|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Living by faith”
Our Bible verse for today: “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “It’s a matter of the will”
More than twenty years ago an old friend gave me a wonderful little devotional book as a gift. The title is “Disciplines of the Inner Life” by Bob Benson and Michael Benson. On the flyleaf in the front of the book, to set the tone for the study, they offered this observation, “If you wish to live richly, deeply and spiritually, you must cultivate the “world within.” It is a thrilling world … with the Heavenly Father as our companion …”
They go on to say that, “Down through Christian history various spiritual principles, rules, disciplines and practices have aided the believer in the quest for a deeper knowledge of God.” The rest of the book is all about putting those time-proven principles and disciplines into practice.
One entire section of the book is dedicated to identifying and overcoming common obstacles to developing that deeper life with God, and the number one obstacle is gaining control over your will. Our human will is a stubborn thing. We want what we want and we are usually determined to have what we want, and one of the things our nature leads us to want is the path of least resistance. That means avoiding things that are hard or which take extra effort (like developing the habit of getting out of bed early to spend 30 minutes with God in prayer and Bible study or, being in church on Sunday instead of doing something else or going somewhere else). Gaining control over your will, disciplining it and making yourself do the things you know you should do, is a key element to living by faith.
Now, as we will learn in coming days, once we develop the habit of practicing the faith on a regular and consistent basis, we discover that we love living this way and we wouldn’t want to go back to our old habits. But initially, breaking old patterns and developing new ones can be hard work.
Coming to faith in Jesus is relatively easy. Living by faith is much harder. It’s a matter of gaining control over your will and training yourself to do the things necessary to experience the spiritual growth you need in order to live by faith. We’ll think more about this tomorrow.
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