Note: The new header for the blog (you have to be at the blog, not viewing it in an email, to see it), shows a few scenes from my family's recent months as well as a slice of an amazing Hubble shot of a region of sky that is, at best, a tiny dot seen with the naked eye. God is awesome!
"But, I Don't Feel Like it"
At this time of year, with Easter a few raindrops and wildflowers away, I often find myself reflecting on Jesus' prayer in the Garden the night He was arrested—specifically Luke 22:42 where He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Jesus makes it clear elsewhere that nobody took His life—He gave it by choice—and here we see that it wasn't an easy choice, nor one He probably "felt" like doing. Likewise, I doubt Paul “felt” like being stoned, shipwrecked, hungry, rejected, etc., and I doubt John “felt” like living in exile. I doubt Peter “felt” like hanging out with Gentiles. But, they did, because they loved God and He called them to, and they said "yes."
So many times there are things I sense God is probably nudging me to do, but I don't feel like it. It could be a community function I should attend, or an attitude I should change toward another, or something for (or on behalf of) another, or ??? At those times I must decide what I "feel" like doing most—pleasing myself, or Him. That is, for me, the crux of it all. I may think that whatever it is in front of me is just sort of hanging there in a vacuum, but the reality is that if God put it before me it is hanging there on Him. To say I don't feel like doing it, and then not doing it, is then, if I am honest with myself, to really say, "God, I don't feel like doing what you want me to do, so I won't."
I know that we are completely forgiven as Christians. I know that our salvation and adoption by God is based simply and solely on our faith in His work on our behalf alone. And, I also know that Paul had to address those who used that grace as a license to do, or not do, things based on their feelings and flesh. I have, many times, used the, "There is no condemnation in Christ, so I won't do something out of guilt," line . . . but the reality is, I don't want to be that way. If I am choosing to act on what I feel like doing, or don't feel like doing, instead of obeying Jesus, I don't want to feel comfortable and at peace in that. Where would it end?
Jesus asked, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me," but He ended it with the most important line of all, "Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." Many times I have asked God, "Do you really want me to do this?" (and sometimes He'll release me—for example, we had a wonderful family firepit night under the stars a couple months ago when I had "thought" I should go to a community function) . . . but having heard, "Yes, I want you to do this" my hearts cry is that I will always say, "Not my will, but Yours be done."
Thanks for sharing in my life. I'd love to hear your thoughts. May God bless you with a deep sense of His love for you and presence with you. —Erick