Larry James' post that I mentioned the other day has me thinking. Spending last year in the book of Mark has had me thinking. This year focusing on Discipleship has me thinking. In fact it has moved way past thinking. God is doing something in me and it is good.
But one of the fundamental questions that I am left with is, "do I trust Jesus?" Do I trust that his way, his life and his instructions are really the best for me. Am I able to read the Sermon on the Mount and know without a doubt that this is the way to life...the road to being fully alive in Christ. Or, am I able to hide my inability to really believe behind busy churchiness, or an attitude of arrogance based on the fact that it is 2007 and life is different now.
I have often wondered about the prayer, "help my unbelief." Seldom have I defined myself as one who "needed" to pray such a prayer. I can look over my life and see my unswerving faith through hard life transitions: death, cancer, overseas move, financial instability. And I have always been honest about the times when the whole "God and church" thing has just seemed too much of a stretch for my mind. I have confessed that kind of doubt and have sought out counsel from my spiritual community to reaffirm my beliefs.
But this is not about that. Most of the time in life I have discovered that, "this is not about that." This has less to do with believing in God and more to do with believing God. God is slowly showing me things about myself and bringing light to my heart and truth is being revealed.
Situations aside, regardless of circumstances, understanding the complexity of people, and considering the life of ministry and just life itself...
I want to be the person who believes it really is better to:
turn away from pride
be a peacemaker
live out of a heart of compassion
seek purity with vigilence
hunger and thirst for God alone
endure hardships for the sake of the Kingdom
lay aside resentment and anger against others
seek good for all people
treat people with kindness and grace
be extravagantly generous
offer love and hospitality to those who can not return the favor
allow God to be the audience of good deeds, not people
prayer in silence aswell as with words
remain still long enough for God to speak
live a life of spiritual disciplines
allow the fruit of a life of disciplines to speak, not the act of the discipline itself
value and honor people not things
celebrate blessings by sharing
live daily for the Kingdom
differentiate between need and want
direct all my resources toward living for Jesus and not an earthly secure future
have the eyes of Jesus to see the best in people
not judge another unless I am willing to be scrutinized in the same way
seek God in everything
expect Him to answer and draw me in
abdicate from image control
allow the fruit of my life to witness to Christ
seek wisdom and discernment
What a journey!