Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Follow - Grace in the Choice

Without Jesus and His grace I would remain a slave to sin.

He is the All-Sufficient game-changer.

Because with Him I am free. Indeed.

Free to choose, to shake off these shackles of temptation, rage, shame, and darkness. 

It was C.S. Lewis who declared:
"It is a living Man, still as much a man as you, and still as much God as He was when He created the world, really coming and interfering with your very self; killing the old natural self in you and replacing it with the kind of self He has." (Mere Christianity)
Yes, it is He who kills the carnal self, but I who must first open and surrender. I who must first ask Him to come.

God is ever giving, always pouring, constantly offering. So I suppose the question to me is, will I be a receiver? Will I take hold, or let all this grace, all these gifts, all this freedom slip through my fingers like air? Like oil. This freedom so slippery in the face of evil. Breathe. Open these hands.

And I do know that slippery oil through leaky fingers will require endless supply.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.

Great is his faithfulness;
 his mercies begin afresh each morning." -Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)
My one word for this trip around the sun: Follow.

The word implies a choice. Every spin of the planet I have an option - I could definitely choose not to. Could very well just throw myself down on the tile and pout, or even flail and scream. I don't have to. He doesn't drag me; just walks and invites me to follow. He doesn't push me ahead of him, driving, shoving, forcing; just shows the Way and makes it clear. Makes it straight. I could likely turn around and go back. Could just as easily take a path not His. This is my choice - and will I follow Him? 

I'm thankful for His Map today. Just opening and continuing to read is often all it takes. He lights the dark and broken way, this glorious, lovely Lamp illuminating my choices.

"For crooked people are detestable to the Eternal,
    but those with integrity receive His counsel.
 His curse lingers over the wicked and their families,
    but He forever favors residence of those who do      what is right.
 God treats the arrogant as they treat others,
    mocking the mockers, scorning the scornful,
    but He pours out His grace on the humble.
 In the end, the wise will receive honor,
 but fools will face humiliation." - Proverbs 3:32-35 (The Voice)

So, what will it be this day, Self?

Jesus, make me full of integrity so that I might receive Your counsel; make me righteous that I would have Your favor; help me to be humble so that I will hold onto grace; show me Your wisdom so that my hands will be ready for honor. I choose these keys to freedom, these courses of action above the ways of those who follow their own way. Spirit, please keep me away from crookedness, for I would never want to be detestable in Your eyes; block wickedness from my ways because I do not want any curses on my life or my family; please help me not to be arrogant or mock others or be scornful - I don't want Your scorn; and Father, please help me not to choose folly because humiliation and shame are not my goals. I want to follow You, Jesus. And I desire above anything else to be near You, walking in Your ways and not the ways of the wicked or deceitful. You are Worthy, Lord. I need Your help, Your fresh freedom and mercy today. I choose once again to receive Your gifts and to cooperate with whatever You want to do in me. Thank You for the choice. Help me to make good ones today.

I choose, I vow to follow You.

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