Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Way or the Highway

I am going to get right to it today. Sinful thoughts, words, attitudes, and deeds are all byproducts of selfishness. It's all about me--my wants, my needs, my agenda, my time. This is our natural state of thinking--how will this or that affect numero uno. His words hurt me. Her ways irritate me. His weaknesses frustrate me. Me. Me. Me. When will we truly come to understand--it is not about me. It is all about Him.

I heard a funny analogy yesterday from one of Joyce Meyer's "sermons"--it is just weird for a girl with Southern Baptist roots to call her a pastor and what she says a sermon. But the woman can preach! She said that she and her husband were driving and came upon an orange orchard. She got to thinking, "Those oranges didn't come about because the tree was thinking really hard and 'pushing' with all its might." Then she puckered her face, clinched her fists, and strained with all she had. "No, those oranges grew because of what was happening inside the tree." She went on to explain that the "fruit of the Spirit"--which you can read about in Galatians 5:22-26--does not appear because we try really hard to be good. The fruit of the Spirit is a byproduct of what is going on inside of the believer.

If we are living for ourselves--my wants, needs, agenda, etc.--then we will miss the Spirit-filled, fruit producing life. The fruit of God--love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control--can only flow from the Spirit of God. The fruit is a byproduct of dying to self and allowing God to work in and through us. It is saying, "Lord, I am a complete mess left to myself. My thoughts are critical, my attitudes irritable, and my words discouraging. If you can use me, then you can have me. Do Your thing in me." Paul says to die daily to self. Daily take up our cross and follow after Christ. To live the life that breeds the fruit of God then we must lay down ourselves and submit our will to His. It is only then that His power will be made manifest.

Not me, me, me. Rather, You, You, You. God, make Yourself famous through my little life.

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