I remember hearing this rather striking statement years ago from a friend of mine who ministered with me in the Charismatic Renewal. He meant that his “old man”, his “sin nature”, his “flesh”, was “dead with Christ,” and could therefore feel no more pain from insults, slights, etc. And in his case, it was really true! A deeply Christian man and full of the Holy Spirit, he not only “talked the talk” but “walked the walk” as well. He exemplified virtue, holiness and the fruit of the Spirit.
Have you ever heard the song by Benny Grunch and the Bunch called “Ain’t Dere No More”? It’s about some iconic New Orleans stores that are no longer in business, such as Maison Blanche, K&B Drugs, Schwegmann’s, etc. I sometimes have a vague feeling like that when I hear homilies and other religious talks. I wonder why certain subjects so rarely, if ever, get attention. It’s like they “ain’t dere no more….”
Imagine that you have come to a fork in the road. (I’m reminded of Yogi Berra’s famous saying, “When you come to a fork in the road – take it!”) Anyway, we do come to many forks in the road – matters to decide, choices to be made, changes to consider, etc. Now imagine two signs: one saying God’s Way and the other Man’s Way. You would be tempted to think, that’s a simple choice, right? Wrong!
A good question to ask as we begin a new year is, “What do you delight in? What do I delight in?” When Patti and I got married in 1973, we received a Scripture as our “marriage verse.” We used it in our wedding invitations, the program leaflet for our wedding, and indeed, claimed it for our entire married life. The verse is Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Just over a year ago, November 3, 2017, to be exact, I was praying. I was very concerned about some things in the Church, in our country and in the world. I admit that I was tending to feel somewhat discouraged and lacking in faith and hope. Then I was surprised to sense the Lord speaking a word to my heart. The following is what I heard:
“For such a time as this” the Lord is offering us wisdom from his Word. This Month we continue exploring some Scripture verses that seem to be especially relevant today. Guard these words in your heart for hope and encouragement.
“May you live in interesting times!”, is supposed to be an old Chinese curse. Well, I don’t think there is any doubt that we do live in interesting times, but we take heart that since Jesus became a curse for us, we are no longer under any curse (cf. Gal. 3:13). Our lives and our times are in the Lord’s hands and the Lord’s plan.
“What’s the most important thing in our lives? It is to know and to do God’s will for us.”
Have you ever wondered how it might be possible to know God’s will?
There is probably no teaching that has helped me more than the one I’m about to share with you.