Monday, November 8, 2010

Disagreements with someone (especially someone close to me) force me to look at myself and take stock of my character.  I'm usually disappointed in what I find.  I want G-d to side with me, to be on my side but usually I feel He asks me instead to "go the extra mile" and deny my flesh what it wants at that moment:  To be stroked, to be right, to be vindicated. 

This morning something like that happened to me and as I was searching my heart my L-rd spoke a verse to me.  I find this is how He usually speaks to me - from His Word.  This morning the words were from Luke 9:23 "if I want to follow Abba, I must take up my execution stake and follow Him."  I began meditating on the execution stake and was thinking that this horrible, humiliating death pole represented the sins of mankind for all eternity, past and future, that our L-rd bore for us.  All of our sins were visible for all to see in the person of Yeshua Ha Mashiach as He hung on this death pole dying a slow, agonizing death because of our mistakes, poor choices, and rebellion. 

I realized that sin is obeying the demands of the flesh and I began thinking about my walk with the L-rd.  It requires me to die to my flesh daily and submit to His sovereignty because I've accepted Him as my L-rd and my G-d.  I have this truth in the innermost portion of my heart and when I trespass against that truth, I have to face it and take stock of my situation all over again.  I'm so grateful for this process of reconciliation even though my failures are so distressing to me. 

It also occurred to me that relationships force us to look at ourselves:  Proverbs 27:17 says, "Iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another."   Peace in relationships requires us to die to ourselves.  It isn't always about us - sometimes it's about giving in to the other person.  Our flesh loves to be "right" but that is so opposite to "lovng our neighbor as ourself." 

In summary, a good daily check is to look for the fruits of the spirit in our life.  The fruit a tree bears proves what kind of tree it is.  A life devoted to G-dly living and instruction is going to  exude the fruits of the spirit:  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.  The opposite is true for a life insistent on getting it's own way and satisfying the fleshes desires. Therefore this day, I choose life by choosing to serve G-d and follow His Torah.


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