I am a slow learner. But, thank God I am learning: "Little by little, precept upon precept, line upon line."
This lesson began a long time ago, perhaps years ago. I wrote about it once, HERE. But that was just a beginning. I didn't know that, like an instrument, I was just learning how to pluck out the notes. There would be much more practice and instruction needed before I could play a song.
Do you know what makes me a slow learner? Pride. I don't want to learn. I just want to know. I don't want to practice. I just want to be the best, instantly. Consequently, it takes me forever to learn something because when I get to the rough spots, I give up or go to something that I know I am good at. Or, worse, I pretend that I am good at "whatever."
God has been teaching me about walking after the Spirit.
I cannot walk after the flesh AND after the Spirit. It is only one or the other.
But walking after the Spirit does not come naturally. It comes supernaturally. The first thing to be done is to be born again. OK. Done, by the Grace of God.
The next thing is to "take up my cross and follow Jesus." Hm. This is a bit harder. It's not that the cross is heavy. The Bible says "come to me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you...for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." It's the whole following thing. I don't always want to go where Jesus is leading.
There's the key "I don't always want..."
But what did Jesus do about His cross? He prayed, "If there is any other way, Father let this cup pass from me, yet not my will, Thy will be done."
Walking after the Spirit means giving up my will. Doing God's will.
"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other:" Galatians 5:17
In other words, there is a battle going on. A war. A constant fight between the flesh and the Spirit.
We forget this.
Anxiety and fear, anger and bitterness, controls me. Or, because of the goodness of God, it reminds me of the war.
But I can't fight in a war! I don't know what to do! I'm not strong enough, or wise enough, or brave enough.
Sometimes, the thing I am up against is worse than a little criticism. Sometimes, I am fighting against big, ugly, cruel, evil. Sometimes, it is absolute lies from the pit. Sometimes it is a wolf in sheep's clothing. I am not sure if it is a wolf or a sheep.
Take courage! Fear Not! Stand firm!
God has given me the tools to fight and not just to fight, but to win! Next post...the tools (practical things to do and say in the war).