Section One: The Spiritual Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Four: Being A Warrior.
Our reading for today: Romans 8: 26-28 (MsgB)
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Let’s face it.
Taking up The Shield of Faith on a daily basis is not an easy thing to do.
Living in this fallen world, trusting God in and for all things, is not for wimps. As we discussed earlier in this blog series, we have two unique enemies that come against us time and time again, doing their very best to destroy our lives in Christ. The first enemy, of course, is Satan and all of his cunning attempts to lure us off course. The second is our flesh; that old unredeemed man or woman who still dwells inside us. Some rightly call that ugly personality the false self; one who quite honestly, would prefer to live life under the leadership of self rather than yielding to the will of God, our Creator/King.
So when Paul suggests that we take up The Shield of Faith in order to ward off all the fiery darts thrown at us throughout this lifetime, he’s not saying that it will be simple. As a matter of fact, if this were an easy thing to do…everybody would be doing it!
But here’s the really good news about following Jesus.
As you and I go out into this world of ours, we must remember what Paul tells his friends in Rome…
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.
You see, we’re not alone in this daily effort in picking up The Shield of Faith. As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit, God’s amazing gift of Himself placed deep inside all who call upon the name of Jesus, is the empowering difference that actually keeps us going; even on days when we feel so weak inside, we’re not very sure about anything concerning our faith in God.
Case in point? Mother Theresa.
Most people, when they think of this great woman of faith, believe that this is one human being who must have had a faith strong enough to reach to the moon and back. And indeed, her story is one of great faith. But after her death, her private journals revealed that there were many days throughout her illustrious life when she doubted herself, second-guessed her call to ministry, and yes, even wondered about the presence of God in her life!
Some very religious people thought it unwise to publish her words that revealed her doubt and despair, fearing that the truth about this “great woman of faith” might make others stumble. But fortunately, wisdom prevailed, and the book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, was published in 2007, ten years after her death, and it revealed the true and honest feelings this amazing woman of God struggled with on many occasions throughout her life.
Which now brings us back to Paul’s text in Romans.
If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
As I see it, taking up The Shield of Faith is not some self-centered, self-empowered act of faith, but more often, an act of humility, where I’m consciously placing my faith, hope and trust, not in myself and my ability to ward off the enemy, but in a powerful God who can literally take every detail of my life…yes, even the broken and ugly parts of it…and work it all into something good for the greater glory of God.
That seems to be what He did in the life of other broken saints like Mother Theresa. And something deep inside me tells me that this is His plan for you and me as well!
My prayer: Father God, on days when my strength is high, I take up The Shield of Faith. And on days when all I feel is my brokenness and uncertainty inside, I take up The Shield of Faith. Either way, my faith lies not in my own ability to be strong, but in Your ability to make good in and through every detail of my life. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Am I confident today in God’s ability to take every aspect of my life; the good, the bad, and the ugly, and turn it into something good? Can I trust that even when my thoughts are not much more than wordless sighs or aching groans, that the Holy Spirit can turn them into prayers of faith?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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