Our walk. It changes over time. I always thought that as I got older, I would master life. But age and the stages keep moving the cheese. And of course our culture is changing so rapidly that there is clearly no sense of having a handle on anything for any length of time.
How do we survive in a world where all that we have learned seems to no longer apply? Mere survival is not the will of God for us. How do we thrive?
Faith works. For too many years, my faith has been in my ability to fix things. When the challenges would come, I would once again be scrambling for some kind of solution. I’d be a bit frantic, but I would also try to be the picture of maturity, swiftly sifting every detail of life I could to find some sort of a place of breakthrough.
In the mind centered worldview of our culture, we believe that the right thoughts will win the day. In a spirit centered worldview, the mind is actually more of a pawn of the spirit. The frantic spirit will grasp at straws and chase after the best hope. The spirit that is at peace will wait, listen, and at some point break out with amazing levels of creativity.
Faith works. It is the track that the train called the mind runs on. When there is mostly faith in self, our power is limited and a crash is inevitable. We generally are able to convince ourselves for a season that things are good. But faith in self has a dose of fear imbedded within, so that as those seasons of life are changing, fear rears its ugly head. And the mind freezes and flashes. Fight and flight. There are all kinds of reactions … but not faith.
I am amazed that I wake up almost daily saying, “I don’t know how to pastor in this modern world.” By now, I should have mastered pastoring, but if anything, I am more confused than ever. How do I move from that level of confusion to being life and strength to those I am called to lead?
Faith works. But not faith in self. Faith in God. I stop. I check out my own spirit. I see the confusion. I recognize the truth of James 3:16 and selfish roots that are driving the confusion. I own the fact that selfishness is in my core being and I confess to God and I wait, knowing that in myself, there is no power to change that core response.
I wait. I listen. I notice a change. I so easily could have missed the work of God if I was still chasing the track of the perfect thought. Faith. Rest. Peace. Then I notice that my pattern of thinking has changed. There is a creativity and a hope driving my thoughts. Ephesians 4:23 tells us to be “renewed in the spirit of your mind.” We mostly miss that “spirit” part in a mind centered culture, but it is the most important part.
Faith works. Faith in a living, loving, and intervening God works. Faith in self is destined to fail. So what are you believing in today?