December 26 – A Humble Walk With God

Walking by faith may be likened to the game of golf. Suppose a five-year-old child hits the ball 75 yards, but is 15 degrees off the center of the fairway. Because of the short distance, the ball will probably land in the short grass. Now the child is ten years old and hits the ball 200 yards. The ball is probably in the rough or in a hazard when he is 15 degrees off. A ball hit 300 yards with a 15-degree error could land the ball out of bounds. If what we believe is 15 degrees off from the word of God, there may not be a lot of negative consequences when we are young. But there will be if we continue walking in that direction. Suddenly we find ourselves in the rough or out of bounds. A mid-life crisis can leave one thinking, “I always believed if I did this or that I would be successful, satisfied, or fulfilled. As our culture drifts further away from our Judeo-Christian roots, the consequences of what our young people believe are showing up before they reach adulthood.

We don’t have to wait until life falls apart to find out whether our walk is true or not. The emotional response to what we think and believe is revealing whether we are on the right path. Remember that our emotions are predominantly a product of our thought life. Consciously or subconsciously we have certain ideas or goals in our minds for how we should live and what must happen in order for us to live a satisfied and successful life, and often our sense of worth is tied into it. Suppose you just found out that your goal to be promoted at work was being blocked by your supervisor. You would probably feel angry. What if your promotion was uncertain? You would probably feel anxious every time you thought about it. You would likely feel depressed if you thought your goal for a promotion was impossible.

We will be on an emotional roller coaster if we believe that our identity and sense of worth is dependent upon other people and the circumstances of life. If a pastor believes that his sense of worth is dependent upon the response of his congregation, then he may try to control or manipulate them into responding the way he wants. But every member of the congregation can block that goal. Suppose a mother believes that her sense of self-worth depends on having a harmonious, happy, Christian family. Every member of that family can and will block that goal.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience . . . self-control (Gal. 5:22,23). If our goal in life is to become the person God created us to be, then the fruit of the Spirit becomes evident in our lives. Regardless of circumstances, we would experience joy instead of depression, peace instead of anxiety, and patience instead of anger. When life is not going your way, as it wasn’t for Israel in Micah’s day, then learn to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).

Dr. Neil

For Spanish, see http://www.ficmm.org/blog