My Way vs. Jesus' Way
This blog entry is intended to be in sequence, following the last entry written. I am going to detail one of the points included in the "To be succesful after treatment as a Jesus follower" section. This entry is being written in regard to yielding to God's ways and not living by our natural inclinations. For you church folk, flesh vs the spirit.
Lets be honest from the get go. Life prior to drug & alcohol treatment wasn't exactly going in our favor. Sure there were good times, but they were book -ended with handcuffs & a plea bargain. So... why is it that we forget once we are 30 days, 90 days, 180 days, 1 year, or 5 years clean that we, on our own, are not that great. I'll tell you why. It's because of this ginormous phenomenon called pride, and mans desire to do things his way. Even if we've just been rescued and literally pulled out of the dumpster by someone who loves us. Give us 60 days and we'll have forgotten where we came from and think we know best about how to arrange the near future.
This is a difficult one for us humans, we like control and when we don't have it, well, we panic. Here's the fact though, you never were in control. I mean obviously, look at your recent history. Are you going to claim control? Cause that's not looking like control. It looks like what would happen if I gave my 10 month old daughter control of a paint bucket in my living room. It would be a mess. For the individual who would yet still claim control, based on your successes in life, you're most likely living for your own glory and status (pride). So how do you do life Jesus' way instead of your way? How do you put him in control and yield to his ways? Well, you ask him to help you first.
In the book of John, chapter 15, and verse 5 in the Bible, Jesus is telling his disciples, "apart from me you can do nothing." Quite the statement from Jesus. He is speaking to the men that have already pledged their lives to him. He is telling them that unless he empowers them, they cannot do it on their own. That is, the new purpose of their lives. To execute the will of God, or to complete the task that he is leaving with them (start the church, spread the Gospel, and live for the glory of God). So we know that unless Jesus empowers us, it's not going to work out, assuming we're attempting to do "it" in response to his gift of grace and mercy resulting from his crucifixtion on the cross.
Into the knitty gritty... what are your motives? Why do you do what you do? What is driving you? What is the reason that you get up in the morning? For most in the world, I would say, it is to make a dollar and amass more stuff so that we feel better about ourselves and can make ourselves acceptable to those around us. Most would call it "climbing the ladder of success". That is the MASSIVE day and night difference between the individual who follows their own desires/motives and the Jesus follower. One attempts to live for themselves and the other attempts to live for Jesus. One clings to "control" of their life and the other has yielded it to Jesus, living by God's Word. Neither truly have control of their lives but one submits control to God who will absolutely make good on glorifying himself through them when they yield to his ways. Which ultimately will end in the individual being glorified as well. God promised it, not me. See the book of James, chapter 4.
Here is the bottom line. Living God's way means doing what His Word says regarding the situation instead of what your logic says. Did you just trip and fall over? Pick yourself up and I'll say it again. If you are going to live God's way, to please him, to be a Jesus follower, TO BE A CHRISTIAN, to do God's will, you must resolve to govern yourself by his perspective, His Word, the Bible. But you say, "WHAT!!?! That is crazy! That means I don't know how the situation is going to turn out!!!! I won't be in control of all the moving pieces! I can't tell the truth (for example)... because then (insert whatever your selfish desires are) won't happen and my plans will all be ruined!!!"
Well, that is the basis for this article, to show that you cannot be a Jesus follower and at the same time pursue your own plans, contradicting his Word with your life decisions. You yield to his ways or you do not. If we do not, the slide will begin back into our mess. Because we are human, we will fail. When this happens (constantly) you submit to His Word and resolve yourself to handle the situation God's way. Ask forgiveness, repent, be honest, and take him at His Word that you have been forgiven. One of the MANY great things about Jesus is that when you confess your shortcomings to him (when you're honest) he will always forgive you and pick you up. This is not a license to sin. It is a license to repent often. When you begin to be honest with all the areas of your life you'll eventually realize that you need to be honest about your thoughts. When this happens you can truly begin to see the transformational work of Jesus in you. Pretty soon you catch yourself in your thoughts ever before it turns to action.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you." -Psalm 32:8
Let's live for Jesus. Give him control. Resolve to do life by His Word, the Bible. Tell the ugly truth, ask Jesus to help you and be forgiven. All we have to lose is everything that's horrible in our lives. Quit clinging to a false reality.
You can do it because of Jesus