Faith Scale

If you could put your faith level and the degree in which you follow Jesus on a scale graph, where would that sit compared to the things of the world that we live in 24/7? Is Jesus an afterthought most of the time, or is He the primary source of Who you go to every day? Is He the One who rates highest on your importance scale? I know many will say yes, but do you say yes with your heart, or just with your mouth. But remember, this is my journey, and I write to invite you to experience all that I experience every day. The thoughts that enter my head; the things that occupy my time. The things I share are not designed to be aimed at you, but are a compilation of that which either convicts my heart every day, or instructs me through the Spirit, when I am able to listen. I see before me a graph of importance, and I am ashamed that Jesus does not sit alone at the top some of the time. The conviction that I sense is that the world still tries to take control of my life. Ultimately, I am pulled back to Christ, not because I am strong, but because I am weak, and get to the point of surrender, and turn over my life once again to the Spirit of the Lord, who I want to guide me and to Whom I put my trust in. But if I am honest with my heart, there are many things that try to compete for my attention every day. There is conviction that reveals to me that at times I put self before the Lord, and do what I want, instead of what He wills. I stand confident in my faith, but does the deception of the world cause me to let faith slip into a lower level on my scale, and convince my mind that I am spiritual enough. What is that anyway? I desire to start every day with Jesus, and for the most part I do, knowing that I am compelled to make this journey until I reach the end. Yet, the truths that are revealed to me about myself, are many, and it seems the closer I get to Jesus, the clearer I see the deceptions and the thoughts that occupy my head. The Spirit moves me to Romans 7 where I read about the apostle Paul who was on his own journey, and he writes: “So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me. So I discover this principle: When I want to do what is good, evil is with me. For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body/ I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.” Romans 7: 17-25 I am moved to surrender daily knowing that this battle that rages within each of us rages daily and will continue through the whole journey. We are to be watchful, knowing that evil is right there with us. The worst thing we can do is deny its presence, for when we acknowledge it, we can then surrender it to the Lord, for cleansing, and for strength to once again get back on the path of His planning, not ours. He understands our weakness and our attraction to the things of the world, and He has given us His Spirit to guide us through the times of trials and the pull of the flesh. So I look at my meter once again, and I realize that even though things of the world keep nagging at me, the love that is there for my Lord and Savior will always be the prime importance behind my journey. He will be the One guiding; He will be the One correcting my steps; He will be the One forgiving when I step too far off the path. And He continues to love me even when I fail. For that, I am drawn just a little closer to Him today than yesterday, and I long for the tomorrows that will take me closer still. I know each of us have a journey to make, and if you don’t please feel free to walk this journey with me, as we get closer and closer to the Lord and the end of our destination. Pastor Andy

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