When we walk in the natural, there is a certain level of control we feel over our lives, but that feeling of control is merely an illusion. We fabricate our own plans and build a false sense of stability by trusting in our own abilities, all the while limiting God to whatever our flesh wants and desires.
Sometimes, without realizing, we create a God in our own image. A God who accepts, even encourages, our behavior and justifies the choices we make. With this frame of mind, we block out the voice of truth, and everything is filtered through what looks and feels right to us.
We may even find ourselves praying prayers that are rooted in manipulation. Instead of surrendering to the Spirit, we already know what we want and choose to ignore His voice.
“Your will be done”,
We are truly saying,
“Make this work out according to my will, Lord”
Walking in the natural may not involve a lifestyle of blatant sin. It can be a life of settling for less than God’s best and staying in our comfort zones. It trusts fear rather than love.
When we walk in the Spirit, we come face to face with the feeling of being out of control, as we hand all of our control over to God. We put ourselves in the position of relying fully on Him to reveal His plans and choosing to not lean on our own understanding. This goes against everything we are taught in the natural.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” —Galatians 5:16
All our lives, society tells us to put our trust in what will secure our future. We are told to make decisions based off of what has worked for others, rather than being the unique individuals God created us to be.
To walk in the Spirit is freedom. While the world focuses on what will be lost and what can no longer be done, the reality remains that there is much more to gain in the never-ending possibilities found in the Spirit.
Walking in the Spirit removes all boundaries and allows God to have complete access to change and rearrange our lives . . . as He wills.
A scary thought at times.
Even so, the thought of being outside of His will is much scarier to me than the feeling of being out of control.
It is much scarier for me to think about holding even a single part of my heart back from Him.
One thought I had this afternoon was about how Christians often say things like,
“Don’t pray for patience, or God will give it to you.”
It’s said in a negative tone. You know what I’m talking about, right?
I admit, I’ve said it in the past. I’ve also have many people say it to me. Often it appears to be said in a joking manner, but still there is quite a bit of honestly written between the lines. Excuse me for stepping on some toes (including my own) . . .
Isn’t patience one of the Fruits of the Spirit? (Galatians 5:22-23)
I suppose what I am getting at is that we can’t truly experience the deeper things of God, if we attempt to live a life of picking and choosing what we want of Him based off our level of comfort and how easy it will be for us to walk it out.
Total surrender does not involve us holding back any part of ourselves from Him. When we ask Him to have His will in our lives, except for one or two things . . . we are still trying to be in control.
It’s a journey, friends. It involves taking one step at a time with Him. Allowing Him to reveal His truth to our hearts. To make decisions to obey Him even when it feels uncomfortable, even when it hurts. Learning to trust that the pain of missing out on even one aspect of who He is, is far greater than the pain of dying to ourselves.
I believe it is His plan for us to constantly be moving from glory to glory. It is His will for us not to stay where we are, but to be continually growing our roots deeper into Him.
Lord, teach me how to walk not according to my flesh, but to walk wholeheartedly according to Your Spirit. To rely on You, to trust You, above my own instincts, desires, hopes and dreams. To listen to Your voice before I receive a word from any other.
To stay in Your presence.
Soften my heart to Yours, so that my desire will be to hold nothing back from You. Let my life be aligned with Your plans and purposes.
Not my will, but Your will be done.