that I’m a messy work-in-progress. Perhaps, you are too? It’s a daily struggle for me. I continue to find my mind, actions, and speech quite unpleasing to God and dishonoring to our humble Savior. Do you have those moments too? In fact, my husband and kids are playfully joking about my continued feistiness this very minute. They’ve seen me at my worst and truthfully, once I submitted my life to Christ, Jesus worked miracles. He renewed this dead, dark heart with life, faith and hope. My family intimately knows the depth of my effort and devotion to living at peace through Christ. Yet, when I find myself huffing and puffing – which sadly is daily – they lovingly laugh it off and say, “Unleash the dragon!” Imagine the horror – who wants to be known as the dragon lady?! I’m glad they are so forgiving and find my behavior amusing but in tears one day, I cried out, “I don’t want to be the dragon lady, God help me!” It is with these things in mind that I write this message today. I desperately need to get myself under and into the submission of Christ. My family might love me flaws and all but they know who I was before and how much better I am now with Jesus. It reminds me of what Joyce Meyer says, “I’m not where I need to be but thank God I’m not where I used to be.” I know I should embody Christ and that’s where I need to be! Does any of this sound familiar, strike a cord, ring a bell? What do we do when the Holy Spirit is chasing us down like a cop in hot pursuit – flashing lights and sirens blaring?
We use caution.
Come to a stop.
Evaluate the situation.
Make necessary changes.
And move on.
With these things heavy on my heart, I read the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:19-26) and my heart grew heavier – an unbearable weight! The Holy Spirit’s convicted me! I am living in the flesh – ouch. Oh, how I am quick to judge and easy to anger – wince. Oh, how I get caught up in disputes and arguments – hangs head. Oh, how I let these emotions rule me – shameful. I am easily the worst person I know. Oh, how sorrowful I am – ah, the heaviness just lifted.
Sweet souls, we need to see when these things have taken us over. We can’t repent for that which we do not see, feel, or recognize. We need to realize we are sinners by nature but made the righteousness of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus allows us an opportunity of eternal proportions – Amen! It’s not a matter of if we’ll sin, it’s recognition of when we sin. We need to immediately turn from it, repent and get right with God – Jesus did not die in vain. He did not suffer for us to be overtaken by sin and works of the flesh. We must be doers of His Word (James 1:22)! We must strive after Christlikeness – every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every month, every year, every decade of our precious God-given lives (Romans 8). Who’s with me?!
Lord, on my own I continue to fail and I am so sorry, please forgive me. Lord, I desperately need you in every facet of my life. I know Your precious blood covers me in Your righteousness and with You all things are possible. On You I depend only, strengthen and uphold me. Create in me a clean heart. Let your Word, take deep root in my soul and renew my mind. Crucify my flesh Lord, and transform me to Your likeness. In Your Holy name, I pray.
I openly share my heart with you, in the sincere hope that you may benefit from my struggles. We’re all in ‘this’ together, right?! 🙂 Conquering the flesh is a real problem area for me and I’d love to hear your insight on this subject. I cheerfully welcome your helpful thoughts and ideas! What say you? How do you crucify the flesh? What works for you and what doesn’t?
God bless you!
Jennifer – I Give God All The Glory