This past weekend, I attended a Beth Moore conference with my Irish-twin sister to celebrate her birthday. You know how we women are. We come home from a conference like that flying with angelic spiritual wings – that is until we walk in our red front door. The flesh is tired and it wants what it wants. Sometimes the wisdom written in journals flies off the page with the rush of the opening the front door. Home- where the real battle begins.
As I sat down Sunday afternoon to review my notes, my brain fogged over as I read the verses in Romans over and over. Okay, Lord, I’m gonna need some help here. Help me put on paper what I learned. Help me apply it to my life. Beth spoke the words from Romans – for we have been crucified with Christ
“We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we may no longr be the slaves of sin.- Romans 6:6
– so why do we keep carrying around rotting corpse of our old selves? We baby it, watch tv with it, let it drive and throw it at our spouses in a heated argument. Thanks, Beth, I will always have the melodramatic visual of you flinging your old dead self-dummy all over the stage! A lesson I will not forget!
This week as I returned to my Ann Kroeker study, I asked myself, how does the lesson of this weekend’s conference “No Longer” apply to my current study? What do I need to say no longer to in my life? What part of my old dead self do I try to revive when I hurry? In a flurry of hurry, I tend to be short fused, barking orders at my children.
“When we over plan or over demand of ourselves, we get grumpy, irritable, and view everyone as an enemy of our to-do list.”- Aimee Kollmansberger
Out comes my old self and I fling her red- headed Irish attitude at my children. Or I carry my old dead corpse on my back and wear the ‘woe is me’ attitude. I have so much to do and nobody cares. Or worse, I carry all the little unregenerated, fleshy- responsive bodies of my children on my back. Picture it. A pile of bodies on my back, weighing me down, a heavy burden too much for anyone to bear.This is too hard. I can’t. A child says, “No, I won’t” and I pick up the burden trying to change the child, I respond in my zombie- form and the child does the same. A zombie war. Hurling bodies. A child makes a choice that causes me to institute a consequence I have to follow through with. Gosh. Gotta carry his little body again.
What is the answer? Where do I draw the line? When do I bury our old self and not have a grave robbing party in the middle of the day?
Aimee Kollmansberger (via Not so Fast) suggests we can only do two or three things well in a day. The Lord will usually only speak one verse to us a day. Daily manna.
My verse for today?
“Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God -that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection].”- I Peter 3:9
No room for the flesh here. No room at this Inn for the dead flesh. No room for evil or insults, scolding or berating. When we walk in the Spirit, he gives us a soft nudge. Pray for their welfare. Sometimes I am tempted to pray for my peace, a selfish peace, but lately I am more aware that my personal peace should not be my goal. My children’s welfare does not necessarily mean that they do everything right, but is is for their benefit that I slow down. I pray. I give them choices and do not dread following up with logical consequences so they can learn to listen to the nudge of the Holy Spirit themselves when the time comes. I slow down so I can listen and not jump on the instant berating wagon. I slow down so I can see siblings helping siblings because I got out of the way. I slow down, take the child off my back. I can’t carry him, but Jesus can. He already knows that there is a future for him. My carrying him around worrying if he will choose the right path only gives me more grey hairs. When I slow down and worship the life-changer, soul-saver and wait- He can work.
Slow down. REST in Him. Leave some margins. Bury that old self and say, “NO longer!”
“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].- Hebrews 4:16